Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Re: Caution: AIS Apps
Thank you for the helpful warning. It's good to hear my concerns verified by someone who actually feeds the data into the system. I can't tell you how many times people tell me that their boat is "equipped with AIS," and upon asking further I find out that they are running MarineTraffic app on their cell phones. It happened as recently as yesterday in this thread
...I don't think iOS or Android [chartplotter] apps display AIS targets yet, and I doubt they'll ever do split screen like a Windows or Linux laptop. (marinetraffic.com doesn't pass muster for real-time navigation.) The split screen is great, because I can just focus on sailing without ever touching the computer to zoom in or out.
[Correction: I realize that Android and iOS have some apps that will duplicate the displays of other computers, so it may be possible to use those apps to display AIS targets.]
Originally Posted by Familycruisers
Marine Traffic is an AIS app for Android.
As I said in my prior post, MarineTraffic is not
a navigation quality tool. MarineTraffic uses a network of land-based stations manned by hobbyists at their homes. There can be blackout zones when the stations go down, and there can be time delays in their updates. When a vessel is moving 15 knots up the river, a delay of 4 minutes equates to a nautical mile. That's the difference between being able to tack across the channel and encountering a very uncomfortable situation.
I have confirmed this from side-by-side comparison of my real-time AIS reception with the MarineTraffic app on my phone.
MarineTraffic a nice novelty for looking up pictures and port history of boats, but do not use MarineTraffic for real time navigation!
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1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (at Anchorage Marina, Essington, on the Delaware River)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)