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Old 18-05-2014, 08:42   #1
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AIS and Radar

I have recently purchase a sailboat equipped with a Raymarine C90W in the B.V.I. I'm interested in sailing to St. Martin and want to make a night crossing of it. Is the AIS component reliable enough or should I consider radar as well? If I should be using radar, is there an easy add on component for the current equipment I have?
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Old 18-05-2014, 17:35   #2
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Re: AIS and Radar

The C90W is set up to accept Raymarine's radar systems. The most popular for that plotter seem to be the RD418 and the RD424. As far as I know, the AIS from Raymarine should be compatible, and if not, there are companies making great standalone AIS systems, such as Vesper Marine.

Whether or not you want just AIS or radar, that's a decision you have to make. Obviously not everyone is transmitting and receiving AIS, so radar will probably help you out a little bit more.
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Old 18-05-2014, 17:53   #3
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Plus with radar you get the added advantage of tracking squalls. That said, put the AIS in the budget for future purchase.

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Old 18-05-2014, 18:13   #4
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Re: AIS and Radar

There is absolutely no reason to get radar in the Caribbean. Their aint no fog here since the last ice age.


AIS is the go.
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Old 18-05-2014, 18:13   #5
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Re: AIS and Radar

Quote:
Originally Posted by alyeska View Post
I have recently purchase a sailboat equipped with a Raymarine C90W in the B.V.I. I'm interested in sailing to St. Martin and want to make a night crossing of it. Is the AIS component reliable enough or should I consider radar as well? If I should be using radar, is there an easy add on component for the current equipment I have?
Radar provides much more than AIS for night sailing although passages in the Caribbean are generally a breeze. Before GPS plotters it was a primary tool for position fixing on a paper chart apart from its collision avoidance uses and that ability means its is a primary navigation tool.

AIS with transponder is great and something one should have thesedays but I don't believe it should be installed before Radar.

Plenty of the budget sailors here on CF will disagree (be prepared) as you use the CF search function at the top and search some of the older threads on AIS.

Cheers
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Old 18-05-2014, 18:55   #6
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Re: AIS and Radar

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Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
The C90W is set up to accept Raymarine's radar systems. The most popular for that plotter seem to be the RD418 and the RD424. As far as I know, the AIS from Raymarine should be compatible, and if not, there are companies making great standalone AIS systems, such as Vesper Marine.

Whether or not you want just AIS or radar, that's a decision you have to make. Obviously not everyone is transmitting and receiving AIS, so radar will probably help you out a little bit more.
Our Vesper Marine Watchmate 850 is always on, uses only 3 watts, does anchor watch. Its stand alone so you do not need to operate anything else.

We added broadband radar to our Simrad. Broadband uses way less power than conventional radar.
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Old 18-05-2014, 18:59   #7
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Re: AIS and Radar

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Our Vesper Marine Watchmate 850 is always on, uses only 3 watts, does anchor watch. Its stand alone so you do not need to operate anything else.

We added broadband radar to our Simrad. Broadband uses way less power than conventional radar.
Vesper AIS is hard to beat.
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Old 18-05-2014, 19:13   #8
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Re: AIS and Radar

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Originally Posted by alyeska View Post
I have recently purchase a sailboat equipped with a Raymarine C90W in the B.V.I. I'm interested in sailing to St. Martin and want to make a night crossing of it. Is the AIS component reliable enough or should I consider radar as well? If I should be using radar, is there an easy add on component for the current equipment I have?
I have done the night crossing from BVI to St Martin several times without radar or AIS and never felt the need for either one because a) We had eyeballs on watch all the time b) Visibility was always very good (clear air and no cloud that lets you make the most of moon /star light) and c) the close call I had was with a small boat that would not show up in AIS or radar anyway.

I love AIS for the long crossings when you worry about big ships and you may not be 100% awake all the time...

Just make sure you do not try to make that crossing with more than 15 knots in the nose or more than 5-ft wave!

Cheers
C
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Old 21-05-2014, 07:13   #9
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Re: AIS and Radar

Thanks everyone for the great input. That's what I love about this forum!
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Old 21-05-2014, 07:41   #10
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Re: AIS and Radar

AIS is not a replacement for radar and vice-verse. They do two different things in two different ways. Buy as many navigation tools as you can afford. This will provide more navigation information with which to make decisions.
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Old 21-05-2014, 07:51   #11
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Re: AIS and Radar

I second what David M just said, they are two different technologies and I also want to stress the fact that probably less than 50% of the boats we saw in the Windwards had AIS on our trip last month.
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Old 21-05-2014, 08:11   #12
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pirate Re: AIS and Radar

Quote:
Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
I have done the night crossing from BVI to St Martin several times without radar or AIS and never felt the need for either one because a) We had eyeballs on watch all the time b) Visibility was always very good (clear air and no cloud that lets you make the most of moon /star light) and c) the close call I had was with a small boat that would not show up in AIS or radar anyway.

I love AIS for the long crossings when you worry about big ships and you may not be 100% awake all the time...

Just make sure you do not try to make that crossing with more than 15 knots in the nose or more than 5-ft wave!

Cheers
C
+A1..
Apart from sailboats coming the other way the only 'shipping' your likely to get is cruise ships.. and believe me.. you'll see the 'glow' long before a boats radar..
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