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View Poll Results: Who should install AIS B
I will install a simple AIS receiver 14 35.90%
I will install an AIS B transceiver in the next year 18 46.15%
I would like to see working vessels in my area equipped 21 53.85%
I would like to see emergency vessels equipped 16 41.03%
I would like to see Ferries and Tour Ships equipped 17 43.59%
I would like to see vessels capable of 25 knots equipped 8 20.51%
I don't want to use this capability 2 5.13%
I hope it is never required by law or Insurance discount 7 17.95%
I would like to see Military vessel transiting the area 9 23.08%
I think this is another hand in my pocket 2 5.13%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 39. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 21-09-2008, 12:03   #1
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Who should have AIS B?

It appears that the FCC has signed off on AIS B in the U.S. See www.panbo.com
While prices for a simple receiver start at under $200 dollars, the AIS B transceivers will weigh in around $1000. The first enable you to see big ships on your chartplotter, with information about their name, course, heading, and closest point of approach (among other data) and the latter are designed for smaller boats to receive that and send course and speed information back to the big ship. Its value and limitations have been hotly debated for more than a year at Panbo.
My questions concern who you think should have AIS B installed, starting with your own vessel. Would you like to see tugboats and barges, dishing vessels, fire-fighting boats and ferries depicted? Large cruisers and megayachts? Military vessels simply in transit? How about smaller recreational vessels?
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Old 21-09-2008, 12:17   #2
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To complicate the situation, some (but not all) receive-only units will show both Class-A and Class-B. You don't necessarily need a full transponder if you just want to see the other vessels.

Of course if nobody transmits, then your receiver will be useless. I am leaning towards having a Class-B transponder, based on the "good neighbor" principal if nothing else. I think the details will work themselves out over the next few years.
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Old 21-09-2008, 12:17   #3
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sandy, The current price tag will indeed come down as did the price of the past units once they began to hit the market and competition brought the prices down. I don't think small boats and family weekend cruisers will find the Class B something to have aboard as they don't have the current units now. I can tell you that based on our cruising experience, read our blog, we will most certainly have one on board. Some folks don't want or need radar and some folks don't want GPS and some folks don't want chartplotters. That does not mean this equipment should or should not be on the boat it just means the owners have choices as to what electronic or safety equipment we want to have aboard. The Class B can be screened to show more or less targets depending on the need. Cruising the Gulf Coast ICW we would have loved to be able to broadcast to the commercial 200 foot tug and tow around the corner that we were heading in his direction. It was very nice for us to know he was there long before we could see him. I doubt the weekenders and day sailors will find this an essential piece of equipment. The large mega yachts are already using it since most are flagged outside the US. We have not yet seen military vessels using it.
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Old 21-09-2008, 12:28   #4
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I think all commercial vessels should be required to have AIS transceivers. It would be at a military vessels discretion if it chooses to turn on its transceiver. Pleasure boats over 50 meters should have them as well. I do not think AIS transceivers or receivers should be mandated for pleasure boats under 50 meters.

Like all things, AIS does have its limitations, but that does not mean it should be thrown out the window as a useless system. AIS is one more aid to navigation amongst all the other aids to navigation that we have on board. I say the more aids you have onboard then the safer you are likely to be.

Equipping small pleasure boats capable of traveling over 25 knots does not make sense. Perhaps if they displace more than 100 tons such as on high speed ferries then it would make sense. At work, we have a 14 foot Boston Whaler capable of 30 knots and equipping this boat with AIS would be a waste of money.
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Old 21-09-2008, 12:28   #5
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The Coast Guard's Rescue 21 System with its ability to precisely locate DSC equipped emergency calls is a giant step forward in Boating Safety. Virtually anyone on navigable waters should have this capability up and working as soon as possible.

With the FCC's approval (Friday) of AIS B in the United States, there is yet another important tool available to boaters, but there is a question whether it is appropriate (based on cost, complexity, and the possibility of misuse) for smaller vessels. Many cruisers, including Steve Dashew have found it extremely desireable, while some working Captains worry about it crowding their nav screens.

I have marvelled at the ability to spot large vessels in the Chesapeake Bay, and know at a glance if I need to get elsewhere. I think its wonderful to know the name of the vessel, and be able to dial its MMSI number IF I NEED TO. I also think it would be good to show up on their screens if I'm not able to get out of their way. I'm not so sure I need to be cluttering their navigation equipment in the Bay, and I will have to juggle those aspects for a while.

HOWEVER; after a seriously close encounter with a Tug and Barge in the rain, I really want to see Tugs, Ferries, and other Work Boats which are not required to have AIS. So I'm asking who you think should have AIS B, volutarily, legally, or "encouraged" by underwriters?
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Old 21-09-2008, 12:31   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
Of course if nobody transmits, then your receiver will be useless. I am leaning towards having a Class-B transponder, based on the "good neighbor" principal if nothing else. I think the details will work themselves out over the next few years.
Paul's sentiments echo mine. Added to that, I would like to see all commercial vessels required to use AIS; I don't want to see it legislated for recreational vessels, but would like it to be encouraged through govt rebates or industry-driven price breaks.


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Old 21-09-2008, 12:47   #7
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Paul: I understand that the NASA receiver can be updated with a replacement CMOS that reads the rest of the AIS B data. The discussion on Panbo over the weekend addressed the question of older Class A units detecting Class B very precisely.
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Old 21-09-2008, 12:55   #8
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I think the pirate boats should definitely be required to install it!
(Just think how much easier it would be to identify them)

Seriously, as Chuck says, it can be a valuable tool in certain conditions
It can also be a distraction in other situations when high density and language issues require that the look-outs focus.

I also have “big brother” issues that so many cruisers in the US seem to have forgotten about. (Apparently so do the military)

I am all for letting people decide on its value without making it mandatory
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Old 21-09-2008, 12:58   #9
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The only person that is going to be able to tell the military what to do regarding AIS is the President....so its pretty much a non-issue. Besides, military vessels typically keep better lookouts than most yachts and merchant vessels. I know some will argue that point but if you have ever been on the bridge of a military vessel underway and seen how many people are up there and seen how many lookouts they have, you would understand what I mean. Also, military ships typically have a lot more electronic devices for detecting you....thats if they have them on and are not in a passive mode.
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Old 21-09-2008, 13:37   #10
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Part of the military's responsibilities (and coast guard's) is to track and intercept illicit shipping (drug-runners, smugglers, illegal fishing etc), so there's a legitimate reason that military vessels would tend to operate without AIS transmitting.
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Old 21-09-2008, 14:39   #11
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Does this mean we will start seeing the AIS Integrated VHF radios here in the US soon? I sure hope so!

Something like this:

http://www.bmea.org/news/2008/navico...emote-handset/
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Old 21-09-2008, 14:45   #12
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I think the price of AIS will come down over time with competition and mass production. I remember the first GPS units being well over a thousand dollars. I had one made by Trimble. The same unit was used by the soldiers during Desert Storm. It was only good to 100 meters...but it worked good enough for back then.

By integrating an AIS unit into a VHF, one would still need an output to a display. Its not a bad idea but I think AIS units will tend to be black boxes that integrate with or are already built inside of chart plotters, computers or radars....or other things that have a display.
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Old 21-09-2008, 14:49   #13
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Several good points have been made about the Military, but I had a reason for asking. I'm retired from the Navy and would never suggest that a mission be compromised for the convenience of a recreational boater. But where there is greater benefit to a Naval Vessel in being seen vs maneuvering in restricted waters to avoid some fat old retired fart in a dinky sailboat, It would greatly ease my mental composure and digestion if I had some inkling that something haze gray was soon to emerge from the gray haze at a right good clip, heading in my general direction. Especially Destroyers, going WHOOP WHOOP!; WHOOP WHOOP! just when I'm waxing poetic with someone's red hot Grandmother.

Sorry, that was probably too much information.
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Old 21-09-2008, 15:29   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
Several good points have been made about the Military, but I had a reason for asking. I'm retired from the Navy and would never suggest that a mission be compromised for the convenience of a recreational boater. But where there is greater benefit to a Naval Vessel in being seen vs maneuvering in restricted waters to avoid some fat old retired fart in a dinky sailboat, It would greatly ease my mental composure and digestion if I had some inkling that something haze gray was soon to emerge from the gray haze at a right good clip, heading in my general direction. Especially Destroyers, going WHOOP WHOOP!; WHOOP WHOOP! just when I'm waxing poetic with someone's red hot Grandmother.

Sorry, that was probably too much information.
Apparently you haven't been on the water lately when a military vessel enters a harbor or waters where recreational boats are present. The small Coast Guard gunships will make certain you don't get into a collision situation without the need for AIS.
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Old 21-09-2008, 20:31   #15
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Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
My questions concern who you think should have AIS B installed, starting with your own vessel. Would you like to see tugboats and barges, dishing vessels, fire-fighting boats and ferries depicted? Large cruisers and megayachts? Military vessels simply in transit? How about smaller recreational vessels?
I think all non-recreational vessels, including military vessels in transit, should have AIS. If all recreational vessels had AIS, the screen would be so cluttered with bogies that one would have to shut it OFF. Then we would be back to where we were before AIS.
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