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Old 11-19-2018, 07:22 PM   #2
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GGroves's Avatar
City: Cruising Great Lakes
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Vingilot II
Vessel Model: 2004 DeFever 45 RPH
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 44
Tom, since you already have a vhf w/ DSC, look at adding an AIS to your navigation suite. For recreation AIS, there is Class B with receive and transmit or Class C, which is receive only. By the way, the VHF with AIS is Class C AIS.

The big question is connecting to your equipment. The Vesper AIS’s can communicate over NMEA 1083 or NMEA 2000 (N2k). We have the Vesper WatchMate with its own screen and it has several advantages: 1) it can be used stand alone without networking. 2) it can network over both types of NMEA, and 3) it has a very useful anchor watch system.

Your biggest problem will be connecting to the Raymarine chartplotter. If it is an older unit, then it communicates over its proprietary Seatalk network and will require a Seatalk to NMEA converter. Because you have used this system with your computer running Nobeltec (I did this for 11 years on our last boat) you already have the converter. Then you can hook it up vis a USB/NMEA converter for your new laptop.
I have probably rambled too much with this response. I would go for the Vesper AIS Class B (transmit/receive) or C (receive only). There are other threads discussing the pros and cons of either system, but when cruise, we like to follow the adage of “see and be seen”.
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