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Old 09-03-2017, 01:02 PM   #22
dhays's Avatar
City: Gig Harbor
Vessel Name: Kinship
Vessel Model: North Pacific 43
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 9,022
Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
I use AIS for long range planning and radar for avoidance. With in VTS, AIS can let you know if a ship has made a course change or is about to make a change, this gives you better knowledge for making that go or no go decision when crossing a VTS channel.
That was the situation I faced last month. I was looking at a container ship and even based on the AIS listed destination (which even with commercial traffic is often wrong), I didn't know which of three possible directions they were going to head when they reached Sierra Alpha outside Admiralty Inlet. I thought they would be heading West, but wasn't sure. If I turned East to pass astern of them, and it turns out they were actually going to be heading NW or NE, then I would be turning into their path.

A radio call to the ship cleared that up and was able to alter course to the East so I would be well clear of his stern. AIS told me who to call, it also gave me (at least in this case) more accurate course and speed info than my radar.

In the future, since I am a slow boat, I'm going to try to be further to the East or West of Sierra Alpha.

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