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Old 14-08-2015, 10:09   #76
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

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Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
My thoughts on a AIS transmitter, is never unless they make me. My home base is about 2 miles from an international boarder and the idea of getting harassed by USCBP, USCG and CBSA every time I tack is highly unappealing. I'm not out there doing anything wrong or illegal, but I do not like getting boarded by men with guns when I'm taking my family out for a Sunday sail.

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I whole-heartedly agree with the sentiment, but are you sure you will be boarded and hassled less, rather than more, by not broadcasting AIS?
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Old 14-08-2015, 10:12   #77
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

All AIS transponders come with a 'silence' switch as well
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Old 14-08-2015, 10:17   #78
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

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All AIS transponders come with a 'silence' switch as well
Good point.

While we're on the surveillance issue -- people should be aware that anyone in the world knowing your boat's name, callsign, or MMSI can track you on Marinetraffic.com or similar sites, if you're broadcasting AIS.

I have not (yet) had any issue with that, but it's creepy and opens up all kinds of possibilities for stalkers, criminals, or just nosy people you would prefer not to know where you are at every moment.

Something to keep in mind.
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Old 14-08-2015, 10:22   #79
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

My mum uses marinetraffic from the UK to see where I am when I go on a trip!
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Old 14-08-2015, 10:23   #80
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

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When you are in close enough proximity to see with your bare eyes whether a fast ship is passing ahead or behind, then the time for doing what you are required to do has long, long, since passed. It means you are merely flotsam, depending on the ship's bridge to prevent a likely fatal crash. If you are comfortable with that, then I guess that's your business, but in my book that's pretty irresponsible. You don't have to have AIS, but you are required to use seamanlike measures to determine the existence of a risk of collision early enough to do something about it. You cannot do that with your bare eyes, in open water with ships about travelling at 15 - 20 knots. And what if they don't see you?
I dunno, that seems to be overstating the risk of reliance upon the old Mark I Eyeball in such situations just a BIT, no?

And if it isn't, might be time to schedule an eye exam...

;-)
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Old 14-08-2015, 10:31   #81
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

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I whole-heartedly agree with the sentiment, but are you sure you will be boarded and hassled less, rather than more, by not broadcasting AIS?
Pull up a quick Google map of the 1000 islands, the squiggly zig zagging dotted line twisting through the islands is the boarder.

First, the underground railroad operated across the boarder with escaped slaves coming to Canada. Then came prohibition and the booze went south. Now cigarrettes and guns go north and drugs go both directions.

Smugglers can't be identified by the colour of their skin, their nationality or the crappiness of their boats. They are Canadians and Americans with nice boats (there is a lot of money in smuggling cigarettes into Canada).

If the boys are doing a blitz, they will stop everybody they can find. Radar surveillance doesn't work worth a darn because of the islands, but one USCG officer standing in the VTS centre can see every boat equipped with an AIS. Its my belief you are more likely to be left alone if they don't know where you are.

Plus, a few of these guys are not as bright as we would like them to be. To a young, possibly overzealous possibly uneducated LE officer, a boat tacking back and forth up the river against the current and prevailing wind, using every bit of river sure does look suspicious.

No thanks, I'll spend the saved $500 on beer and sausages and stick with my receive only unit.

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Old 14-08-2015, 10:34   #82
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

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Originally Posted by alctel View Post
All AIS transponders come with a 'silence' switch as well
Not exactly; might depend on installation. Ours is power on/power off -- completely, no choice about either transmit or receive, all or nothing. Ours complicated by being on the same DC circuit as our plotter, although I could change that.

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Old 14-08-2015, 10:36   #83
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

No. You do not need it. But I might get a TRANSMIT ONLY unit if it were available and affordable.

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Old 14-08-2015, 10:41   #84
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

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That is really scary. They would then probably make it impossible or illegal disable it, making you vulnerable to both big brother and pirates all of the time. Not really very wise IMHO.
Really, you folks need to get over yourselves! The government already knows everything about you, where you are, what you are doing, what you eat, what kinds of sex you like, etc...

They know more about you than you spouse, your drug dealer, and your best friends all rolled into one.

As the saying goes - "that ship has sailed".

As far as pirates are concerned... the one boat NOT transmitting AIS becomes a target for the coast guard, so rather having to find a needle in a haystack, its immediately obvious if a target is not displaying AIS that they should be looked at much more closely.
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Old 14-08-2015, 11:38   #85
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

The whole "privacy" thing is flaky, everywhere. I understand in Germany they shut down the Google Earth cars doing the video mapping due to security concerns, and in the US I'm sure it's illegal to obtain who owns an automobile from it's tag number, but aircraft it's openly available, just type in the "N" number?
My little airplane for example FAA Registry - Aircraft - N-Number Inquiry
So can you do the same thing with CG boat registration?
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Old 14-08-2015, 11:54   #86
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

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Originally Posted by Jon Eisberg View Post
I dunno, that seems to be overstating the risk of reliance upon the old Mark I Eyeball in such situations just a BIT, no?

And if it isn't, might be time to schedule an eye exam...

;-)
The point is that it is not the slightest overstatement. In open water you must use at least a hand bearing compass, in order to detect a risk of collision in time to do anything about it - in cases where difference in speed is double or triple or more.

If you do not understand how this works, and do it, then you are 100% dependent on two things - luck, and the ship's ability to see and avoid you. These two things maybe work most of the time, but what if he's taking a leak below, or is distracted, or just doesn't seem you?

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Old 14-08-2015, 12:11   #87
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
The whole "privacy" thing is flaky, everywhere. I understand in Germany they shut down the Google Earth cars doing the video mapping due to security concerns, and in the US I'm sure it's illegal to obtain who owns an automobile from it's tag number, but aircraft it's openly available, just type in the "N" number?
My little airplane for example FAA Registry - Aircraft - N-Number Inquiry
So can you do the same thing with CG boat registration?
I'm not sure, we have much stronger privacy laws up here. I am not aware of a public database for boat registries. As far as I know though, MMSI numbers are searchable, which of course will be transmitted by your AIS. I'm not as concerned about people finding out who I am as just the general hassles of a Coast Guard "safety check".






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Old 14-08-2015, 12:13   #88
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

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Right, more like a SART or PLB than an EPIRB. I agree, no need to tell the whole world.
A PLB does notify the whole world. It's really just a miniaturized EPIRB (battery life, auto-trigger, and flotation are the main differences).
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Old 14-08-2015, 12:16   #89
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

We have an AIS receiver (not transmitter) which I find useful for the following two common scenarios:

1) avoiding shipping traffic in the San Diego Bay and San Pedro channels, which are extremely busy. All the big ships have AIS, and you're actually more likely to notice them on your chart-plotter than you are through visual watch, especially if they're behind you coming fast and you've been busy focused on trimming.

2) Making specific calls to captains to ask them their intent or provide mine. Knowing a boats hailing name is way more useful than saying "vessel off my port bow". I'm probably a bit chatty on the VHF, but if it looks like I'm crossing paths with someone in a restricted channel and they aren't just moving on a steady course and speed, I'll call them to ask what they're intentions are. A lot of the boats out here are fishermen or whale watching tours who might decide to change course suddenly if they're following fish or not having any luck.

I don't see AIS as a particularly useful tool for collision avoidance beyond those two cases because most of the pleasure boat traffic (including me) do not transmit, and that's 90% of traffic around here. Military boats (also plentiful here) only transmit when they want to, which doesn't seem like it's much of the time either.

Even if AIS transmit was mandated for all new boats, it would be 50 years before you had enough market penetration to rely on it, and you'd still have kayaks, paddle-boards, PWCs, etc. to deal with here in my home waters. And until sand-bars and shoals have AIS, it's not going to reduce the need for vigilance much at all.

It's a useful additional tool. Not a replacement for anything.
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Old 14-08-2015, 12:26   #90
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Re: AIS DO I NEED IT.?

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A PLB does notify the whole world. It's really just a miniaturized EPIRB (battery life, auto-trigger, and flotation are the main differences).
So they do, thanks for the correction, I used to be up on this stuff, guess I'm slipping.

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