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  #11  
Old 10-21-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
That is, you can see all the boats around you which are transmitting an AIS signal.

Depending on where you are, that represents about 10-20% of the boats out there (since most yachts, fishing boats, etc. don't transmit AIS signals) and only a tiny fraction of the things which can hit you and which you can run into (like buoys, pilings, lobster pots, dingies, kayaks, flotsam & jetsum, etc.).

Yeah, AIS is neat and fun, but it's not synoptic....very easy to get lured into the belief that thru AIS you know what's really out there.

Bill
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.

Regards

Paulo
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  #12  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
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.

Regards

Paulo
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

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  #13  
Old 10-21-2011
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We have a 30 year old Irwin IC 34. We sail the Bay of Fundy and the coast of Maine. We have VHF, radar, Chartplotter, lap top with FUGAWI and an AIS receiver. I would not leave home without it. Because I already had a laptop and chart plotter, for under $200, the receive was a no brainer!

We have contacted a fair number of ships - it is so easy when you know their name and call sign. Especially when you know the Closest Point of Approach and the Closest Time of Approach. If I see that we will be clear and gone when they come by - we watch them. If we see we are not going to be in a good position 5.3 minutes from now - we call them and inform them that we see them, are monitoring them and that we will pass astern of them.

Eyes, ears, diligence and good electronics, all are "arrows in my quiver" of safe boating tools (wow, did I ever mix metaphors).

Now - I wonder if I should look into that new broad band 3G radar people are talking about?

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  #14  
Old 10-21-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
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

I agree with you and had already saw that article, anyway:

In inclement weather in such waters it would generally be the correct practice to switch off the AIS Class B filter, considerably improving the probability of identifying small craft in poor visibility and bad radar clutter conditions. In general, there would be fewer Class B targets in such conditions. These would naturally wish to keep a greater distance from ships and, in any case, any detrimental over-alarming of the ships system would, in these conditions, be compensated by the benefits of increased probability of target detection. Of course, in other than crowded waters in good visibility, the AIS Class B filter should generally be switched off.

And at least offshore (out of straits) you should not have a problem with detection because there is no traffic that justifies the filter to be on.

Anyway i have heard that they are studding a common protocol regarding filtering. Any news about that?

Regards

Paulo
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I am awaiting the day when it is mandatory to have AIS if you are in low visibility (fog).
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Originally Posted by orient View Post
I am awaiting the day when it is mandatory to have AIS if you are in low visibility (fog).
I like it for "seeing" around corners in channels.
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Old 10-21-2011
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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
...However, you wouldn't believe the number of folks I see these days on the water who haven't a clue....they believe that the AIS display indeed shows them all the dangers and/or they are mesmerized by the specifics of each return....to the point where they're not paying attention to what's ahead of and around them...
Can you cite specific examples? I agree that this might be a THEORETICAL possibility, in actuality interfacing AIS with a chartplotter, and debugging the glitches when they occur, is not simple. It takes some skill to make it work right, and the process of debugging it reminds the user not to become overly reliant in it.

You seem to paint a picture of a large number of naive users who are fooled into complacency by the technology. I think the technology is complicated enough that its users have to be pretty savvy about its limitations just to get it working.

So educate me. Tell me about the specific examples of people that you have actually seen being mesmerized by AIS to the point that they are distracted by it. Frankly, I usually can't see that well into others' cockpits to tell what they're looking at, and even if I could, I can't read their minds to tell what they're paying attention to. So I wonder how you're able to do that.
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  #18  
Old 10-22-2011
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I know the value of AIS, since we use it where I work, but marinetraffic.com is news to me. Very cool site, thanks for that!
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Old 10-22-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RhythmDoctor View Post
Can you cite specific examples? ...
So educate me. Tell me about the specific examples of people that you have actually seen being mesmerized by AIS to the point that they are distracted by it. Frankly, I usually can't see that well into others' cockpits to tell what they're looking at, and even if I could, I can't read their minds to tell what they're paying attention to. So I wonder how you're able to do that.
You aren't directing this at me, but I get your point: How does anyone know what specific instrument a person in the cockpit is staring at?

I have watched people in other boats sitting in their helm seats staring at whatever electronics are in front of them and not raising their heads for long periods of time to look around them. They do, indeed, look mesmerized.
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Old 10-22-2011
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Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
...I have watched people in other boats sitting in their helm seats staring at whatever electronics are in front of them and not raising their heads for long periods of time to look around them. They do, indeed, look mesmerized.
Oops, that must have been YOU watching me when I was taking the AIS screenshots for the article I published in YOUR magazine last month!

I agree that instruments as a whole can be distracting, but not sure that AIS should be singled out over others. From what I've seen so far, its benefits far outweigh the negatives, especially on my busy river. I had several occasions this season when I got early warning of a freighter sneaking up behind me, well before I could make visual ID.
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