For anyone that has ever operated a vessel at night, one thing is certain. It’s hard to identify vessels in the dark, especially in busy shipping lanes. AIS, stands for Automatic Identification System. Boats over 70 feet must use to use this level identificationin the United States. However, many small boats don’t have this ability due to the complicated nature of the installation process, which involves new antennas, a VHF receiver, and navigation software. All in all, a new install could be 600 dollars for the cheapest option. Now, with the beauty of smartphones there is a solution. I”ve also included a video that explains Marine AIS throughly.
Boat Beacon is available for iPhone and Android devices and has one feature that sets it apart from the other navigation apps. It allows you to place your “Boat Beacon” on the AIS system. This means that huge cruise ships can see your tiny vessels right on their navigation screens. Obviously, this is only going to work in areas with cell reception. This is a huge drawback, but it’s a great opportunity to review AIS and see if it’s necessary for your vessel. Overall, Boat Beacon is an amazing app. For less than ten bucks, you have a fully functioning AIS transceiver and responder. Check it out!
- Boat Beacon for Android helps you track boats and avoid collisions at sea (zdnet.com)
- Could Maritime Domain Awareness Ride the Coattails of Missile Defense? (chuckhillscgblog.net)
- Ahoy! Your ship is being tracked from orbit (bbc.co.uk)
- A Lesson in “Shipspotting”: Modern Vessel Tracking via Automatic Identification Systems (“AIS”) (lebonquartier.wordpress.com)