Originally Posted by twistedtree
Clicking on an AIS boat icon and picking "call boat" might happen, if only it worked. I have yet to hear of any VHF, chart plotter combination that actually will do that, though I suppose they must exist somewhere.
I have a Garmin VHF200 (N2K) radio, GPSMAP 7212 and 740 plotters and a Si-Tex MDA-1 Class B AIS and it all works perfectly. Very handy in the Galveston Ship Channel and Gulf ICW working with commercial traffic.
Conversely, using DSC to contact pleasure boats is a non-starter IMHO. Just too complicated.