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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2001 Catalina 34MkII Breakin' Away (at Rock Hall Landing Marina)
PO of 1998 Catalina 250WK Take Five (new owners relocated to Baltimore's Inner Harbor)
1991 15' Trophy (Lake Wallenpaupack)
1985 14' Phantom (Lake Wallenpaupack)