If traveling shipping channels then an AIS receiver is nice to have. Knowing where those big boys are can put your mind at ease. The transponders are another issue. As a VTC friend of mine says "they are intended for commercial shipping. If every little boat with the bucks to burn goes out and buys one VTC will not be able to read their screens." My feeling is as long as I know where they are I will take the steps to avoid them - they are generally not able to maneuver around me anyways.
True, but when you're off shore on the night watch, having an AIS transponder is probably pretty good insurance. I understand from another thread that they haven't been approved yet for small craft in the US, but can be purchased from other countries.
Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine
1983 Fraser 41
La Conner, WA
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Boating for over 25 years, some of them successfully.
Last edited by erps; 08-12-2008 at 10:46 AM.