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Old 01-18-2023, 05:02 PM   #1
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Who has/uses AIS?

In getting electronics for our upcoming boat, I'm debating AIS. Not to get into any political discussion about surveillance etc., but I'm curious who has and uses AIS here? If getting electronics now, would you get it?

Thanks!
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Old 01-18-2023, 05:12 PM   #2
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Are we talking receiving or transmitting?

I receive only. Mostly for being able to see the big ships coming from a distance. With AIS and the shipping lanes I can plan safe crossings well in advance. Also helpful when crossing the ferry lanes.

I do not find it very useful with pleasure boats. Recreational boats are unpredictable and the AIS only tells me where they were not were they are. I much prefer radar for dealing with recreational boats.
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Old 01-18-2023, 05:15 PM   #3
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AIS is probably the best and biggest advancement in navigation tools in the 21st century. I would definitely add it, and only consider a transceiver. Receive-only is just freeloading off those of us who transmit.
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Old 01-18-2023, 05:23 PM   #4
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AIS is probably the best and biggest advancement in navigation tools in the 21st century. I would definitely add it, and only consider a transceiver. Receive-only is just freeloading off those of us who transmit.
Agree completely. Transmitting is just as if not more important than receiving. I want the big commercial ships to see me and be able to call me by name on the VHF. Let them tell me what to do do to stay out of their way.
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Old 01-18-2023, 05:24 PM   #5
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You didnt ask abput those that dont have it and arent running out to get it.

It can depend a lot on how and where you boat.

Might give your specific requirements and look to those responses that match up.
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Old 01-18-2023, 05:30 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
You didnt ask abput those that dont have it and arent running out to get it.

It can depend a lot on how and where you boat.

Might give your specific requirements and look to those responses that match up.
Good point. It's for a new Helmsman 38. Usage area will be coastal New England, Long Island Sound north to the Maine coast.
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Old 01-18-2023, 05:37 PM   #7
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I would have found it nice to have on our trip up the Hudson. Not really needed here on Lake Champlain. In my opinion I'd like it for communicating with the commercial vessels and them to us.
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Old 01-18-2023, 05:40 PM   #8
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Itís invaluable for running around New England in the fog. Now the target on your radar has a name and info available and the radar target can see your name and info. The Navy Warship would have known that he was talking to a light house if he had AIS.
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Old 01-18-2023, 05:45 PM   #9
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Nick:

FWIW I'm getting send and receive.

I'll never know if it prevents some yahoo from running into me. But I'll go for the protection. One the least expensive upgrade choices in my package.
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Old 01-18-2023, 06:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick14 View Post
In getting electronics for our upcoming boat, I'm debating AIS. Not to get into any political discussion about surveillance etc., but I'm curious who has and uses AIS here? If getting electronics now, would you get it?
I have a receiver and I find its utility very limited as few pleasure boats in NE have transmitters. Price would have to drop dramatically for me to purchase transmitter.
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Old 01-18-2023, 06:40 PM   #11
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I have it and like it. I transmit and receive. It was great being able to other boats by name when meeting them on the ICW. When crossing to the Bahamas, I had a freighter call us by name to make sure I was going to cross behind him and not in front of him.

I do wish that people that have it would input their correct info into it though. I came across several boats that changed the boat name but never updated the AIS. Maybe they don't know they have it after buying a boat.
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:05 PM   #12
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Send and receive. Boat buck for boat buck, best value in onboard comnav equipment in my view.
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:07 PM   #13
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I have had AIS (receive only) on my previous boat and sure miss it on my new to me Mainship 350. I loved being able to see the large ships since I cross the shippin lanes, Port of Los Angles regularly on my way out fishing. It is very busy and it is not unusual to have heavy fog roll in on no notice.
I got AIS back then on a Standard Horizon Matrix radio with AIS and GPS. It wired up to my Garmin 942xs no problem. I loved that the AIS targets showed up on my chart plotter and radar,
I will be repeating this same set up very soon. Highly recommend.
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:10 PM   #14
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Have it and use it. Agree with those who say it's the best thing to come along in a long time.
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:18 PM   #15
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We use our AIS transceiver 24/7 and never turn it off. It shows up on our radar screen and is used with the radar.

I think Twisted tree's comments are spot on. If you ever run in open water it should be mandatory.
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:43 PM   #16
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[QUOTE=4fun1;1148499
I do wish that people that have it would input their correct info into it though. I came across several boats that changed the boat name but never updated the AIS. Maybe they don't know they have it after buying a boat.[/QUOTE]

Yeah this is really annoying. Cruising South from Hilton Head to Bahamas, I find 50% of boats , especially sailboats for some reason, have not entered any name so hailing is a PITA.
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:50 PM   #17
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Ive had receive only on previous sailboats and now tx/rx on our current trawler. I like to be able to call other vessels by name. Also getting closest point of approach and time to that point are helpful in deciding course speed changes. Easier in many ways than radar which we also have.

Ours is a simrad modular vhf/ais unit with upper and lower microphone and speaker handsets. Can provide hailer/listener but we don't use those. Integrated with nmea2000 we get the ais presentation on both simrad chartplotters.

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Old 01-18-2023, 08:17 PM   #18
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AIS is nice. The biggest problem is that is AIS xmit is not required on all boats (say for all boats that have radios). Currently large boats and commercial ships are required to have it, but even then sometimes it gets turned off. IMO, it's not the big boats you have to look out for.

If AIS was required, then lots more installations would be necessary and hopefully the price would come down.

It's sort of like seat belts, air bags, or backup cameras in cars. They have demonstrated a safety improvement and now are required equipment.
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Old 01-18-2023, 08:18 PM   #19
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Iíve had a tx/rcv on my last 2 boats. Find it very helpful on overnight nearshore runs past ports like Charleston and Savannah. Also fishing boats which may or may not maintain a proper watch are easily avoided if they have their unit on. I vote you get one.

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Old 01-18-2023, 08:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick14 View Post
In getting electronics for our upcoming boat, I'm debating AIS. Not to get into any political discussion about surveillance etc., but I'm curious who has and uses AIS here? If getting electronics now, would you get it?

Thanks!
Pulling out of my slip in Commencement Bay (Tacoma WA) the other day before dawn I needed to get into a channel but in front of me was a large barge moving towards the same channel with two partially hidden tugs hip tied on its far side. It was also raining so visibility was crap. I could also see the lights of one free tug presumably awaiting pilot duties for an incoming container ship and another which appeared to be leaving the area with a barge in tow.

Using AIS I was able to identify the name of the one tug I wanted to speak with (lead tug hip tied to the barge) and discuss an order of passage into the channel. In the absence of AIS I would have had at least two possible responders to my hail (two tugs on the barge) as well as potentially the other towing tug.

Case proven for me.
~A
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