Why you should have AIS and Radar
This is always a pretty popular question because obviously no one wants to be involved in any type of collision. So people always wonder what the best type of equipment is to help avoid these terrible accidents.
Why have AIS?
AIS stands for Automatic Identification System. AIS is a maritime navigation safety communications system that provides equipped vessels with other similarly equipped vessels’ identity, type, position, course, speed, and navigational status. All large ships are required to have and use AIS transmitters that continually update the ship’s information via special VHF radio channels. This information can then be received by others who are equipped with AIS. For boater, having AIS can enable them to see large ships moving with speed, and avoid getting on a collision course with the oncoming vessel.
Why have Radar?
Radar gives a boater the ability to see shorelines, buoys, boats, and other objects within their range. This is extremely helpful when bad weather such as fog rolls in. A boat equipped with radar will have a better chance of navigating safely in foul weather because the boater will be able to see what kind of obstructions might get in their path.
Why have AIS and Radar?
A boater can never go wrong with a combination of AIS and Radar. Although most people think they are fine with just one or the other, having both can very much decrease your chances of encountering any type of collision. With Radar, you have a constant live feed of surrounding sea targets, shorelines, and ALL vessels. And then with AIS turned on, you gain that extra bit of information on large ships, so you are aware of their speed and direction. Therefore, you are covering all of your bases having both, and when you are unexpectedly faced with foul weather and low visibility you can feel a little better knowing you have all your information.