Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 31-01-2015, 11:44   #31
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: French Polynesia
Boat: Allied 39
Posts: 470
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
I'm about to upgrade to an AIS transponder and would like to hear recommendations for specific units. The Vesper XB-8000 gets talked up a lot around here but I'm not sure the added wi-fi functionality is of much use to me since I already have a Garmin "Helm" compatible chartplotter which allows the screen to be repeated via wi-fi. If I'm going to go with a "black box" type unit, there are cheaper, but admittedly more basic, products out there. The units with dedicated display such as the WatchMate 850 also appeal in that all the other boat electronics could be shut off at anchor with only the AIS display left on for anchor watch to conserve power. NMEA 2000 is a must. That said, I'm not really a marine electronics geek so will be happy with something that "just works". Thoughts?

i have mentioned our love of the Watchmate 850 in the past. We started with a Watchmate 750 because the 850 was not USCG approved yet and could not purchase it in the states. A year later we upgraded and continue to sing our praises for it. first it's a stand alone unit. It uses very little power and can be programmed to sleep until a ship comes into your filtered range. It also has a take off for a USB plug that we can use to upgrade the system via the Internet when updates are available plus we use it to feed our computer and opencpn software. It provides both lat, long and a AIS signal to the computer. Another great thing about the Watchmate is all the various filters you can program to reduce the alarms and taylor it to your needs. Anchor, harbor, Coastal and offshore are the 4 areas and within each of those are dozens of filters for each. Having a large screen dedicated makes checking the shipping out very easy. It comes with instructions but it's so well designed we read them once and that was it. Lastly the customer support is over the top!

When approaching the Panama City area in driving rain and wind on the noise there was dozens of ships either headed for the canal or departing the canal. At first it was a bit stressful until we started observing every ship as it closed with us would start a turn to give us ample room in passing. Totally amazed us and made us firm believers of a transceiver! Standing watch in the pouring rain and drafty conditions being seen by the big boys..... well it paid for itself.

BTW the farthest we have seen shipping was 70 miles away

Chuck
Jacaranda




Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
www.jacarandajourney.com
chouliha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-01-2015, 13:15   #32
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,461
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by chouliha View Post
i have mentioned our love of the Watchmate 850 in the past. We started with a Watchmate 750 because the 850 was not USCG approved yet and could not purchase it in the states. A year later we upgraded and continue to sing our praises for it. first it's a stand alone unit. It uses very little power and can be programmed to sleep until a ship comes into your filtered range. It also has a take off for a USB plug that we can use to upgrade the system via the Internet when updates are available plus we use it to feed our computer and opencpn software. It provides both lat, long and a AIS signal to the computer. Another great thing about the Watchmate is all the various filters you can program to reduce the alarms and taylor it to your needs. Anchor, harbor, Coastal and offshore are the 4 areas and within each of those are dozens of filters for each. Having a large screen dedicated makes checking the shipping out very easy. It comes with instructions but it's so well designed we read them once and that was it. Lastly the customer support is over the top!

When approaching the Panama City area in driving rain and wind on the noise there was dozens of ships either headed for the canal or departing the canal. At first it was a bit stressful until we started observing every ship as it closed with us would start a turn to give us ample room in passing. Totally amazed us and made us firm believers of a transceiver! Standing watch in the pouring rain and drafty conditions being seen by the big boys..... well it paid for itself.

BTW the farthest we have seen shipping was 70 miles away

Chuck
Jacaranda




Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
Good write up, Chuck! I believe that we will upgrade from our 650 in the near future. I agree that Vesper software and display are excellent, and having a tech type from their staff here on CF to answer queries is a wonderful advantage. An 850 is on the list!

Cheers,

Jim
__________________

__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-01-2015, 13:21   #33
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Cruising Indian Ocean / Red Sea - home is Zimbabwe
Boat: V45
Posts: 1,282
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

The 850 got Practical Sailors vote and as a result we also bought one. Very happy with it. We also use it for our anchor drag alarm - it is loud enough to wake us from our slumbers. Have a good hunt around as the prices do vary.
__________________
Bulawayo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-01-2015, 13:58   #34
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
and having a tech type from their staff here on CF to answer queries is a wonderful advantage.
Jeff, from the sailboat "Vesper", is not only a good tech type from their staff, he is also the founder and owner of the company!

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-01-2015, 16:21   #35
Senior Cruiser
 
Jim Cate's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: cruising SW Pacific
Boat: Jon Sayer 1-off 46 ft fract rig sloop strip plank in W Red Cedar
Posts: 11,461
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
Jeff, from the sailboat "Vesper", is not only a good tech type from their staff, he is also the founder and owner of the company!

Mark
Hah! I didn't know that... makes his participation all the better for us.

Jim
__________________
Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Port Cygnet, Tasmania once again
Jim Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2015, 11:48   #36
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

I am now sold on the Watchmate 850 but I have to find a place to put it in the cockpit - physical space and cabling run. Thanks to all the posters who have chipped in on this.

Yesterday (a Saturday here), I sent Jeff at Vesper a long email with questions about his AIS systems. I got a detailed, long, reply a few hours later. Very helpful reply. Technical enough, to the point, without a lot of hype. I just wish all customer support was so good! It is so refreshing to find that in this corporate, customer support is an afterthought, world.
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2015, 12:06   #37
Registered User
 
Nicholson58's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Live aboard
Boat: Camper & Nicholson58 Ketch - ROXY Traverse City, Michigan No.668283
Posts: 3,466
Images: 83
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

We have Watchmate 850. It is a low power user, stand-alone class B. It does Anchor watch very well. Its operation & programming is so simple a guest can do it for you without the book. I can't say for sure, but I think the MIB leave you alone if they know who you are and that you have nothing to hide. We have several times escaped boarding & detailed scrutiny on the Great Lakes along the Canadian border while running AIS. Traffic here is not so crowded except on the St Mary's River to the Soo Locks. It was great being able to deal ahead of time with the freighters & plan where the CPA would be with respect to where we could get out of their way. Running in fog or sea lanes, I will not run without except in clear weather & daylight.
__________________
Nicholson58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2015, 13:35   #38
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

Although I am sure that Vesper is a great AIS, there are others available with advantages. Mine, a Simrad clone, charts the ships on my chartplotter, and together with the radar overlay, I just have to look at one thing to get all my information. Now the great disadvantage to his is if my screen goes blank I am blind, but the 2000 setup includes a USB dongle that can Wifi all my information to a computer or tablet, so I do have backup.
Just letting you know there are other systems out there....
__________________
s/v Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2015, 13:43   #39
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Beth View Post
Although I am sure that Vesper is a great AIS, there are others available with advantages. Mine, a Simrad clone, charts the ships on my chartplotter, and together with the radar overlay, I just have to look at one thing to get all my information.
Absolutely every single AIS receiver and transponder out there does this. It is considered about the most basic level of functionality for them.

When people are talking about that particular Vesper model, they are only describing the remote screen and software that comes with it.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2015, 15:03   #40
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: between the devil and the deep blue sea
Boat: a sailing boat
Posts: 17,314
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

Vesper's black (actually blue) box transceiver with wifi is at the top of my WANTED list.

Now with Furuno wifi radar, you can have your radar and your AIS on your mobile device anywhere anytime. Just make sure your mobile device is IPX 7 or thereabout.

So, to me, it is a TX, and a wifi one, PLS, Santa!

b.
__________________
barnakiel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2015, 15:16   #41
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Alert Bay, Vancouver Island
Boat: 35ft classic ketch/yawl.
Posts: 935
Images: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to roland stockham
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

I also looked at black box units. Very impressed with the WiFi versions. For me it came down to size and power. Being a small boat I run a single nave station/chart table. I do have instruments in the cockpit but only log, wind & depth. I can see the rest by looking down the companion way. My bunk is also opposite the cart table so can see everything without getting up. What I wanted for AIS was an always on screen and alarms at the chart table so the low power dedicated screen worked for me. Other units with dedicated screens where a lot more expensive. I think in a larger boat with a plotter at the helm, separate nave station and maybe a portable to take to a cabin the WiFi black box would have been the winner. On a bigger boat the power drain from the plotter is probably less of a problem. I use a laptop but usually it is put away at sea unless needed.
__________________
roland stockham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2015, 10:15   #42
Senior Cruiser
 
Emerald Sea's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Live-aboard Cruiser
Boat: Lagoon 450
Posts: 571
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

Not essential, but a damn good 'nice to have'. Im certainly glad that we have one for various reasons.
Steve
North Indian Ocean Passage Chronicles – Thailand to Maldives | Aroundoceans with SV Emerald Sea
__________________
Steve
SV Emerald Sea
L450
Emerald Sea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2015, 10:34   #43
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 349
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

I agree the "transceiver" is the safest way to go. For those with more limited budgets, I currently have a Vesper 650 display & SR 161 AIS receiver for sale in Classifides for $275 and taking offers. This combination gives you a very low current draw..don't need to have your chartplotter on all the time. Also targets on a smaller chartplotter can get lost in all the navigational aids. With this setup you can feed both a PC and chartplotter plus have a separate display. Thanks- Tim
__________________
maine50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2015, 12:03   #44
Registered User
 
Julie Mor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 401
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
Looking at some refitting and considering AIS receiver or transceiver but never used one. If you have used one what do you think. Not useful, very useful or essential? How common is it, do you find almost all vessels show up or just large ships?
I do sail solo.
Next trip is Caribbean to Hawaii the on to NW Canada
I have good, fully stabilized radar with 24" scanner but can have problems with wave reflections in rough weather and uses significant power. I also have radar training so can do course plots for shipping but it takes time. Radar is stand alone not combined with chart plotter.
We were cruising from Florida to the Bahamas. It was about 2AM and I was at the wheel, alone. Everyone else was below sleeping. There was no wind and the ocean was like glass. The drone of the engine was the only thing breaking the silence.

Then I heard something unusual. I looked up at the main, which was fully hoisted, because that's where the sound seem to be coming from. It was the sound of splashing water and it was reflecting off the mainsail. I looked forward, then to port, and could see nothing that could be making the sound. Then I looked to starboard and I see this big ship steaming up on us! It was so close it startled me. I looked up at the radar reflector on our boat and wondered if the ship ever saw us. Had we been a hundred or so feet to starboard, we would have been run down.

For that reason alone, I wouldn't cross any open water without an AIS transponder. I want the big boys to see me. It's also nice for anyone wanting to follow you when you're cruising.
__________________
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
Julie Mor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-02-2015, 12:31   #45
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 349
Re: AIS for ocean sailing, essential or not

I think we are responsible for our own safety. I don't want to rely on "the big boys" to see (and avoid me). With a transceiver (or even receiver) set to proper alarm you will be in a position to avoid THEM. After all- didn't they have their radar on...JMO---Tim
__________________

__________________
maine50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ais, sail, sailing

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Essential Books for the Cruiser's Library? gobi1570 The Library 43 09-01-2010 15:27
For Sale: Essential Sailing / Cruising Books toewsrus Classifieds Archive 0 31-12-2009 18:40
Essential Personal Qualities Of Offshore Sailors maxingout General Sailing Forum 25 31-08-2009 21:50
Essential Vessel Statistics knottybuoyz Powered Boats 5 14-11-2006 21:40



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:55.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.