Your questions (bg9208) are so good I don't have the answers!However, if you have a big budget
you will end up with latest Raymarine
kit including AIS
(Automatic Information System) overlay of ship's (so fitted and turned on) positions overlaid, and able to query their name and mmsi No. to contact them if need be on your DSC radio VHF
. Your radar and chart will also overlay.Scanners vary by manufacturer type and within this also vary by age of equipment
(i.e raymarine have changed format of signal.I have used some new Raymarine equipment
this week under pressure and ther is no doubt that many of the features are valuable and innovative.
For myself, having changed vessel about 9 years ago, matters are more simple.
A lorenz 7 suncolor chartplotter
has two positions and drives the autopilot
.A PC laptop
down below drives another chartsystem, and accepts input from a normal MLR GPS
planning is done here and tricky pilotage too.Depth is output from an Airmar transducer NMEA
type bonded to the hull
inside with modelling clay. This is in addition to the Raymarine transducer
going directly to the seatalk
bus.The Airmar shows up on the Lorenz 7" suncolor plotter screen
as a graph like a fishfinder
, but without the fish! Paper charts
are also carried to mark our track at hourly intervals in case of power outage. In addition another backup laptop
is carried with its own mouse GPS
.Quite often in challenging situations, another producers electronic chart is cross checked if queries arise. A handbearing compass
is often used to check that the bearing of nearby vessels does in fact change.
Little has changed, except that your underlying earlier navigation
skills are still essential to the safe operation of the vessel.Under pressure you will find yourself reverting to the Douglas Protractor and paper charts
I intend to fit a stand alone radar this season a Furuno
1623 and hope that when this is interfaced with the GPS it will be as useful as AIS
. I notice that four trawler
on my last voyage in my vicinity did not have AIS fitted, so would have been invisible in fog
Positively, AIS can see a vessel like a Ferry
around the other side of a headland!
Radar sees rain squalls, AIS does not.
The more NMEA
listners and talkers one connects, the more the neccessity of haveing a small interface box (Actisense make them) or a Raymarine interface box to convert Seatalk
or its successor to NMEA instruments. Even NMEA is changing to a faster protocol so look this up too!Best of luck!