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Old 15 October 2012, 13:50   #1
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Ideas for new fittings

Currently negotiating new boat options for 2013. Unsure on hull yet but keen to hear about Chart plotters with AIS options. I intend to look at an active AIS unit ( sea-me or similar) which would allow me to switch on AIS positions as an overlay on chart if weather changes rather than radar. Is there a Garmin or similar product people use now and recommend?
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Old 15 October 2012, 14:37   #2
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I use the garmin AIS 600 transponder. Works very well for both being seen and seeing. It also has a silent switch. Even though the websites like ship finder don't always show you the coastguard always seems to pick us up. It displays on a garmin 750 which works great. Did use an icom receive only ais and that worked well on the garmin display before
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Old 15 October 2012, 14:52   #3
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I don't think it matters which AIS unit you use, so long as it is NMEA2000. I'm pretty sure most plotters will have an option in a menu somewhere to turn it on or off to keep screen clutter down. My Garmin talks seamlessly with my Digital Yacht AIT2000. The silent switch only stops you transmitting not receiving. I only ever turn mine to silent whilst on land if I power up the boat.
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Old 15 October 2012, 16:02   #4
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We've had one of the early Digital Yacht transponders (AIT250) on board our sailing yacht for 3-4 years now, linked in to a Standard Horizon plotter, and a PC running OpenCPN - both work seamlessly. And service from Standard Horizon is superb.

Position the aerial as high as you can, and use the best aerial possible - AIS B transmit is only 2W (as opposed to your VHF radio's 25W max). We have a Helix stub antenna mounted on the radar arch that's fairly useless - when I delivered a friend's yacht to to Scotland last year, he had a full size aerial mounted in the same place, and the effective range of his AIS transmit and receive was far greater than ours!
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