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Thread: transponders

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    Default transponders

    It is time once again to display my ignorance. I can see how it could be a safety issue to have locational transponders on sailing vessels. My question is are transponders mandated by any governing bodies for vessels on the oceans, or lakes for that matter? Maybe it is just from watching too many movies, but I seem to recall instances where lifeboats "activate" emergency beacons when deployed. I don't think the government needs it nose in all aspects of like, but I can see how the location of a vessel could be a safety issue.
    "Still waitin on the Judgement Day"

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    Default Re: transponders

    Seems like a good idea to me.
    "Still waitin on the Judgement Day"

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    Default Re: transponders

    Quote Originally Posted by Peterle Matteo View Post
    Ships and small boats have something like this onboard:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automat...ication_System

    Not all ships but a vaste majority of them.

    Not a "lot". More and more are using AIS. I don't have it on my current vessel and most LIKELY won't put it on a bigger vessel later on.

    I'm not a big "privacy" buff now. People can find me, they can get to my house, locate my phone numbers and email addresses and so forth on the Internet.

    When I leave here, that won't be the case any more.

    I'll have a web site up you can all see, and will post information, even locations sometimes, but I'm not going to have a tracking system set up for anyone to find me anytime they wish.

    That, I'm afraid is a protection factor for my wife and I.

    I especially won't use such a system over in the Indian Ocean or any where near Africa.
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    Default Re: transponders

    No no, Peterle, I was not suggesting that.

    I was merely stating that while I have some knowledge of AIS, I have no intention to use it, and the reasons for not using it.

    Folks sure are "defensive" lately.

    LOL
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    Default Re: transponders

    Yea AIS is the new standard it seems. I have it going at work and a more permanent Corps wide system is coming so we will be able to see all the inland commercial traffic. Some of the super high end yachts have it. Commercial traffic I believe has to have it and the tow companies like to be able to see exactly what their boats are doing while out.

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    Default Re: transponders

    AIS has been around for some time now.

    In the ham radio community we actually used something called APRS when DOS was the standard.

    A GPS tied to the computer plotted you, your course, speed, etc on a map.

    APRS still exists but hams didn't really go far enough with it. We've used it for EmComm and for storm tracking/chasing, etc.
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    Default Re: transponders

    I suppose I am making a mistake in the analogy of boats/ships being airplane like in nature. I am probably wrong in my thinking that a "port" is like an airport?
    "Still waitin on the Judgement Day"

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    Default Re: transponders

    Luke, it's not precisely like that.

    Ports (marinas and bigger ports for bigger ships) have places for anchoring, docking etc.

    Boats move slowly compared to planes.

    Also, there is something called "Rules of the Road".

    We try to be in visual contact. Using Radar, and even bells in fog is another way to maintain your distance or at least have a clue where the other guy is.

    Let me point out an issue though.

    Charts - that's the issue.

    Charts we use might have originally been created in the 1700 or 1800s and updated here and there through the years.

    GPS is VERY accurate down to a few feet. However, the original charts are used and superimposed on GPS (AIS and other things still use GPS).

    So... while I can be using GPS to get my precise lat/long, it might be precisely where I think I am on a chart.

    In fact, when I was sailing in San Diego I kept my handheld gps around to observe it and I used charts in a VERY busy harbor that had everything from little dinghys to US Submarines and huge cruise ships.

    the way you keep from hitting each other is visual contact and following the "rules of the road". AIS and other things like transponders won't really help all that much.

    Once I was sailing into the back harbor and we looked on the GPS. We knew exactly where we were in relation to the docks on the starboard side, the shallower water to port and the mooring practice buoys. The GPS however, showed us over on the land.

    You can't trust GPS to tell you what's really near you. Only to give you a really good latitude and longitude for knowing where you are.

    So.... navigation is figuring out where you are going, how to get there, which way to go and once you're "in the area" usually getting a visual on your navaids (like colored buoys, lights, signage and even things like radio towers, light houses or spits of land from which to take a bearing.

    In a way, you are correct though, there are general shipping lanes out there and in near shore and in those areas you want to be very careful and know what's around you.

    But, reading the data on a screen (which IS done on bigger ships!) when you're sailing at 6 or 7 knots isn't as good an idea as you might think.

    Don't get me wrong, folks use radar systems to help keep themselves out of harms way - but in general on a SMALL boat like I sail, I don't even have that so I HAVE to use my eyes and common sense.

    Bigger ships and boats with plenty of power can use radar and chart plotters, etc. I'll likely have a chart plotter on my cruising vessel, maybe even radar, but likely won't go out of my way to put them in the boat if they aren't there when I purchase the boat.

    Oh yeah, in many places there's a "harbor master" on the radio (VHF, ch 16 usually) who can tell you information, best routes in, things like that and even where to check in to immigration/customs etc. So in a way there is a type of "water traffic control" in some places.
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