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Old 29-10-2021, 14:21   #31
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Re: Help around New Jersey

Actually, it's relevance and importance is increasing every day. I'm quite certain that, at some point in the not too distant future, it will be required. I wouldn't sail serious distances or in serious waters without it.

Last summer, a sailboat without the transmit AIS function, noticed a potential conflict with another boat. He hailed us, assuming we were the offending boat and we would alter course since he (claimed) he had right of way. Unfortunately, he was looking at another boat (with a similar sounding name) that was not talking to him and probably didn't see him. We explained that he was probably looking at somebody else since there was nobody else within five miles of us (confirmed using radar, AIS and two sets of eyeballs..) He hailed us in error. Since he was not transmitting, nobody could actually see him and he was rather upset that the other boat did not alter course for him.

The risk with AIS is to allow overconfidence to creep in. This happened in aviation. TCAS, a similar technology, was not readily accepted at first, then firmly embraced and is now required. At 450 knots, it's best to use all available tools to recognize and avoid threats. The same argument can be made for 5 knots.
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Old 31-10-2021, 13:04   #32
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Re: Help around New Jersey

I only read the first page of responses - please forgive me if someone made the following suggestion in the ensuing pages. In our trips down the Jersey coast, and for that matter, during all of our travels day and night, having an AIS receiver is a very important enhancement to safety. Clearly, your eyes & instincts are most important - but here are the ways AIS is very useful.
1. When an AIS transmitting vessel (commercial vessels are required to transmit) enters your (user determined) safety zone, an audible alarm sounds. If you set the range for several miles out, you should have sufficient time to assess, plan, communicate & take action.
2. If your AIS is linked to your chart plotter, an icon will appear (usually flashing) if on a potential collision course with the target vessel. If you tap the icon you can quickly acquire important information including type of boat, heading, speed, distance to CPA (closest point of approach) TCPA (time to closest point of approach) and vessel name.
3. Vessel name is very important to raising the approaching blob on the horizon by radio to make sure you are talking with the correct blob and to discussing a passing plan.
While i agree no one should travel with eyes glued to a screen, when the alarm goes off, having critical information and communications brings great peace of mind.
Finally, you don't have to spend a fortune. You can purchase one of several VHF radios with built in AIS receiver & GPS that will provide you all the information you need.
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Old 31-10-2021, 18:14   #33
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Re: Help around New Jersey

Originally Posted by Sailmon View Post
While i agree no one should travel with eyes glued to a screen, when the alarm goes off, having critical information and communications brings great peace of mind.
Twenty years ago I thought and advised that AIS was a major convenience. Now it is a critical safety item. With time and mandatory carriage requirements you must call ships by name. The days of having a reasonable chance of response to "northbound tanker at 81A this is sailing vessel whatsis" are gone. You have to know who you are talking to get an answer. Add smaller crews, habit of being called by names, and more paperwork and you have to call ships by name.

This is all part of communication.
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new jersey

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