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Old 15-08-2015, 15:19   #136
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

Personally I find the hand bearing compass indispensable. We use it often and note the bearing and time as we take them to monitor crossings. Lining up a stanchion , rigging or winch works as a rough guesstimate, but our course is often varying by 5-10 degrees defending on the sea state. We do have AIS as well. It seems a lot of the negative comments are from users with poorly installed or poorly set up systems. Going below to check alarms and targets is poor installation, as is not having targets appear on the plotter screen or having annoying alarms going off. All of our AIS audio alarms are disabled. Occasionally we might put one on for any targets in a 20 M radius in open ocean
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Old 15-08-2015, 15:44   #137
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

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Personally I find the hand bearing compass indispensable. We use it often and note the bearing and time as we take them to monitor crossings. Lining up a stanchion , rigging or winch works as a rough guesstimate, but our course is often varying by 5-10 degrees defending on the sea state. We do have AIS as well. It seems a lot of the negative comments are from users with poorly installed or poorly set up systems. Going below to check alarms and targets is poor installation, as is not having targets appear on the plotter screen or having annoying alarms going off. All of our AIS audio alarms are disabled. Occasionally we might put one on for any targets in a 20 M radius in open ocean
I can't help but feel this post is partially directed at me, since I'm the only one who has stated my AIS display is downstairs.

All of my electronics are displayed on my port side at the base of my stairs. I have, what I think is a nice little nav station there that I'm kind of proud of. When I took possession of the boat, the only electronics present were/was a LoRan C.

The AIS receiver is a nice bonus that alerts me to potential problems with commercial ships via audible alarm.

The displays I have are bright and would totally destroy my night vision. Why would I want big bright ugly displays in my cockpit? Electronics are only used after dark, when the displays cause the most harm to night vision. The fitted audible alarms make the electronics usable without blinding me.



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Old 15-08-2015, 16:23   #138
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

I don't run around ramming in to other boats or islands. My electronics are installed for peace of mind, I don't use them on a regular basis. They are dry and out of the way downstairs, I consciously put them there.

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Old 15-08-2015, 16:44   #139
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

Sure Van. In my opinion a navigation system that requires the helmsman to leave the helm to navigate is not optimal. Same goes for radar and AIS displays. Unless of course it's on a yacht that regularly has 2 watch keepers or a dedicated navigator. It's easy enough to put the display in standby or low brightness, or throw a towel over it to help maintain night vision. Assuming an alarm goes off at night, you would have to go below to disable it and look at the screen anyway.
Anyway I'm not really trying to dis yachts without cockpit electronics, maybe I'm just a bit spoiled by having everything available at the helm.
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Old 15-08-2015, 16:55   #140
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

Wow, even a simple thread question like this can draw significant divergence.

I think ANY addition to my boat that helps and/or increases safety and awareness around me is a positive.

The only caution as mentioned by two is that 'over reliance' on the additional equipment such as AIS should never mean changing ones physical lookout responsibilities. But, if one doesn't become complacent due to something then AIS, then definately it's a plus.
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Old 15-08-2015, 17:16   #141
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

RC,

It's a little funny to me, the divergence. Jim, like Monte, found he wanted it above decks where it could be seen from the helm. In fact, if we were able to dim the display more, it would not have been a problem. I think AIS usage depends a whole lot on where you are. Family Van wrote that he has his barrier set at .5 mi. He is in a high AIS density area. On passage, over a very low density AIS area, ours was set at 24 mi., the idea being that that will alert the watchkeeper long in advance of needing to do something. Once you are aware of them, that's mostly what you need.

For you, singlehanding, you'll want to work out what area guard zone you'll want approaching Melbourne, a heavy traffic area, compared to Hobart. If I were you, I'd arrange to arrive with adequate daylight to get to your destination there, weather permitting, especially since it's winter.

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Old 15-08-2015, 17:24   #142
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

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Sure Van. In my opinion a navigation system that requires the helmsman to leave the helm to navigate is not optimal. Same goes for radar and AIS displays. Unless of course it's on a yacht that regularly has 2 watch keepers or a dedicated navigator. It's easy enough to put the display in standby or low brightness, or throw a towel over it to help maintain night vision. Assuming an alarm goes off at night, you would have to go below to disable it and look at the screen anyway.
Anyway I'm not really trying to dis yachts without cockpit electronics, maybe I'm just a bit spoiled by having everything available at the helm.
Of course Monte you are correct. The FamilyVan is a simple old boat with simple old systems. I try to maintain her and try to upgrade her with a single middle class, at best, salary and support my family at the same time.

Yes, I'd love to have all the gidgets other people have. But my boat is safe IMO, even if I haven't spent the money on cockpit repeaters.

Put you're boat up to the test?

Try Superior or Anticosti in November or December. I think cockpit electronics might be lower on your priority list afterwards.



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Old 15-08-2015, 17:32   #143
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

AIS can be useful under certain circumstances. Same with radar Most take the GPS chart plotter as a given... but for years people had to DR, take bearings, plot on paper charts and so on. Are there less or more accidents today? Is there more traffic so the rate of accidents is lower or higher? I don't know.

More information is better than less information. But there comes a point when you can be spending too much time looking at screens... and if you are single handing... or maybe with one person who is off watch and resting (effectively single handing) your primary obligation is to avoid collisions. If AIS can assist... go for it! Same for radar... Where I sail and under the conditions we sail it's really not a necessity. And makes me think of these power boats who have two open array radars on when there is not a cloud in the sky and unlimited visibility.
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Old 15-08-2015, 18:15   #144
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

You do not need it. However you do really want this tool on your boat. The system has low power consumption and is very user friendly. When you receive an alarm at your preset distance it takes seconds to assess the threat and either take action or dismiss. You can then resume normal watch with peace of mind.

I cannot recommend a brand of AIS, mine is a German brand and works great. They all basically perform the same functions. I would however recommend getting the xponder over the receiver. It is comfortable for me to see ships alter their course in real time to maintain seperation.
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Old 15-08-2015, 18:57   #145
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

Finalizing bids for my new electronics package and I have analyzed it this way:

In Asia/ S China Sea... majority of boats don't have it or turn it off for security reasons.

Radar has served me well for 35 years to alert, assess and avoid other craft and dangers.

However, AIS is a useful tool when approaching ports like Singapore and Hong Kong.... so I will include it in the package
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Old 15-08-2015, 19:14   #146
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

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However, AIS is a useful tool when approaching ports like Singapore and Hong Kong.... so I will include it in the package
In fact, isn't AIS a requirement in the Singapore area? Seems to me that we had a discussion about that here on CF a while back.

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Old 15-08-2015, 19:34   #147
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

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.........

What do you do when he's bearing right down on you at four times your speed? And hasn't seen you? Your life could depend then on knowing whether he's passing ahead or behind to accuracy of maybe a couple of boat lengths (and maybe less than his beam)......
Knowing how close you are going to pass ahead or astern of a ship's AIS transponder within a couple of boat lengths doesn't really work when that ship is 400 metres long........or even 200 metres long.

Oh .. and take care you don't sail into his wind shadow... that can lead to tears...
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Old 15-08-2015, 20:02   #148
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

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Knowing how close you are going to pass ahead or astern of a ship's AIS transponder within a couple of boat lengths doesn't really work when that ship is 400 metres long........or even 200 metres long.
Do you mean to say you wouldn't even bother to take the trouble to place a DSC call to the ship in question, for the purpose of determining the precise location of its transponder, "in order to more accurately assess the situation" ?

That could make all the difference in deciding whether to cross ahead, or to chicken out by taking his stern, no?

;-))
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Old 15-08-2015, 20:11   #149
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

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In fact, isn't AIS a requirement in the Singapore area? Seems to me that we had a discussion about that here on CF a while back.

Jim
I was not aware of that Jim, but it would not surprise me.

Need to find out as it would affect which class to buy.

Thanks for the heads up
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Old 15-08-2015, 20:12   #150
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Re: AIS Do I Need It?

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Sounds very annoying if you ask me. If I was on the bridge of a large commercial vessel, I don't think I'd like to be chatting with every pleasure boat within a one hour radius.

Besides... At the speed most of them travel, we only see them for 20 minutes or so after they appear over the horizon, which is why our radar is on the six mile setting. One hour? Ridiculous.
Not really, in the gulf stream at 2 AM we might have 15 or so very large vessels within 10 or so miles moving 15 to 20ish knots along the primary route between Florida and the Bahamas. North and south - Its like playing frogger.

It may be foreign to some folks to actually communicate with other vessels but the big guys do actually like talking to you. If you keep it short and sweet its professional, confirms actions, and, is safer. The VHF is there to be used - use it.

Going over to the Bahamas this spring we had two ships about a mile in front of us, one going north, one going south, and another behind us going north about 1.5 or maybe 2 miles behind is... all doing 17-20 knots. What you do NOT want to happen is for one of the vessels to suddenly turn into your way to avoid the other big ship. You want to be a part of the discussion and not just another blip on the AIS.

Let take a look at the vessels below,which is live right now, and you tell me that you are better off not communicating.
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