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Old 03-01-2012, 22:42   #31
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

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Originally Posted by Cranston View Post
what's wrong with the "$150 jobs" ? I was looking at getting the Miltech AIS blackbox($150) and plugging it into my Macbook Pro, run OpenSource CPN(free) w/gps($35) and get AIS info on the chart. I seems like a lot of bang for the buck to me.
I ran a similar setup on my last boat and it was very, very good.

HOWEVER I strongly engourage you to spend the few bux on MacENC. It is WAY better than open CPN
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Old 03-01-2012, 22:48   #32
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+1 for the standard horizons gx2150. Hooked up to my garmin 740s chart plotter. Love it. Noticed that when we were up sailing in the San Juan islands , a lot of sailboats had transponders. Guess if you live in that foggy rainy gloomy place , it would be well worth having the transponder too. Sailing across the sound in fog so thick you couldn't see the roller furler on the bow , I was glad to have the ais to go with the radar.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:01   #33
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

I love my NASA unit had 50 ships at anchor to aviod while sailing solo at night up the east coast of Australia....It was great to see which ships at anchor and which where prepering to be make way.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:00   #34
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

Every boat above cetain size (I am not sure what was it) has to have AIS, but be careful, they are not obliged to use it. This is witten in the book of Raymarine AIS that I bought. Actually in the golf of Cagliari I've seen one huge tanker just in front of me but not on AIS. Normally you can see ships from 30-50 nm away, with their course, speed, size, name, etc..On my trip from Marmaris to Las Palmas I used it and found it very useful.
The only problem I noticed, when I sailed without it, I used to be vey careful in checking all lights around me. With AIS you become kind of lazy and this can be dangereous because many sailing boat and fisherman boat don't have it, not to mention the bigs that have but sometimes not using it.
I also encourage people who are just starting the night navigation without AIS until they learn the meaning of lights. With AIS, you don't have this chance..

Cheers

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Old 04-01-2012, 02:22   #35
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

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Originally Posted by nhschneider View Post
As we were pulling out of Bahia de Magdalena on the Pacific side of Baja California last year, we were on a collision course with the Holland America cruise ship Oosterdam. Lots of room so no worries but I called them on the VHF just the same. We had a nice chat and they told me that we were showing up on their AIS as a tanker. That got me to thinking: I wonder if I could add to that: without insurance!

Fair winds and calm seas.
So did you check the “Your Vessel Type” status in your AIS unit ? I’ve seen quite a few “Sailing” Tankers and Container ships....
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:49   #36
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

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Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
Every boat above cetain size (I am not sure what was it) has to have AIS, but be careful, they are not obliged to use it. This is witten in the book of Raymarine AIS that I bought. Actually in the golf of Cagliari I've seen one huge tanker just in front of me but not on AIS. Normally you can see ships from 30-50 nm away, with their course, speed, size, name, etc..On my trip from Marmaris to Las Palmas I used it and found it very useful.
The only problem I noticed, when I sailed without it, I used to be vey careful in checking all lights around me. With AIS you become kind of lazy and this can be dangereous because many sailing boat and fisherman boat don't have it, not to mention the bigs that have but sometimes not using it.
I also encourage people who are just starting the night navigation without AIS until they learn the meaning of lights. With AIS, you don't have this chance..

Cheers

Yeloya
"The regulation requires AIS to be fitted aboard all ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards engaged on international voyages, cargo ships of 500 gross tonnage and upwards not engaged on international voyages and all passenger ships irrespective of size. The requirement became effective for all ships by 31 December 2004."

"Ships fitted with AIS shall maintain AIS in operation at all times except where international agreements, rules or standards provide for the protection of navigational information.

A flag State may exempt ships from carrying AISs when ships will be taken permanently out of service within two years after the implementation date. Performance standards for AIS were adopted in 1998."

IMO | Automatic Identification Systems (AIS)

Solas Chapter V

I would stick with the info from the IMO and SOLAS before Raymarine....
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:07   #37
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

Dunno about SOLAS, and unless I misread the US required AIS on commercial vessels >65' OAL. Since I'm in US waters for now...that was the only reg I was concerned with.

$150 rigs, nothing wrong with them, but when you say "MacBook" now your $150 rig becomes much more expensive. Computers fail. Not "if" but "when". So while a nice integrated system certainly is nice, I'd rather that something like AIS with emergency/distress capabilities is more robust than the average laptop, and will continue to function when the laptop crashes. Mac, PC, doesn't matter, they all can crash.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:26   #38
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

As far as I can tell all the 'dedicated' units are still in the $500+ range, not counting the components you connect it to. The miltech 'black box' units i've found on ebay are always single channel units. I don't know if they have a $150 dual channel unit available...

The ACR Nauticast is the cheapest at $150. It's dual channel, and can connect directly to a computer via USB, or to any other device that accepts NMEA0813. But it still needs a separate antenna or a splitter.

The Matrix GX2000 is down to around $200 on ebay. And doesn't require an extra antenna, splitter, or external display. But can still be connected to an NMEA device.

I need a new VHF anyway, so the Matrix is looking pretty good...

Are there any other low priced (under $300) units I'm not aware of?
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:36   #39
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
$150 rigs, nothing wrong with them, but when you say "MacBook" now your $150 rig becomes much more expensive. Computers fail. Not "if" but "when". So while a nice integrated system certainly is nice, I'd rather that something like AIS with emergency/distress capabilities is more robust than the average laptop, and will continue to function when the laptop crashes. Mac, PC, doesn't matter, they all can crash.
I think you are being a bit pedantic on both points of failure and safety.

Everything can fail. Laptops have been the most reliable electronics on board for us. Macs and PC's. We just took a direct lightning strike and the computers were the only thing that survived (and two of them were plugged into the inverter, which blew and smoked). Plugged in a hockey puck GPS and was good to navigate to a place to make repairs.

And it is a rare boat out there now that doesn't have a chart plotter or laptop aboard. Most have either both or multiple computers. Simple solution to plug in a <$200 AIS.

In fact, one could make the argument that a black box AIS is MORE robust and fail-safe than a dedicated unit. A black box can be hooked to anything that can read NMEA0183 - chartplotter, computer, mfd's, vhf radio etc. This leaves many avenues of backup for a display vs. the single dedicated display. We currently have 6 display options on board for our AIS.

Lastly, AIS is no more of a safety thing than radar, chartplotters, etc. Their usage is less than a decade old and most cruisers don't have them and get along just fine. They do help one navigate more safely - just like radars, chartplotters, etc - but they are not in the debate class of liferafts, tethers, epirbs, etc. They aren't even in the safety debate class of a good vhf installation.

But to each his own - if you were out cruising and had a $200 budget, I am positive that on your very first passage through shipping areas, you would change your mind about waiting for a full, independent, dedicated transceiver to drop to that price and would be installing a $200 black box in the next port.

Mark
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:37   #40
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

Back to the original question: it's interesting to note that the NATO guidelines for merchant vessels to transmit AIS locations in the Gulf of Aden were switched last April.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q...qb8IchyWfccpWQ
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:49   #41
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Quote:
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.

But to each his own - if you were out cruising and had a $200 budget, I am positive that on your very first passage through shipping areas, you would change your mind about waiting for a full, independent, dedicated transceiver to drop to that price and would be installing a $200 black box in the next port.

Mark
I think in high traffic areas the utility is fine for low visibility. I sail in the busiest port in the world and wouldn't have a use for it as our vis never drops and I am only off the deck for moments.

For me the utility is in passage making in known shippping routes where I may go below for longer periods.

I am not sure I would get a receive only unit. I'd save my pennies for a transeiver. I think bang for buck I would also place it above the radar in terms of wish list.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:54   #42
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

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I think in high traffic areas the utility is fine for low visibility. I sail in the busiest port in the world and wouldn't have a use for it as our vis never drops and I am only off the deck for moments.

For me the utility is in passage making in known shippping routes where I may go below for longer periods.

I am not sure I would get a receive only unit. I'd save my pennies for a transeiver. I think bang for buck I would also place it above the radar in terms of wish list.
Bang for buck, definitely above radar.

Low visibility isn't the only use. Night sailing or tired, it is often difficult to tell with any accuracy how close a ship might come, or when it has initiated a turn or even if it is anchored or moving at a very slow speed waiting its turn to go into port. Also, any time of day or visibility, it is nice to know the ship's name and mmsi number. AIS isn't as useful day sailing or going in and out of ports because you are either not in, or crossing, shipping lanes or all shipping is following navigation rules in marked channels.

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Old 04-01-2012, 12:31   #43
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

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I saw "Navy vessel XX" via AIS from my home receiver, and looked them up. Yes, the carrier John C. Stennis, coming home from the Mideast. (Are you sure it wasn't vessel 74?). Anyway, I sent "welcome home" email to the ship's public email address and ended up having a nice (short) email conversation with them.
If I were in control of such things I would assign random numbers to Navy vessels AIS names and change them often. No need to let the BadGuys know that there is a high value target coming into range....

But then again who knows. Might have been 74 - I was going by memory and there were a few ships on that cruise.

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Old 04-01-2012, 12:46   #44
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

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Bang for buck, definitely above radar.
Please qualify the statement.

Might be true if you are only interested in seeing <1% of the floating objects on the water.
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Old 04-01-2012, 13:20   #45
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Re: AIS experience offshore?

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Dunno about SOLAS, and unless I misread the US required AIS on commercial vessels >65' OAL. Since I'm in US waters for now...that was the only reg I was concerned with.
No you didn’t misread the local US reg's, but then i wasn’t quoting you with regards to IMO/SOLAS.....

BUT even in US waters if you are required to carry AIS, you are obliged to have it working.....

(a) This part (except as specifically limited by this section) applies to each self-propelled vessel of 1600 or more gross tons (except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, or for foreign vessels described in §164.02) when it is operating in the navigable waters of the United States except the St. Lawrence Seaway.

(b) * * *

(c) Provisions of §§164.11(a)(2) and (c), 164.30, 164.33, and 164.46 do not apply to warships or other vessels owned, leased, or operated by the United States Government and used only in government noncommercial service when these vessels are equipped with electronic navigation systems that have met the applicable agency regulations regarding navigation safety.

§ 164.46 Automatic Identification System (AIS).

(a) The following vessels must have a properly installed, operational, type approved AIS as of the date specified:

(1) Self-propelled vessels of 65 feet or more in length, other than passenger and fishing vessels, in commercial service and on an international voyage, not later than December 31, 2004.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the following, self-propelled vessels, that are on an international voyage must also comply with SOLAS, as amended, Chapter V, regulations 19.2.1.6, 19.2.4, and 19.2.3.5 or 19.2.5.1 as appropriate (Incorporated by reference, see § 164.03):

(i) Passenger vessels, of 150 gross tonnage or more, not later than July 1, 2003;
(ii) Tankers, regardless of tonnage, not later than the first safety survey for safety equipment on or after July 1, 2003;
(iii) Vessels, other than passenger vessels or tankers, of 50,000 gross tonnage or more, not later than July 1, 2004; and
(iv) Vessels, other than passenger vessels or tankers, of 300 gross tonnage or more but less than 50,000 gross tonnage, not later than the first safety survey for safety equipment on or after July 1, 2004, but no later than December 31, 2004.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section, the following vessels, when navigating an area denoted in table 161.12(c) of § 161.12 of this chapter, not later than December 31, 2004.

(i) Self-propelled vessels of 65 feet or more in length, other than fishing vessels and passenger vessels certificated to carry less than 151 passengers-for-hire, in commercial service;
(ii) Towing vessels of 26 feet or more in length and more than 600 horsepower, in commercial service;
(iii) Passenger vessels certificated to carry more than 150 passengers-for-hire.

Note to § 164.46(a): "Properly installed" refers to an installation using the guidelines set forth in IMO SN/Circ.227 (Incorporated by reference, see § 164.03) [Also see How do I program my AIS? ]. Not all AIS units are able to broadcast position, course, and speed without the input of an external positioning device (e.g. DGPS); the use of other external devices (e.g. transmitting heading device, gyro, rate of turn indicator) is highly recommended, however, not required except as stated in § 164.46(a)(2). "Type approved" refers to an approval by an IMO recognized Administration as to comply with IMO Resolution MSC.74(69), ITU-R Recommendation M.1371-1, and IEC 61993-2 (Incorporated by reference, see § 164.03). "Length" refers to "registered length" as defined in 46 CFR, part 69. "Gross tonnage" refers to "tonnage" as defined under the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969.

(b) The requirements for Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge radiotelephones in §§ 26.04(a) and (c), 26.05, 26.06 and 26.07 this chapter, also apply to AIS. The term "effective operating condition" used in § 26.06 includes accurate input and upkeep of AIS data fields.

(c) The use of a portable AIS is permissible, only to the extent that electromagnetic interference does not affect the proper function of existing navigation and communication equipment on board, and such that only one AIS unit may be in operation at any one time.

(d) The AIS Pilot Plug, on each vessel over 1,600 gross tons, on international voyage, shall be available for pilot use, easily accessible from the primary conning position of the vessel, and near 120 volt, AC power, 3-prong receptacle.

AIS Requirements
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