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Old 06-01-2013, 07:38 AM   #1
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City: Chicago/Demopolis
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Looking at getting an AIS for my trawler. Vessel is primarily in river environments. Any suggestions, input would be great.

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Old 06-01-2013, 10:39 AM   #2
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If you want to just receive new Vhf radios can do that. However if you want to send and receive then you need to buy a AIS box for about 500bucks. At the boat show I bought new electronic charts that has AIS. Have not installed yet as its been to cold and wet.

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Old 06-01-2013, 10:45 AM   #3
City: Carefree, Arizona
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I have and use AIS for offshore and coastal cruising. Having spent much time boating on the Rivers dodging debris, water toys, skiers, floating dead animals and barges, I'm curious as to how you'd use AIS in that environment.

That said, get a send receive unit and hook it into a good chart plotter radar combination so you can see the targets in real time and how they relate to the curves and buoys. Great for finding your weekend rafting buddies too, assuming they are so equipped and have their AISs on.
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:56 AM   #4
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In my experience not many recreational boats have AIS transmit capability.
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:10 PM   #5
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AIS is a wonderful tool for the rivers. When you are meeting a tow you now know his name! And can properly call him. No more hailing the unbound tow by the big chimney.
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:13 PM   #6
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I have AIS class B send and receive from Vesper Marine - great company and customer service. I use it for both river and coastal navigation. In the Columbia River with Barge and Commercial traffic, its great to "see" around the river bend, and have targets displayed on the chart plotter. Also of great use offshore in low visibility conditions, particularly to pick out the crabbers and fishing boats, and in some ways better than radar as I can get additional vessel information. Still keep a good lookout and radar watch, not all fish boats have ais on all the time.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:51 PM   #7
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City: West Vancouver
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Vessel Name: Redoubt
Vessel Model: 50' Gulf Commander
Join Date: Feb 2013
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I got a transceiver versus receiver as want it for running up the coast. Figured it is safer if others can see me too!

I purchased a EM TRAK B100 AIS. Quick turnaround and great customer service with my questions. I plugged it into my PC with the supplied USB cable, configured it (I can legally do so as a Canadian), and it all came up immediately with OpenCPN s/w. Too easy!

I have only used in San Francisco Bay so far but all looks good, and I am happy to have it for offshore at night.

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