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Old 23-07-2018, 14:49   #1
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Is private vessel tracking public record?

I'm new to boating and had stumbled upon the site MarineTraffic.

Do ALL boats (commercial and non-commercial) that use AIS show up on that tracking system?

If so, is it then possible to track the whereabouts of ANY private boat that has AIS enabled?
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Old 23-07-2018, 15:00   #2
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

Yes, and yes
Same for aircraft
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Old 23-07-2018, 15:08   #3
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

Any vessel transmitting can be tracked. Most transponders have a "silent" receive only mode. Vessels only using receivers cannot be tracked via AIS.


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Old 23-07-2018, 15:11   #4
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatingnewbie View Post
I'm new to boating and had stumbled upon the site MarineTraffic.

Do ALL boats (commercial and non-commercial) that use AIS show up on that tracking system?

If so, is it then possible to track the whereabouts of ANY private boat that has AIS enabled?
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.
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Old 23-07-2018, 15:12   #5
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

Commercial vessels use A class transponders which are more powerful and have a longer range. Some vessels also are picked up by satellite but you need to pay to see their name I think. Most private vessels have a class B transponder which is low power and is only picked up when within range of a land based AIS radio tracker, so often the private vessel may not be seen in the system until close to a port or a tracking tower on the coast. Some places have no tracking at all. Quite often a vessel can be in cell phone range and can self report their position to Marine traffic on the internet, if they want to,even though there is no AIS tracker nearby.
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Old 23-07-2018, 15:33   #6
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

This screen shot from MarineTraffic - filtered for 'Pleasure Craft' - suggests that most if not all Class B transmissions are received by the satellites.

The gaggle of boats in the Galapagos are all being received by the sats as no shore station there.... likewise the string from there to the Marquesas.

You can subscribe to MT.... about $10 a day with a 1 year minimum and get all the details of the offshore shipping traffic . I took a free 14 day trail on that once... good stuff.... but make sure you cancel before the 14 days are up or it will make your eyes water.

You can also set up 'notifications' on an individual ship or yacht, class A or B, and be advised whenever it arrives or sails from port.

I recently discovered that my sister, the most computer illiterate person in the known universe and possibly beyond, has been monitoring my port movements for the last 5 years or so.... just as well I wasn't telling porkies about what I was up to.
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Old 23-07-2018, 15:44   #7
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

The new class B transponders SOTDMA will transmit more frequently at 5 watt output rather than the 2 watt less frequent models.

So the range should increase enough to more reliably reach the satellite system marine traffic use to show shipping offshore.

A large ship will know further away from us, that a sailing vessel is ahead and will better detect the yawing around that we tend to do when in a following sea because the reports are sent more frequently around 6 seconds appart instead of the maximum 2 per minute of the older class B AIS. He can then dial in a minor course change earlier to avoid us.
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Old 23-07-2018, 17:23   #8
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

AMAZING information, thanks everyone!!

Is there any estimate on what % of private vessels constantly transmit their location? Is it most of them, like 90% or do only a view private boats transmit constantly via AIS?
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Old 23-07-2018, 17:31   #9
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

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Originally Posted by boatingnewbie View Post
AMAZING information, thanks everyone!!

Is there any estimate on what % of private vessels constantly transmit their location? Is it most of them, like 90% or do only a view private boats transmit constantly via AIS?
I would imagine that most transmit whenever at sea..... while most turn their AIS off when in port.. that said I have known a few boats to leave their AIS transmitting while on the hard for over a year....

Percentages? Impossible to judge.

Some of the more paranoid amongst us switch off the transmit side and go receive only unless in traffic... big brother and all that....
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Old 23-07-2018, 17:34   #10
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatingnewbie View Post
AMAZING information, thanks everyone!!

Is there any estimate on what % of private vessels constantly transmit their location? Is it most of them, like 90% or do only a view private boats transmit constantly via AIS?
The vast majority of private vessels are not transmitting their location as they are tied to the marina, jetty or moored.

If underway, it is very much location dependant but as a WAG, I'd say maybe 15%, perhaps a bit more.
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Old 23-07-2018, 17:38   #11
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

To add to what I said above and to avoid confusion.... I was talking about AIS equiped boats.

I imagine that a very large percentage of the world's pleasure craft are not equiped with AIS....
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Old 23-07-2018, 17:46   #12
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
This screen shot from MarineTraffic - filtered for 'Pleasure Craft' - suggests that most if not all Class B transmissions are received by the satellites.

The gaggle of boats in the Galapagos are all being received by the sats as no shore station there.... likewise the string from there to the Marquesas.

You can subscribe to MT.... about $10 a day with a 1 year minimum and get all the details of the offshore shipping traffic . I took a free 14 day trail on that once... good stuff.... but make sure you cancel before the 14 days are up or it will make your eyes water.

You can also set up 'notifications' on an individual ship or yacht, class A or B, and be advised whenever it arrives or sails from port.

I recently discovered that my sister, the most computer illiterate person in the known universe and possibly beyond, has been monitoring my port movements for the last 5 years or so.... just as well I wasn't telling porkies about what I was up to.
The Galapagos has long range AIS repeaters on mountain tops. I was told they were funded by an environmental group to help monitor fishing vessels. When we were there we would regularly receive targets via the repeaters that were 150 miles away
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Old 23-07-2018, 17:57   #13
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatingnewbie View Post
AMAZING information, thanks everyone!!

Is there any estimate on what % of private vessels constantly transmit their location? Is it most of them, like 90% or do only a view private boats transmit constantly via AIS?


It will vary greatly with where you are, but here:



About 250 boats in the marina. Less than 10% would have AIS installed. 2 or 3 have it broadcasting all the time even though they seldom leave the marina.


4 visiting boats in at the moment. One is broacasting.
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Old 23-07-2018, 19:04   #14
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

Any way to anonymize the identifier substitute a different boat name / owner.

Hard to believe the superyacht set lets the world know where they are when aboard.
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Old 23-07-2018, 19:06   #15
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Re: Is private vessel tracking public record?

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The Galapagos has long range AIS repeaters on mountain tops. I was told they were funded by an environmental group to help monitor fishing vessels. When we were there we would regularly receive targets via the repeaters that were 150 miles away
Yes, I think you can see five of them on Marinetraffic.... as 'tugs and special craft'.

They don't seem to be passing on any information to Marinetraffic... few if any port authorities and government bodies do....

If you go into MT you will see that all the 'targets' in the Galapagos are via satellite ... not via a shore station...
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