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While not a substitute for proper watch keeping, or even radar, in my opinion AIS is a great boon for marine navigators. Rebecca and I love the AIS receiver that we have onboard ZTC. It is integrated into the Standard Horizon GX2100 Matrix radio and since I connected it to our Garmin 546 chartplotter, it makes it easy to see if there are any large commercial ships in our vicinity that require closer scrutiny and/or course changes.

Together with Michael, we have decided to install a full AIS transceiver on the Leopard, as opposed to receive-only unit as we have on ZTC. This will not only allow us to see ships but them, and other vessels with AIS on board, to see us. My first inclination was to purchase the Garmin 600 system. After receiving a suggestion from Jeffrey from Active Captain, I started looking at the products available from Vesper Marine, specially their XB-8000. I particularly like how the data from that device can be easily shared via Wi-Fi to a number on onboard electronic devices such as smart phones, laptops and tablets. Anyone reading this have any experience with their product(s)?

Lest you think that all that is on our minds is boat stuff, we have been enjoying our time here in California, visiting with our daughter Cass, our granddaughter Demi and Rebecca’s father who is also in town for a visit.

10 Comments

  1. We also went with the vesper. http://www.twofishcat.com/2013/02/03/ais-could-not-go-the-easy-way/ They are really great guys from New Zealand. I have seen they and the Nordic countries are placing AIS bouys. They never drift in a storm as they are virtual and safe on land. As AIS markers take off what will the all paper crowd do?

  2. Demi is still as cute as ever! And as a dog lover, I have to ask what breed those two are 🙂

  3. You guys are really lucky.

    Normally when one decides to go cruising there is one opportunity at the beginning to equip the boat with what you think you will need. These are decisions that are always guided by budget restricitions and normally research rather than real experience. Once you cast off the lines, upgrades become more difficult for a number of reasons.

    In this case you’re getting a second chance and this time you have a lot of experience under your belts. What purchases have you have made for the new boat that you think benefited most from your cruising experience where if you didn’t have that experience you might have made a different decision?

    • The larger generator driven watermaker is definitely one thing. Even on the PDQ, if I could do i all over again, I would have purchased a Honda driven one from CruiseRO.

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