Help avoid a collision.
AIS, Automatic Identification System, is another method of collision avoidance.
Radar can tell you that something is there. AIS, using VHF to receive and transmit, can tell you who is there, which way they are heading, how fast they are traveling. Its primary objective is collision avoidance. Radar is also limited to line of sight, where as AIS is limited by VHF signal. This makes it possible for AIS to see vessels around corners.
All commercial craft are required by law to transmit AIS. This also makes it easier to communicate with others. With AIS, you can hail another vessel directly by name as you'll see their vessel name on your chartplotter.
An AIS device requires its own GPS antenna, 12volt power, a VHF connection to an antenna (some come with a VHF splitter so you don't need to install an antenna), and a NEMA 2k connection.
Total cost was just under $1k. I did the install myself which took about 4 hours.
I encourage everybody to get AIS installed on their vessel.
We found AIS to be very useful during our SE Alaska trip and couldn't imagine doing that trip without AIS.
Last Updated: 9/3/2023