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AIS Overview

Welcome to our first blog and the first of our series bringing you everything you need to know about the yachting world! This week we are bringing you the low down on all things AIS so keep reading to become a fast-tracked expert in this field. Make sure to hit that follow and subscribe link to stay up to date with everything coming up from Seahorse Chandlery this year.

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) is pivotal for ensuring a vessels safety and due to the rapid expansion and evolution of this equipment we are now able to use this to track the position of any boat anywhere in the ocean at any time. It provides a fantastic overview of who is operating in your local area and has become an essential tool in enhancing safety for vessels.

How does it work? Well, in short, the AIS is made up of small transponders and fitted to shipping vessels all around the globe. The broadcast can then be received by any vessel, land station or satellite who is in range and also fitted with a AIS receiver.

These transponders use short wave VHF radio signals to broadcast things such as:

  • Vessels name and position
  • IMO Number
  • Type of vessel
  • Length and beam
  • Dynamic information such as vessel’s speed and bearing

They can also be used to send short safety-related messages too.

The compulsory carriage requirements for AIS are covered in the SOLAS V regulations under which compulsory carriage of AIS limited to "All ships of 300 gross tonnage and upwards engaged on international voyages and cargo ships of 500 gross tonnage and upwards not engaged on international voyages and passenger ships irrespective of size". But as of 2020 it has become massively popular for all types of sailors around the world. This is due to the crucial safety aspect of an AIS plus the fact that some of these transponders have largely affordable prices nowadays. Boat owners tend to voluntarily choose to install them, knowing that by doing so that small little gadget may well end up saving their life someday.

If you are wondering whether or not you need an AIS or if it could be a useful tool for you then we would definitely agree with the world's leading experts and say that this is one of the most valuable sources of information that the maritime sector has to date and will only increase as technology advances over the coming years. So what are you waiting for?

Here at Seahorse Chandlery we are proud to say we work in conjunction with market leading specialists in AIS manufacturing and have a wide range of options available to suit your needs. If you know what you are looking for then drop us a message.

Just click the link to have a look at our current range of AIS systems

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