It looks like I just screwed the AIS in there, and that's right. I actually wanted to build it in the closet, but the operating and installation instructions say that you should be able to see the LEDs. So I screwed it on the closet, it works too. You can't see it from below when you stand in front of the closet, so it's not a botch. It's only botch if you can see it.


The AIS can send and receive. It does it very, very well. It has a built-in antenna splitter, so the installation is done within half an hour. If I had known it was that easy, I would have built it in last year. We could be seen at Marinetraffic just a few hours after installation, the next day also on the Vesselfinder.

For those who can not do anything with the term “AIS”, I have another one here Link to Wikipedia. It is explained there in great detail.

It is unusable on the IJsselmeer. There are around 200,000 sailing boats without AIS, the few that have a transmitter can be counted on two hands. You need your eyes on the IJsselmehr anyway, there is a lot going on on beautiful summer days.

The first test was on the North Sea when we crossed the traffic separation area (VTG) off the Dutch coast. We did that last year and aimed the big pots with the radar, determined the speed and the course and tried to find out whether we can or have to go in front of or behind them. That was great, because the eyes are completely useless for this because you cannot estimate the distances and speeds. I almost wrote a post in a sailing forum, but then it occurred to me that I was using outdated technology.

This year we didn't turn on the radar in the VTG. The big pots were served to us on the silver platter, course and speed can be queried. Finally, the pots change course a few degrees and the crossing runs very smoothly.

While playing with the video camera (boredom) we suddenly came across a tanker on a collision course in the middle of the North Sea. I made a virtue out of necessity and extended the video a little ... If you want to see it, click on this video.

AIS in practice

Conclusion: The tanker has also changed course here, this very, very clearly. I don't want to miss this luxury anymore. The fishermen also all avoided us at night.

Of course, we don't just have the display on the small instruments in the cockpit. The display is very useful on the high seas when there is no land in sight. But it can be very confusing if you are traveling near the coast and half of the ships in the ports have switched their AIS on. Then the display on the on-board PC helps, which can place the AIS symbols over the nautical chart. It looks like this and is also extremely useful:

AIS display on the on-board PC