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Old 30-03-2011, 09:51   #16
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Re: Radar vs AIS

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Originally Posted by Silvana White View Post
Would you recommend AIS and or Radar in the Mediterranean? If you could only have one which do you think would be of more use?
We had both but IMHO for the Med, neither is really needed unless you frequent the Gib Straits. Radar is a definate need if you swan around the English Channel or slide up / down the Portuguese Atlantic coast.

For those very rare times over the Med if you ever (pretty rare except as said towards Gib) encounter mist or fog I suggest if you had to choose one then radar would still be best option. Local small fishing craft are unlikely to trasmit an AIS signal.

I repeat what others have said in that mist or fog genrally in the Med is rare.

I was going to say if money is tight then maybe you should consider spending on something that would get more use than either of these devices - but then I do recall thinking our radar was worth 10 times it cost when caught out in a busy shipping lane with nil viz and horns going all around. At times like that every device you can bring on stream seems a great investment.

Good luck.

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Old 30-03-2011, 09:58   #17
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Re: Radar vs AIS

we've found that since we've been out cruising, the AIS is more of a toy than a tool. there are enough boats out there without it, that it cannot be relied upon exclusively. it's fun, but i never depend on it. add in the other bonuses of radar (squall detection, navigation in the fog, pulling into anchorages at night, etc.) and radar's a no question win.

that said, we already had a chartplotter, and the AIS system we bought (standard horizon GX2100) is integrated with the VHF and pretty inexpensive. if you've got a few extra bucks, it's a nice to have.
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Old 30-03-2011, 16:05   #18
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Re: Radar vs AIS

Guess I'm going to have to visit the Med., the way everyone talks about not needing radar there, it must never get dark. Hmm, interesting place.
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Old 30-03-2011, 16:35   #19
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Re: Radar vs AIS

OMG ! I wonder how many posters ever followed a course in navigation

Both radar and AIS are serious and accepted tools for navigation. Radar is always first to buy/install... there's no personal preference involved. A radar will show you if you're lined up with the jetties of the harbour entrance at night; how far away and which bearing the reef is where you hear the surf crashing at night; distance, bearing and all the other data for any ship or boat within range; bearing and distance to buoys, markers, shore features; squalls etc. etc. Ah yes, radar also helps in fog.

cheers,
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Old 30-03-2011, 16:42   #20
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Re: Radar vs AIS

A radar fix using a Racon is a delight.

Hard to do with an AIS.
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Old 30-03-2011, 16:48   #21
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Re: Radar vs AIS

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
A radar fix using a Racon is a delight.

Hard to do with an AIS.
The first Racon one encounters will be remembered for life

ciao!
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Old 31-03-2011, 01:20   #22
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Re: Radar vs AIS

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Originally Posted by mrm View Post
Think it is a tough call, as both systems supplement each other nicely. Anything big and commercial will have AIS transmitter, so will show on your AIS display, but smaller crafts are not required to have a transmitter, not to mention rocks... ;-)

Probably, if you stay out of foggy weather, AIS could be first on the list. We have both on our boat, but AIS is on almost all of the time, while radar gets used maybe 10% of the time.

Just my view.
Live Ships Map - AIS - Vessel Traffic and Positions

I've noticed more fishing boats having them fitted these days, in the richer northern waters anyway. Not all for sure but getting there. If they are doing 1 or 2 knots then you know the nets are down. Also the odd occasion when there's a survey vessil ahead you know 5 miles away to keep clear.

I really don't see how anyone can be anti ais reciever, it's not radar nor is radar ais but for a few hundred dollars you can have a box which uses hardly any power and sits quietly in the corner dishing out lots of very accurate and useful information.

Offshore on many occasions i've watched a ship change course by 10 deg to miss me then change back again once clear, and know what name to call to say thanks.

Given the low cost these days fitting ais reciever on a cruising boat I think is a complete no brainer.
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Old 31-03-2011, 01:45   #23
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Re: Radar vs AIS

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I really don't see how anyone can be anti ais reciever, it's not radar nor is radar ais but for a few hundred dollars you can have a box which uses hardly any power and sits quietly in the corner dishing out lots of very accurate and useful information.

Offshore on many occasions i've watched a ship change course by 10 deg to miss me then change back again once clear, and know what name to call to say thanks.

Given the low cost these days fitting ais reciever on a cruising boat I think is a complete no brainer.
I don't think anyone here is anti-ais. But, as you say, it's not a substitute for radar. I get the same information on radar for every vessel, except the name/displacement of the vessel. I've never had a vessel refuse to answer a call to 'vessel at position', so name is not important to me.

AIS is an option after one has installed and learned to use radar.
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Old 31-03-2011, 05:56   #24
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Re: Radar vs AIS

The newer ships radars not only display AIS targets... they merge them with their own radar (ARPA) targets to present a single (drawn symbol) target. This is just like a traffic control station at a busy seaport or air traffic control.

This is a good example of not using one data-source for navigation. A radar target gets confirmed by AIS.

ciao!
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Old 31-03-2011, 08:47   #25
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Re: Radar vs AIS

I consider RADAR essential because of its visibility. Not only does it reveal other boats (and by this I mean 25 knot monsters which can chop your boat in half and only leave a minor repainting problem for the bigger vessel)...but it reveals YOU to the other ships.

AIS of the transceiver kind is a great enhancement to RADAR, because it turns your boat from the equivalent of someone waving energetically off in the distance to someone waving a sign with the boat's ID in large type on it energetically in the distance.

AIS of the receiver only kind is somewhat of a toy, except that it shows you before you can see them which boats are anchored and which are underway. This allows you to use the RADAR more selectively, I think, because the close approach boats are all that concern you, usually. It's an enhancement and compliments the RADAR.

I can't imagine going offshore without RADAR. I can imagine leaving off the purchase of an AIS, and for distance cruising, I would pop for the higher-priced transceiving AIS, so that even if my boat was behind waves or a low headland, I would "register" before I was actually detected by other RADARs on some 500 foot freighter loaded with containers in 20 foot seas.

I love the idea of AIS, but its implementation and full exploitation is still fairly low for the cruiser.
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Old 31-03-2011, 10:12   #26
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Re: Radar vs AIS

We have AIS trasponder (not just a receiver) connected with a large chart plotter right next to the wheel on cockpit. Our radar has its own display. I'd like to have them all together, however, the radar is old and imcompatible with the plotter but still working just fine as a radar, so I have not replaced it.

The plotter is on all the time, AIS about 70% of time. Last season, we did not switch on the radar at all. We mainly cruise offshore far away from the shipping routes. When we are in more cognested areas, the AIS is on at all the time (both sending and receiving), radar only when in fog or in full gale.
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Old 31-03-2011, 12:24   #27
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Re: Radar vs AIS

I have an AIS, but not a RADAR. Radar will be my next purchase. Note I spend all of my time now cruising a busy shipping channel and the ICW, 95% of all vessels encountered, and all of them likely to sink me have AIS. If I was somwhere else I would rely on Radar.
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Old 31-03-2011, 14:44   #28
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Re: Radar vs AIS

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
A radar fix using a Racon is a delight.

Hard to do with an AIS.
There are Aids to Navigation out there that have been fitted with AIS beacons, or so I've heard. And I gather that this is likely to increase.
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Old 31-03-2011, 15:20   #29
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Re: Radar vs AIS

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Originally Posted by Silvana White View Post
Would you recommend AIS and or Radar in the Mediterranean? If you could only have one which do you think would be of more use?
If you have a sailing boat and don't do much night sailing, go for AIS in combination with an active radar reflector and keep your eyes open. This way you can avoid ferries and other fast ships. Otherwise go for radar.
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Old 31-03-2011, 16:06   #30
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Re: Radar vs AIS

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There are Aids to Navigation out there that have been fitted with AIS beacons, or so I've heard. And I gather that this is likely to increase.

Automatic Identification System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
The US Coast Guard suggests that AIS might replace RACON, or radar beacons, currently used for electronic navigation aids
It's also possible to transmit "virtual" ais beacons.
This is a few years old now,
Artificial AIS: The Time Has Come

pretty sure the french are at it now, maybe a few baltic countries as well.
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