For me the biggest advantage of an AIS is to make sure ships can see me. I have used a radar for many years and it is very easy to see a ship but difficult to see a sailboat or a small boat specially with waves. With the AIS we are all clear targets on a Ship's bridge.
Don't assume anything, Paulo...
In certain parts of the world, as more and more recreational vessels acquire AIS transmit capability, it may become commonplace for the Big Boys to filter us out as a "needless distraction", or of little more significance than a bug on their windshield... (grin)
A bit sobering, how loosely defined the current protocol re filtering of Class B transponders appears to be...
Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: Class B AIS filtering, the word from Dr. Norris