sail-world.com -- Boat Beacon AIS App saves sailors in fog
Boat Beacon AIS App saves sailors in fog
Sun, 10 Mar 2013
Boat Beacon, a very inexpensive App you can have on your Smartphone, has helped some South African sailors to avoid a collision according to the story they told after the incident. As reported recently by Afloat, the two sailors were on a delivery trip between Cape Town and Durban when their AIS equipment on-board failed and they found themselves in thick fog.
They resorted to the only alternative they had, their Boat Beacon app on their smart phone. This did the job reporting that there was a container ship advancing on them. The only problem was, unlike the AIS, they could not tell the Closest Point of Approach (CPA), so in the foggy conditions, they still had some anxious moments.
Nevertheless, with heightened awareness, the collision was averted. The developers of Boat Beacon have since said that they will add the feature of CPA to the App.
In fact, Boat Beacon was designed and developed by Pocket Mariner’s sea-faring CEO after his own near miss at sea – and provides an affordable and reliable AIS-based collision detection system for iPhone and iPad or Android smartphones and tablets.
About Boat Beacon: Features: Real time map view of your boat and boats near you via AIS. Over the horizon collision avoidance and alarm using Closest Point of Approach (CPA) CPA calculations and AIS position updates continously in background Compass mode to sight ships on the map Current Speed, Course and GPS location Share your location with friends and family (iOS only at present) Man Overboard tracking (iOS only at present) Anchor Watch and Theft Alarms (iOS only at present) Ship to Ship instant messaging – chat with other Boat Beacon boats. (iOS only at present) Magnetic or True North setting. (iOS only at present) MMSI numbers to contact nearby boats on via VHF.
With transmit enabled your boat will appear on other Boat Beacon devices. If you enable AIS sharing and have an MMSI number your boat will also appear on live AIS traffic sites and their associated mobile applications, eg:
AIS Hub Marine Traffic Ship finder
Boat Beacon supports iPhone, iPad & Android Requirements: iPhone or iPad with GPS. e.g. iPhone 3GS, 4, 5 or later, with an active Internet connection.
Android device with GPS and an internet connection.
Fortunately Cellular data coverage extends up to 15 miles out to sea and most popular boating areas are covered.
NOT FOR NAVIGATION This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY. Boat Beacon should not be relied upon to determine precise locations, proximity, distance, or direction or make navigational decisions. The author assumes no liability for damages arising from use of this program. AIS data is sourced from a variety of voluntary shore stations across the world and there is no guarantee of service or availability. The accuracy of digital compass headings can be affected by magnetic or other environmental interference, including interference caused by proximity to the magnets contained in the iPhone earbuds. The compass may need to be calibrated from time to time. When the device displays the calibration alert, move the device in a figure 8 motion until the calibration screen disappears. See http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2767 for more information.
N.B. This is not an AIS VHF Transponder. Your boat will not show up on other Ship based VHF AIS systems (unless they are linked to a common Global AIS system).
Ensign Ship Brokers
Ensign Ship Brokers was established in 1980 and has spent the last 28 years expanding our marine knowledge and developing our reputation! We strive to provide the very best service! [More info]
Festival of Sails
The Festival of Sails is the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere with over 400 yachts and 4300 competitors annually taking part in the event. [More info]
GME Standard Communications Pty Ltd
Leaders in communications and navigation. Their goal has always been to make products whose innovation, convenience and peace of mind can help improve the lives of their customers. [More info]
Hood Sailmakers (Aust) P/L is 100% Australian owned and operated. The first sail loft outside of the USA to be granted a franchise in 1968 by the founder Ted Hood. [More info]
Navionics is proud of its superb cartographic database comprising more than 25,000 charts and port plans; the largest privately owned database of its kind, the only one using full seamless technology [More info]
Performance Sailcraft Australia (Asia Pacific)
Laser builder Performance Sailcraft Australia has taken on the successful RS Sailboat range from Britain, and is now licensed to build and distribute all of the RS range in the Asia Pacific region. [More info]
Quantum Australasia Pty Ltd
Quantum Sail Design Group designs, engineers and manufactures sails for racers and cruisers who demand the highest levels of quality and performance. [More info]
Ullman Sails Australia
The Ullman Sails Australia team provides service to customers all over Australia with four main locations in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and the Whitsundays. [More info]
Vicsail Sydney Pty Ltd, launched into the Australian sailing fraternity in 1983 and has been sailing strong ever since. At Vicsail, “We Sail the Boats We Sell”. [More info]