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Old 26-07-2018, 19:11   #61
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

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No, I need a splitter for the masthead antenna, currently using one on the Bimini for AIS.
Even on the bimini I would expect better range. At a minimum I would usually get 6-12 miles AIS reception when my AIS antenna was clamped on the stern pushpit rail.
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Old 26-07-2018, 19:37   #62
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

^^^^^^^ What Paul said..... mine is on the taffrail aka pushpit.........I get the same results or better.
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Old 26-07-2018, 19:42   #63
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

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Even on the bimini I would expect better range. At a minimum I would usually get 6-12 miles AIS reception when my AIS antenna was clamped on the stern pushpit rail.
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^^^^^^^ What Paul said..... mine is on the taffrail aka pushpit.........I get the same results or better.
Wot Paul & El said +1.

You should get way better than 3 miles even if the antenna was on your toe rail / gunnel etc.
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Old 27-07-2018, 00:39   #64
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

Of course there are plenty of ways to degrade your AIS (or VHF) performance. Long and lossy coax cables, corroded cables, bad or corroded connectors, badly mistuned antenna, or just a bad antenna can kill your range. On one trip for AIS I used one of those short "emergency antennas", with the suction cup at the base, stuck to the deck. I was lucky to get even a few miles reception from that lousy antenna. I sure won't be using it as a VHF antenna unless I have absolutely no other option.

But as we are saying, with a typical short VHF antenna at rail-height or higher, and not terrible cable, you should be getting ten miles or better receive range. I now have a separate AIS antenna on the upper spreader, and the range is somewhat better than it had been with the antenna on the stern rail.
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Old 30-07-2018, 07:42   #65
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

In my experience in UK waters it appears a rediculous number of land and Marina based pleasure craft continue to transmit AIS reports even when not on board thus clogging my receiver with lists of useless information!. I did hear rumour that some insurance policies require it but I have no evidence of that being try. IMHO itís creating a nuisance and now we regularly turn our receiver off in popular yotty locations if the visibility is good.
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Old 30-07-2018, 08:12   #66
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

Vessels are tracked here in the US by the USCG NAIS system. They are also tracked via AIS satellite.
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Old 30-07-2018, 08:20   #67
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

The short answer to your question (Do all boats using AIS show up on Marine Traffic) is NO!

A number of reasons for that. Some posts have already provided a partial answer - if using a receive only AIS, they won't show up; if using a transponder AIS (transmit and receive) the answer is "MAYBE!"

The whole MT system depends on a series of relay receiving station antennas for class B transponders (basically, pleasure boats). The antennas pick up the AIS transmissions of both class A (basically, commercial carriers) and class B AIS units. Class B transmissions have the range of a VHF radio - roughly 8-10 miles depending on antenna height of the sender and receiver. A class A transmitter has a range of about 20-25 miles as they send out a more powerful signal. A transmitting boat has to be within range of a Marine Traffic receiving station. A few commercial vessels are linked to the data system using satellite transmissions, and if those vessels receive a signal from a nearby class B antenna, that data from the class B vessel MAY also be transmitted via the satellite system.

This is all explained on the MT web site if you dig deep enough.

So, if a class B transmitting vessel is within range of a receiving station antenna, and the antenna is properly wired to the internet, then the vessel will PROBABLY show up on MT if everything is working properly. There is a delay involved, so MT cannot be relied upon for real-time info. Most class A vessels will show up if they're within range of a receiving station antenna (class A has a range of about 20-25 miles) or if they're using a satellite link to the internet.

There's also a phone app from MT that allows any vessel to transmit it's location info to MT via a cell tower. Obviously, cell service has to be available for that data to be relayed. The app is slowly improving, but still has a long way to go.

We are operating a MT antenna (#4275) which is about 10 meters above sea level. We frequently pick up class A vessels around 20 miles distance (sometimes as much as 30 miles), but pick up class B vessels at about 10 miles, max.
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Old 30-07-2018, 09:17   #68
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

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only boats that TRANSMIT on AIS shall show up. Using AIS to see vessels around you (just AIS RX mode) shall not cause your vessel to show up.

In my personal opinion, the benefits of AIS Transmit far outway the negatives.

Best of luck.
Canít think of a negative. What do I have to hide? Cruising on the Great Lakes we were never bothered by Homeland or CG. They cruised by and said hi but never stopped or boarded us. I figured they knew more about us before coming along side than they would learn on board. Cruising in the Caribbean we know where our friends are and can easily find our community in an anchorage. We have Vesper Watchmate 850. It also is an excellent anchor watch and consumes very little power. Cruising at night it can identify a tug and a tow you might otherwise not be aware of. This saved our bacon south of Guadalupe one night for an unlighted tow 1500 meters behind the tow.
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Old 30-07-2018, 09:29   #69
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

Passenger vessels less that 150-passengers, T-Boats use AIS Class B, only required when moving. Over 150 passengers K-Boats and up are required to use AIS Class A and transmit continuously even while docked. Inland, AIS signals are picked up by Internet/AIS interfaces like the one I maintain. Anytime you are within VHF range of an AIS equipped vessel you should be able to see him if he is transmitting and even commercial inland towboats are required to transmit although some data like ETA, cargo and destination may be out of date.
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Old 30-07-2018, 10:13   #70
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

Clogging you receiver?

Then you should be complaining to the maker. Most navigation software, most software of any kind, in fact does a lousy job of displaying information. Lousy graphics, lousy displays, and from what you are saying, your particular unit has a display and list that are totally non-functional in practical terms.

There is an art to good graphical display. Books have been written explaining and demonstrating what it can be. And, just like "good" or "stable" programming, it is still a damned rare thing.

If there is so much data that you can't read the screen--there's something wrong with how that unit displays data.

The same way that literally ALL early GPS and satnav systems, land or sea, displayed your location as a precise and tiny single point--even when there was a very much larger circle of uncertainty, which they did not display. Newer, better units finally have started displaying things to reflect that. Even though cartographers and illustrators knew all about it for decades before it came into electronic use.
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Old 30-07-2018, 11:41   #71
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

You can't trust any Internet provided AIS data!

Some 'sailors' trust information delivered by Marine Traffic & Co, which is simply hasardous.

Living next to three ports I often watched commercial vessels arrive or leave without any notice on MT...
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Old 30-07-2018, 14:17   #72
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

If your display is over crowded take a look at the free OpenCPN software where you can select or deselect any category of data you might need to see at any time.
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Old 30-07-2018, 15:13   #73
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

Just to add to what BobMc commented on.

Many vessels with unlimited data (whether cell OR satellite based) can have the data showing on Their AIS be re transmitted to Marine Traffic.

This is often seen when WAY Offshore you may see a ship and several targets showing available data. When all around them is ‘satellite only data’. It appears like a ‘cloud’ of available vessel data is showing. That slowly travels across the ocean.

If you look on the Marine Traffic website you will find a link on how to hook the AIS out data to a laptop with an available data port, You download their app on the laptop and you become a moving portable data source to increase MTs coverage!


On the topic of boats leaving their AIS on for days/weeks/months when never getting underway.... seems people like to ‘be seen’. And it does clog up the data screens and the plotters with useless info.
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Old 30-07-2018, 16:11   #74
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

We have, nearby, a commercial fishing trawler fleet, of around 14 vessels, they run AIS as a matter of safety, however, their fellow trawlers, "see" the other vessels movement patterns, and know that they are onto the schools of fish, etc.
The sneaky boat operatrs turn their AIS ff, when they are "on the bite"

We can be out amongst them, and have just one or two of the 14, show up on our plotter.
Keeping a constant watch is required!
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Old 30-07-2018, 18:19   #75
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

I live in Singapore and AIS is mandatory for all vessels that that have an engine. Most pleasure craft will use AIS B which is perfect for Singapore waters. but transmission farther out though, is very spotty. Boats in the local Riau will rarely show up; eg Anambas, Bintan, Batam etc. Although it's compulsory to transmit in SG waters, it's also possible to go 'dark' if you venture outside in case you're worried about piracy. If you're anywhere near a shipping lane though, something hitting you is a much greater risk than pirates.
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