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Buyers Guide to the Best Marine AIS Systems (Automatic Identification)

The marine electronics industry has faced supply chain issues, impacting new product development for 2022. However, Brunswick’s recent acquisition of Navico, which includes major electronics brands like Simrad and Lowrance, suggests a focus on offering networked MFDs with their outboard and I/O power packages. Furuno has introduced the compact DRS2DNXT solid-state radar option, while Garmin has launched the GPSMAP 79 series marine handheld devices and the Fantom 18x and 24x solid-state dome radars. Airmar has unveiled the SmartBoat system, a highly configurable sensor interface that reduces complexity and costs associated with conventional networking products. SI-TEX has introduced the MDA-5 AIS 5-Watt transceiver, delivering essential features and safety benefits for recreational and light commercial vessels.

Key Takeaways: Marine AIS Systems

  • The marine electronics industry has faced supply chain issues impacting new product development for 2022.
  • Brunswick’s acquisition of Navico suggests a focus on networked MFDs with outboard and I/O power packages.
  • Furuno’s DRS2DNXT offers a compact solid-state radar option for vessels with limited space.
  • Garmin’s GPSMAP 79 series provides rugged marine handheld devices with improved visibility and reliable GNSS.
  • Garmin’s Fantom 18x and 24x solid-state dome radars offer longer range and better target detection.

By investing in the best marine AIS system for their needs, boaters can navigate safely and enhance their overall maritime experience.

Furuno’s Compact DRS2DNXT Solid-State Radar

Furuno has introduced the DRS2DNXT, a compact 19-inch Radome solid-state radar option designed for vessels with limited space. This radar system offers the same advanced features and modes as larger NXT Radar systems, including Target Analyzer, RezBoost beam sharpening, FTT, Bird Mode, Rain Mode, and dual-range capability.

The DRS2DNXT provides real-time target color changes for quick identification of potential hazards, enhancing situational awareness for boaters. Its smaller antenna creates a broader beamwidth for better target detection, ensuring reliable performance even in challenging conditions. The radar works seamlessly with Furuno’s NavNet TZtouch, TZtouch2, and TZtouch3 systems, providing an integrated and intuitive navigation experience.

With a 48-nautical mile range, boaters can confidently navigate and stay aware of their surroundings. The compact size and powerful capabilities of the DRS2DNXT make it an ideal choice for boats where space is at a premium.

Furuno’s DRS2DNXT is equipped with advanced features and modes for enhanced radar performance. The real-time target color changes, broader beamwidth, and dual-range capability provide boaters with the necessary AIS System tools to navigate safely and make informed decisions on the water.

Key Features of Furuno’s DRS2DNXT Compact Radar:

  • Compact 19-inch Radome design for vessels with limited space
  • Same features and modes as larger NXT Radar systems
  • Real-time target color changes for quick identification of hazards
  • Broader beamwidth for better target detection
  • Works with Furuno’s NavNet TZtouch, TZtouch2, and TZtouch3 systems
  • 48-nautical mile range
DimensionsWeightAntenna TypePower Output
19-inch22.9 lbsRadome4 kW

Advantages of Furuno’s DRS2DNXT Compact Radar AIS System:

  • Compact size ideal for boats with limited space
  • Powerful radar capabilities for enhanced situational awareness
  • Seamless integration with Furuno’s navigation systems
  • Real-time target color changes for quick identification of hazards
  • Reliable performance in challenging conditions
  • 48-nautical mile range for confident navigation

Garmin’s GPSMAP 79 Series Marine Handheld AIS System Devices

Garmin has unveiled the GPSMAP 79 series, a collection of marine handheld devices designed to provide boaters with reliable navigation tools. These rugged devices feature a floating design, making them suitable for marine environments. The GPSMAP 79 series boasts a larger optically-bonded display with a scratch-resistant glass lens, ensuring improved visibility even in challenging conditions.

The series includes two models: the GPSMAP 79s and the GPSMAP 79sc. The GPSMAP 79s is equipped with a built-in worldwide basemap and supports downloadable marine charts, providing users with access to detailed navigation information. On the other hand, the GPSMAP 79sc comes with built-in BlueChart g3 cartography, allowing boaters to explore coastal waters confidently.

Both models feature a three-axis, tilt-compensated compass, ensuring accurate heading information regardless of the device’s orientation. The GPSMAP 79 series supports reliable GNSS with multiple constellations, enhancing positioning accuracy. With up to 19 hours of battery life, 8GB of memory, and the ability to store up to 10,000 waypoints and 250 routes, these devices are designed to meet the needs of boaters seeking a versatile and durable navigation solution.

Rugged Design with Enhanced Visibility

The GPSMAP 79 series stands out with its rugged construction, making it suitable for use in harsh marine environments. The floating design ensures that the devices stay afloat if accidentally dropped overboard. Additionally, the larger optically-bonded display and scratch-resistant glass lens improve visibility, ensuring that boaters can easily read the screen even in bright sunlight. These features combine to provide a reliable and durable solution for all types of marine adventures.

Advanced Navigation Features

Equipped with a three-axis, tilt-compensated compass, the GPSMAP 79 devices offer accurate heading information regardless of the device’s orientation. This navigation tool is essential for boaters who need reliable directional guidance when out on the water. The devices also support multiple constellations, ensuring precise positioning information. With the ability to store up to 10,000 waypoints and 250 routes, these devices allow boaters to plan and navigate their journeys with ease.

Built-in Mapping Options

The GPSMAP 79s comes with a built-in worldwide basemap, providing boaters with a general overview of coastal features and inland waters. This basemap is a valuable resource for boaters exploring unfamiliar areas. In contrast, the GPSMAP 79sc offers built-in BlueChart g3 cartography, providing detailed and up-to-date marine charts. These charts include bathymetric data, points of interest, and navigational aids, allowing boaters to confidently navigate coastal waters.

GPSMAP 79sGPSMAP 79sc
BasemapWorldwide BasemapBlueChart g3 Cartography
Memory8GB8GB
Battery LifeUp to 19 hoursUp to 19 hours
WaypointsUp to 10,000Up to 10,000
RoutesUp to 250Up to 250

Garmin’s Fantom 18x and 24x Solid-State Dome Radar AIS Systems

Garmin’s Fantom 18x and 24x solid-state dome radars offer exceptional performance and advanced features for boaters seeking reliable target detection and enhanced safety on the water. These radars incorporate cutting-edge technology to deliver superior performance in a compact and sleek design.

Featuring an impressive 50W of output power, the Fantom 18x and 24x radars provide twice the power of competing radomes, resulting in longer range and improved target detection, even at high speeds. This higher power output ensures that boaters have clear and precise radar images, allowing them to navigate confidently and avoid potential hazards.

With Garmin’s MotionScope technology, these radars have the ability to highlight moving targets in different colors, making it easier to identify and track other vessels or objects on the water. The radars also offer up to 60-rpm rotation speed, allowing for accurate detection of movement and ensuring that boaters have real-time information about their surroundings.

“The Garmin Fantom 18x and 24x solid-state dome radars provide boaters with powerful radar capabilities in a compact and stylish package. With their high output power and advanced features like MotionScope technology, these radars offer reliable performance and enhanced situational awareness on the water.”

Designed to meet the needs of a wide range of vessels, the Fantom 18x and 24x radars are available in both white and black, allowing for seamless integration into any vessel’s color scheme. These radars are a perfect choice for boaters looking for top-of-the-line radar technology that combines performance, reliability, and aesthetics.

Key FeaturesFantom 18xFantom 24x
Output Power50W50W
RangeUp to 72 nautical milesUp to 72 nautical miles
Rotation SpeedUp to 60 rpmUp to 60 rpm
Color HighlightingYesYes
Available ColorsWhite, BlackWhite, Black

The Garmin Fantom 18x and 24x solid-state dome radars are the perfect choice for boaters who demand exceptional radar performance and advanced features in a compact and stylish package. With their high output power, motion highlighting, and fast rotation speed, these radars provide boaters with the situational awareness they need to navigate confidently and safely on the water.

Airmar’s SmartBoat AIS System

Airmar has unveiled the SmartBoat system, a cutting-edge vessel-management solution designed to streamline operations and enhance efficiency. This innovative system offers a highly configurable sensor interface, supporting a wide range of marine-sensor protocols. With its advanced features and intuitive design, the Smartboat system revolutionizes onboard monitoring and control, providing boat owners with actionable insights and peace of mind.

The SmartBoat system simplifies the process of connecting and managing onboard sensors. It supports various sensors such as thermistors, thermocouples, resistive-sender units, DC voltages, and fuel-flow monitors, converting their protocols to NMEA 2000. This eliminates the need for multiple protocol-conversion devices, reducing complexity and costs associated with conventional networking products.

With the SmartBoat system, boat owners can remotely discover, manage, and program their sensors, enabling easy access to real-time data. The system includes the SmartFlex View browser-based tool, which provides a user-friendly interface for monitoring and controlling sensor status. Boat owners can easily monitor essential parameters such as temperature, fuel levels, and voltage, ensuring optimal performance and safety.

Key Features of Airmar’s SmartBoat AIS System:

  • Highly configurable sensor interface
  • Supports a wide range of marine-sensor protocols
  • Remote discovery, management, and programming
  • Eliminates the need for multiple protocol-conversion devices
  • User-friendly interface for monitoring and control

The Airmar SmartBoat system represents a significant advancement in vessel management, offering boat owners a powerful yet user-friendly solution. With its ability to integrate and monitor various sensors, the SmartBoat system enhances safety, efficiency, and overall boating experience. By investing in this state-of-the-art technology, boat owners can optimize performance, reduce costs, and navigate with confidence.

Table: Comparison of Airmar’s SmartBoat AIS System

FeatureAirmar SmartBoat SystemConventional Networking Products
ConfigurabilityHighly configurable sensor interfaceLimited configurability
CompatibilitySupports a wide range of marine-sensor protocolsLimited compatibility with specific protocols
Remote ManagementRemote discovery, management, and programmingManual management and programming
CostReduces costs associated with multiple protocol-conversion devicesRequires additional protocol-conversion devices
User InterfaceUser-friendly interface for monitoring and controlComplex interface

As shown in the table, the Airmar SmartBoat system offers significant advantages over conventional networking products. Its highly configurable sensor interface, remote management capabilities, and user-friendly interface make it a superior choice for vessel management. With the SmartBoat system, boat owners can optimize their onboard systems, improve safety, and enjoy a seamless boating experience.

SI-TEX’s MDA-5 AIS Transceiver

SI-TEX has unveiled the MDA-5 AIS transceiver as part of their Metadata family of AIS products. This Class B/SO system offers essential features and safety benefits for recreational and light commercial vessels. With its 5-watt transmission power, the MDA-5 provides longer-range visibility and more frequent broadcasting of vessel information, improving overall situational awareness.

The MDA-5 AIS transceiver is compact, lightweight, and easy to install, making it an ideal choice for boaters. Its IP67 waterproof rating ensures durability and reliability in various marine environments. This transceiver plays a vital role in enhancing safety by providing real-time data about a vessel’s position, speed, heading, and course to other vessels equipped with AIS receivers or base stations.

By choosing the SI-TEX MDA-5 AIS transceiver, boaters can stay connected and informed while on the water. Its robust performance, user-friendly interface, and compliance with industry standards make it a reliable and efficient solution for maritime navigation and communication needs. Whether for recreational or light commercial use, the MDA-5 AIS transceiver brings peace of mind and enhances the overall boating experience.

Key Features of SI-TEX’s MDA-5 AIS Transceiver:

  • Class B/SO system with 5-watt transmission power
  • Longer-range visibility and frequent broadcasting of vessel information
  • Compact, lightweight, and easy to install
  • IP67 waterproof rating for durability
  • Real-time data transmission of vessel position, speed, heading, and course

With the SI-TEX MDA-5 AIS transceiver, boaters can navigate confidently and ensure their safety on the water. This reliable and feature-rich transceiver is an essential component of any marine communication setup, providing continuous vessel tracking and enhancing overall situational awareness for a smooth and secure boating experience.

Navigating the vast marine environment requires reliable technology, and at the heart of maritime safety is the AIS transponder. An AIS device plays a crucial role in vessel monitoring by sharing the position of the vessel with other boats and maritime authorities. Whether you’re a seasoned boat owner or new to water sports, understanding AIS systems is key to ensuring boating safety.

In the realm of Automatic Identification Systems, there are two primary categories: Class A AIS and Class B AIS transponders. Class A AIS is typically mandated for larger commercial vessels and offers a robust set of features suitable for the demanding maritime industry. On the other hand, Class B AIS transponders cater to smaller, non-commercial boat owners, including those who enjoy sports boats or recreational fishing.

The evolution of AIS technology has introduced the Class B SOTDMA AIS transponder, which bridges the gap between Class A and Class B devices. A Class B SOTDMA AIS transponder provides higher reporting rates, making it ideal for areas with high traffic density. For those seeking top-tier performance, the B200 Class B SOTDMA model is a standout choice, offering advanced capabilities in a compact form.

When selecting an AIS device, consider an AIS transponder with integrated splitter to simplify installation and reduce clutter on your vessel. Additionally, an AIS transponder with battery backup ensures continuous operation, even when the main power supply is interrupted.

For boat owners navigating deep seas, the CLA2000 Deep Sea Class A AIS offers enhanced functionality suited for the challenging deep sea environment. Meanwhile, a B AIS transponder like the B200 Class is well-suited for personal vessels that require a balance of performance and affordability.

When it comes to purchasing, the marine electronics buyers are often guided by a marine log buyer’s guide or a dedicated ais buying guide for ships. Companies like Digital Yacht and BOE Marine have established themselves as reputable sources for AIS equipment, providing a range of options for every type of vessel.

Whether you’re outfitting a small fishing boat or a large cargo ship, it’s essential to choose an AIS transponder that meets your specific needs. Look for a comprehensive ais buying guide, consider the vessel’s size, and the marine environment you’ll be navigating. For expert advice and a wide selection of AIS solutions, turn to a marine log buyer’s guide or consult with specialists like Digital Yacht and BOE Marine.

Remember, investing in the right AIS transponder is not just about compliance; it’s about contributing to the collective safety of all who take to the waters.

Conclusion

Marine AIS systems are essential for ensuring maritime security and improving efficiency on the water. With the availability of advanced technologies like Furuno’s compact DRS2DNXT radar and Garmin’s GPSMAP 79 series marine handheld devices, boaters have access to reliable navigation tools that enhance their overall maritime experience.

Airmar’s SmartBoat system simplifies vessel management by offering a highly configurable sensor interface and reducing costs associated with conventional networking products. By connecting various onboard sensors and converting their protocols to NMEA 2000, boaters can easily access sensor status and streamline their operations.

Additionally, SI-TEX’s MDA-5 AIS transceiver provides essential features and safety benefits for recreational and light commercial vessels. With longer-range visibility and more frequent broadcasting of vessel information, boaters can navigate with confidence and improve overall safety on the water.

Investing in the best marine AIS system for your needs not only enhances security but also ensures greater efficiency in your maritime endeavors. By utilizing these advanced technologies, boaters can navigate safely, protect their vessels, and optimize their time spent on the water.

FAQ

What is the marine AIS system?

The marine AIS system (Automatic Identification System) is a vessel tracking system that uses transponders on ships to transmit and receive information about their identity, position, course, and speed. It plays a crucial role in ensuring maritime security and efficiency.

What are the benefits of Furuno’s Compact DRS2DNXT Solid-State Radar?

Furuno’s Compact DRS2DNXT Solid-State Radar is a compact 19-inch Radome radar option designed for vessels with limited space. It offers features and modes like Target Analyzer, RezBoost beam sharpening, and dual-range capability. With its real-time target color changes and broader beamwidth, it provides better target detection and identification of potential hazards.

What are the features of Garmin’s GPSMAP 79 Series Marine Handheld Devices?

Garmin’s GPSMAP 79 Series Marine Handheld Devices feature a rugged, floating design with a larger optically-bonded display and scratch-resistant glass lens for improved visibility in marine environments. They have a built-in worldwide basemap, support for downloadable marine charts, and come with a three-axis, tilt-compensated compass. These devices offer reliable GNSS with multiple constellations, long battery life, ample memory, and the ability to store thousands of waypoints and routes.

What are the advantages of Garmin’s Fantom 18x and 24x Solid-State Dome Radars?

Garmin’s Fantom 18x and 24x Solid-State Dome Radars offer 50W of output power, providing longer range and better target detection even at high speeds. These radars feature Garmin’s MotionScope technology for highlighting moving targets and offer power save and timed transmit modes for reduced power consumption. They can be customized to match a vessel’s color scheme.

How does Airmar’s SmartBoat System simplify vessel management?

Airmar’s SmartBoat System is a highly configurable sensor interface that supports a wide range of sensors and protocols. It offers remote discovery, management, programming, and wireless features, reducing complexity and costs associated with conventional networking products. By converting different protocols to NMEA 2000, it allows easy access to sensor status through the SmartFlex View browser-based tool.

What are the features of SI-TEX’s MDA-5 AIS Transceiver?

SI-TEX’s MDA-5 AIS Transceiver is a Class B/SO system that transmits at 5 watts, providing longer-range visibility and more frequent broadcasting of vessel information. It is compact, lightweight, and easy to install, with an IP67 waterproof rating. The MDA-5 enhances safety by providing real-time data about a vessel’s position, speed, heading, and course.

Why are marine AIS systems important for maritime security and efficiency?

Marine AIS systems play a crucial role in ensuring maritime security and efficiency by providing real-time vessel tracking and information exchange. They improve situational awareness, help prevent collisions, assist in search and rescue operations, and enable efficient port management and vessel traffic control.

AIS Transponder for small boats

AIS transponders for small boats enhance safety by transmitting vessel information and receiving data from nearby ships, aiding in collision avoidance and providing real-time location updates for efficient navigation.

What is VHF Radio with AIS transponder?

A VHF radio with an AIS transponder allows for the transmission and reception of vessel information, enhancing safety by preventing collisions through real-time position and navigation data sharing.

AIS system for boats Price

AIS systems for boats vary in price, typically ranging from $200 to $400 for receivers, while transponders can cost between $829 and $1,649, depending on features like integrated Wi-Fi, GPS, and SOTDMA technology.

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