Back to the topics raised by the original post;
I'm starting to think about over the winter purchases and gear for next year. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has installed an AIS transceiver recently. I'm hoping the prices are coming down.
I stated earler that I have a Vesper Marine XB-8000, and it has worked flawlessly. I consider it a great upgrade, and speaking for myself only, I would not sail coastally without an AIS Class B Transceiver. I want to see other vessels, I want to know their speed and heading, and I want them to see me. Sure I share the water with a lot of yahoos that don't have an AIS transceiver, but there are also a lot of windsurfers, and kite surfers and logs, and lobster pots, and kyaks, and other hazards that I try to watch for when I am at the helm. I have noticed that a lot
more boats (probably twice as many) are broadcasting AIS information than when I installed it three years ago.
I don't have Radar on my boat, and doubt that I ever will. I don't have the battery capacity to support it, and on EVERY boat that I have sailed on that was equipped with Radar (teaching ASA, doing deliveries, charter Captain, and member of a sailing club), the Radar did not work.
Regarding the price; buying an AIS unit is like buying an anchor. While anchors are NOT federally required equipment, most of us have one. We buy the anchor to keep us out of trouble, and we must believe that whichever one that we buy will work when we need it (thus the many anchor wars). While price may be a concern for some of us (or we would all have polished stainless steel anchors hanging off our bow), it is not, nor should it be the primary concern.