We have recently left Thai waters and what Erik stated I partially agree with. To suggest that this is anything to do with safety is a joke.
There are two probable reasons for this initiative:
1. The Thai Governments crack down on foreign boats illegally chartering and those operating 'marine' companies whilst on tourist visas:
2. And as Erik stated, someone who knows someone has just been awarded an import license for AIS.
It reality it is probably a mixture of both, someone in government
trying to enforce the law and someone else in government
trying to take advantage of it.
So far as safety goes, well that couldn't be further from the truth. There is hardly a beach in the Phuket area that isn't over crowded with unregulated speed boats, long tails and jet skis. The Phi Phi Don anchorage is now so dangerous that most cruisers just by pass it. The 30' to 40' Ply and glass speed boats have any where up to 4 x 300hp outboards and travel at crazy speeds through anchorages
and snorkeling areas. Accidents are common and the government does nothing to regulate the cowboys and they certainly won't be required to fit AIS.
Last year just after the military coup the Government reintroduced the short stay requirements for Foreign Yachts as an attempt to clamp down on illegal charter businesses . The marina we were in at the time was full of long stay and Europeans who would leave their boat and return home during the Monsoon season. Within a month of the rule
change the Marina was virtually a ghost town. After local Marina Operators and Marine
business owners complained those rules were again relaxed. This latest initiative is likely another way of regulating the foreign boats.
I know it has been a common thread on the forum about tips and plans for earning money whilst cruising, however, this practice inevitably leads to resentment in local communities especially when it's illegal and I for one wish those who don't have the necessary resources to cruise
would not jeopardize the reputations of all cruisers by operating below the law.
The actions of a few always bites on us all.
As a side issue those commenting about adjusting AIS warnings to compensate for the local conditions have possibly never transited areas like the Singapore
Strait. The only way to adjust is to turn all alarms off. When there are more than 300 contacts within a 10 mile range the only warning that is of any use is a very aware watch keeper.