AIS in AK
Do any of you use Automatic Idenification System (AIS) on your boats here in Alaska? I am thinking about outfitting a boat w/ new electronics and was wondering whether there is any use for AIS. To my understading commercial boats such as cruise liners and ferries would have the system.
We've been getting inquiries about AIS for recreational boats the past couple of years. Until fairly recently, there weren't very many "appropriate" (read: affordable) AIS systems available for rec boats. Now, several companies are making smaller and affordable units. The biggest advantage of AIS is being able to locate/identify other AIS-equipped boats in your immediate area along with their pertinent navigation data. I would guess that a very small percentage of AIS-equipped boats aren't required to have them, such as recreational boats. The actual benefits provided by AIS information may/may not be worth it to the average rec boater, especially when weighed against the cost of other upgrades, such as GPS chart plotters and radar....boaters considering AIS likely already have about every navigational electronic device available, so AIS is probably at the end of most 'lists'. Here's a good link to read/learn more about AIS: http://navcen.uscg.gov/enav/ais/default.htm You can also check out the Marine Exchange of Alaska at http://www.mxak.org/ These guys are a great resource for AIS questions/information. Boat Safely!