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Old 31-08-2016, 11:26   #1
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AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

Is a transmitter really needed for a cruising couple on a 41' sailboat? I see the price for the transmitter was approx. 40% more than a receiver only. any major pros to go for the Receiver/Transmitter? I've heard some like to switch off the transmitter so they are not seen?
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Old 31-08-2016, 12:10   #2
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

We sail 4,000nm/year and have 1-200 big ship interactions. The fact that the big ships 'see you' when you transmit enormously improves the safety of the interactions. With receive only you are still in the 'avoid at all cost mode' while when they 'see you' you can easily negotiate crossings.

They know you are a sailboat and 99% of the time are more than happy to give you the right of way, when requested, and change course to give you a safe margin. We have even been contacted by ships who have told us that they have us on their AIS receiver and will change course to avoid us before we have contacted them.

At Xmas 2014 we lost steering in the middle of the shipping lane into the Panama Canal. We navigated our way for 90nm under emergency steering which was good +- 20deg. We contacted over 20 ships telling them of our problems and asking for a 1-2 miles safety zone. The fact that they 'saw' us on AIS made all the interactions vastly safer.

Routinely of course, this is in open water where we are not putting anyone in danger. In crowded seaways we still just get out of the way.

Spend the extra!
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Old 31-08-2016, 12:18   #3
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

With Transmit others see you and can avoid you no matter if they are the Stand On vessel.
With Receive only you can not make a mistake.

I am not that full of myself
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Old 31-08-2016, 12:36   #4
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

Agree with the rest. It's just as important for other vessels to see you as it is for you to see them. Seems silly to spend a few hundred for AIS but save a couple hundred to go with receive only.
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Old 31-08-2016, 12:38   #5
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

This one is a no brainer. Transmit AIS. Period, end of story. There is absolutely no reason not to. Life is Soooo much better when the big guys can see you on their electronics.

If you're worried about pirates/crooks/etc, get one like the Vesper that has a 'rx only mode'.

Good sailing, TJ
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Old 31-08-2016, 13:38   #6
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

Thank you for the words of advise ole wise ones, I will listen and follow yur ways.
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Old 31-08-2016, 13:48   #7
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

I agree with all of the above. Having said that, in the Eastern Caribe I rarely have to worry too much about boat traffic. It is obvious where they are and where they are going. But I cant imagine going up and down the Chesapeake at night without it now. I used to do that but spent all night in a nervous state trying to figure out what everyone was going to do. Now we all just talk to each other if necessary. AIS is the best thing since sliced bread. Dont skimp. You will be glad you spent the extra few dollars.
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Old 31-08-2016, 16:17   #8
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

Given the small $ difference, I would buy a transmitter.

It is just so nice to believe that we are seen.

And do not switch off yours, unless you are in a pirate/criminal area.

b.
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Old 31-08-2016, 16:33   #9
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

I have heard, though I have no firsthand knowledge, that commercial ships pay more attention to AIS than radar. I am willing to bet that is true. Not to flog a dead horse but I vote for transmitter.
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Old 31-08-2016, 16:38   #10
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ D View Post
This one is a no brainer. Transmit AIS. Period, end of story. There is absolutely no reason not to. ..............
Seriously? End of story? You are that full of yourself that your opinion is the only valid one? Pretty arrogant, I would say.

For whatever reason, manufacturers make AIS receive only sets and people buy them. They consider their needs and make a choice based on their needs.

Go ahead and say why you believe being able to transmit is the choice for you. Let others make their own choice.
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Old 31-08-2016, 18:36   #11
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

he's right though. it really IS a no brainer
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Old 31-08-2016, 19:18   #12
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Seriously? End of story? You are that full of yourself that your opinion is the only valid one? Pretty arrogant, I would say.

For whatever reason, manufacturers make AIS receive only sets and people buy them. They consider their needs and make a choice based on their needs.

Go ahead and say why you believe being able to transmit is the choice for you. Let others make their own choice.

+1


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Old 31-08-2016, 19:22   #13
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

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Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
he's right though. it really IS a no brainer

Apparently I got thru engineering school without a brain. Who knew?


A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground you would never try to refloat it.
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Old 31-08-2016, 19:47   #14
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
Seriously? End of story? You are that full of yourself that your opinion is the only valid one? Pretty arrogant, I would say.

For whatever reason, manufacturers make AIS receive only sets and people buy them. They consider their needs and make a choice based on their needs.

Go ahead and say why you believe being able to transmit is the choice for you. Let others make their own choice.
Wrong argument.

Manufacturers will make anything they can legally sell. Doesn't matter whether it makes sense, whether it is ethical or moral. Just because someone makes it and sells it doesn't mean it's the correct solution.

There might be other reasons or arguments against an AIS transceiver vs a receiver but that one isn't valid.

Personally the only reason I can think of is to save a few bucks. I can think of no other advantage at all.
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Old 31-08-2016, 20:10   #15
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Re: AIS, Receiver or Transmitter

I have receive only and wish I had bought transmit and receive. At anchor on the Tenn-Tom waterway we wished we had transmit so the tows would automatically know we were there. I used the receive function to see around bends and to land meeting tows in straight portions of the waterway. It is also handy for many of the locks now have AIS and can better plan for an arrival.

In the open ocean at night, between radar and AIS I avoided conflict with a large tow coming up from behind. I could see him, but never was sure he saw me.

Before my next cruise, I'm going to get a new unit with transmit and receive capability. If I don't want to transmit for some reason, I can cut the transmit function off.


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