When Margie and I leave Miami to sail to the Bahamas one of the scariest parts of the trip are the lights of a big ship heading towards us. The recent development of AIS has made this passage much easier. AIS transmitters are required on all boats over 150′ and optional on smaller boats. They give the location, heading and the name of the boat and are broadcast on a VHF radio frequency with a range of 20 to 30 miles. If you have a AIS receiver on board it can interface with your chart plotter or be a stand alone unit. Now you can you see where the ships are going in relation to you and if you have a transmitter they will see you. It is also easy to contact them on the radio because you know their name.
You can a live feed from our area below;