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Old 01-10-2015, 21:18   #31
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Re: AIS and cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Yes, mine is never off:

Security.

People entering anchorage,

Keeps wiring dry.

Location of my box makes it difficult for thief/pirate to find it/turn it off

Friends can avoid me

Hot single girls can find me.



Plus is a status symbol: we all stand around the bar comparing our digital strength...

Dude. Lol.

In addition to our mmsi etc, one day we'll be able to project an avatar on others display.
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Old 01-10-2015, 21:52   #32
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Re: AIS and cruising

We use our AIS cruising Long Island Sound and find it useful with regards to large freighters, high speed ferries, and inattentive mega yachts. We also just like checking out what that boat is way out there. The "Add Buddy" feature has my curiosity. Does anyone use that to "be seen" and stay in touch?


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Old 01-10-2015, 22:27   #33
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Re: AIS and cruising

Must say guys - I am so pleased that many of us agree that AIS is a great feature - personally feel it should be mandatory - but hey - thats just my opinion here !!!
We sailed with some friends out of Panama and entered a terrific localised storm. As the cloud mass and fog descended upon us we noticed a number of ships on the inside fortunately running in formation one behind the other.
We were one of the boats with AIS (Tranciever) and must say it made such a difference seeing and being seen. Ships were 'peeling out of the mass' and although a few yachts alongside us had AIS reception they admitted afterwards they wished they had the ability to be seen too.

We found radar to be great in most conditions if one sets it up well - however it is of little to no use in heavy rain and squalls - AIS has certainly aided us in these conditions.

I know I have shared this before, but here it is again - Ana and I were sitting in a marina in Fiji - it was dark at night - we heard a distress call from a boat calling the coast guard. There was no response so we responded as we could hear the anxiety in the skippers voice. He advised me he had struck a reef and was taking on water. I asked for his position offering to call the coast guard on his behalf, but confused by the situation and absorbed in the emergency of it all he could not find a way to relay his position to me - later told me he was fumbling for the words. I asked him if he had AIS and could repeat the boat name which he did! We were able to locate him quickly through the AIS LIST (on our Raymarine at the bottom - Radar and AIS, Target Tracking, AIS List) which displays the boats information and position along with his bearing and distance from us etc. etc.
We were able to call the coast guard using our cell phone and give the co-ordinates of the stricken yacht along with the names of the closest vessels to him.

I really must say I could give an account of many instances where AIS has 'saved the day' in the years we have now been cruising across the globe. It surprises me to see cruisers not wanting to follow this technology saying it clutters the screen with too many targets in harbours and so on, but really, one can get it wired to show no display in good visibility and also as with our unit we can go in 'Stealth mode' when we feel we should not be seen (e.g. in waters of piracy etc.).

AIS technology is basically 'electronic radar on steroids'! Cheers guys - safe sailing out there
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Old 01-10-2015, 23:06   #34
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Re: AIS and cruising

Just spent the summer of 2015 cruising from Seattle up the BC coast to Alaska (glacier bay). AIS is remarkably helpful. We use OpenCPN with an off the shelf AIS tansponder. OpenCPN support is awesome. We owe those guys some donations.

In summary, AIS is common in Alaska, and less so in BC. Commercial fishermen seem to have it, but not always switched on. Commercial traffic - ferries, cruise ships, tourist boat, etc - always have it, and are happy to hail you if they need to. Pleasure craft - in AK, it's common, in BC, less so.

It's also great for seeing if someone is already in that small anchorage you were hoping to use for the night.

Example: we are drifting about in front of Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay. The cruise ship Nordam hails us and politely asks if we would be OK if they pass behind us about 100 yards as they move in for a good view. Of course, we were happy to agree - and watch as 3000 people slowly pass by.

Caveat: AIS can make you complacent. It's easy to fall into the trap that your AIS display will tell you about all boats you are close to. It will not! You still have to keep your eyes open.

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Old 01-10-2015, 23:07   #35
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Re: AIS and cruising

I'm glad I just got it then! Sounds like the way to go.
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Old 01-10-2015, 23:31   #36
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Re: AIS and cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Yes, mine is never off:
Security.
People entering anchorage,
Keeps wiring dry.
Location of my box makes it difficult for thief/pirate to find it/turn it off
Friends can avoid me
Hot single girls can find me.

Plus is a status symbol: we all stand around the bar comparing our digital strength...


Your proctologist will be no end impressed

The security thing is a valid point.... I have difficulty finding the on/off switch on mine... never mind the boat bandit's chances of disabling it...

Mine is normally off in the marina ( 1000 boats) but left it on for a bit earlier this year to monitor -via a shore station- its efficiency.

Caught two bycatch... one crew from 20 years ago passing through... 'tother was a friend last sighted in the Falklands in 2010 ... no hot chicks yet.....
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:34   #37
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Re: AIS and cruising

I'll throw my 2 cents in here as an advocate of AIS also. We have it onboard, always on during passage (unless there are circumstances when I don't want to be seen), and find it an invaluable aid to safe navigation. Particularly in shipping areas where they have it (mandatory) and they can then see us. Pending the system you have you can use it for tracking other vessels, distances/CPA, etc. Its an aid however - another good tool in the box.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:29   #38
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Re: AIS and cruising

I'm down South of Australia sailing in the notorious Bass Strait. I purchased a receiver only intended just so a larger freighter or tanker doesn't run into me during the night. I've found very few if any at all sail boats have transponders down this way.

I intend to upgrade to a transponder when they are cheap enough though.

I personally think they are a wonderful safety tool.
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:18   #39
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Re: AIS and cruising

AIS...

Completely eliminated my need to do laundry after visually obscured passages traversing the shipping channels ...

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Old 02-10-2015, 10:32   #40
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Re: AIS and cruising

I say this as someone who has been on both sides. in the little sailboat and up on the big ship. I can't say this enough or stress this enough: I can't see you. it's that simple, in flat water, sure my radar will pick you and your radar reflectors up. at sea in even a moderate sea state my ability to see you is severely impaired. even on radar as you ride over the swells and troughs you're only going to be a transient contact on my radar, yes, even the powerful high tech radars on merchant ships.
but with AIS there is 100% of me knowing that you're there. and knowing that you're there means that I WILL NOT run you over. AIS is worth it's weight in gold.
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Old 02-10-2015, 13:09   #41
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Re: AIS and cruising

That would be me. Although I never stay on my mooring for more than 3 or 4 days. But the navigation system runs 24/7 in any case, for various reasons - watching the wind, monitoring generator, doing navigation, watching barometer, whatever. The AIS comes on with the network and I never saw any good reason to separately turn it off. Plus I kind of like to watch the ships passing through.





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I'm talking about when the owners are onboard. I have seen liveabord boats that have thier AIS on for months. Essentially they never turn it off.


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Old 02-10-2015, 13:32   #42
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Re: AIS and cruising

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That would be me. Although I never stay on my mooring for more than 3 or 4 days. But the navigation system runs 24/7 in any case, for various reasons - watching the wind, monitoring generator, doing navigation, watching barometer, whatever. The AIS comes on with the network and I never saw any good reason to separately turn it off. Plus I kind of like to watch the ships passing through.









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You don't need to be transmitting while you're at the doc totally understandable if you want to leave the receiver on see what's going on leaving the receiver on doesn't leave your signature on everybody else's screen and makes everybody happy so maybe you could consider turning off your transmitter while you're at the doc and still enjoy the benefits of your receiver see you can watch the ships go by
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Old 03-10-2015, 16:59   #43
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Re: AIS and cruising

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You don't need to be transmitting while you're at the doc totally understandable if you want to leave the receiver on see what's going on leaving the receiver on doesn't leave your signature on everybody else's screen and makes everybody happy so maybe you could consider turning off your transmitter while you're at the doc and still enjoy the benefits of your receiver see you can watch the ships go by
I can go "silent mode" if I fiddle with the computer interface, but never really saw any need to bother. Don't see why my AIS data would bother anyone, especially way up the river like where my mooring is. Lots of boats up here leave them on. Even on the hard.

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Old 03-10-2015, 17:22   #44
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Re: AIS and cruising

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I can go "silent mode" if I fiddle with the computer interface, but never really saw any need to bother. Don't see why my AIS data would bother anyone, especially way up the river like where my mooring is. Lots of boats up here leave them on. Even on the hard.

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I find it the same down this way Dockhead. Most commercial ships leave them on and broadcasting no matter how long they have been in port in our River. And I'm not just talking months.

But all it means to me is I turn the alarm off as I'm approaching the river mouth so it doesn't keep screaming at me and pay more visual attention.
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Old 03-10-2015, 17:36   #45
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Re: AIS and cruising

I have Watchmate 850 (Vesper) AIS. From Long Island Sound to Block Island I might have 80 to 110 "targets". With filters on I have 2 to 4 I have to watch out for. Do other chartplotter AIS units or dedicated AIS units have filter capability? It's something I have found incredible important. I just haven't figured how to turn off all alarms such as coming into Block Island harbor I finally just turned the unit off. --Tim-Northstar T41/43
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