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NZ shipping lanes/radar reflector/ais


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My understanding is that there are no designated shipping lanes around NZ. Is that correct?

 

If not are there any unofficial shipping lanes they tend to follow?

 

How likely is it to bump into one night sailing up the east coast? (Upper NI)

 

I've read that radar reflectors aren't that effective as the ships watch often doesn't pay much attention. Fair call?

 

Ais may be an option as I am thinking about getting a small laptop for charts so a receiver may not be too much outlay to add on but seems a bit overkill for what I am doing. Any thoughts?

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Rader reflector + a good look out = good to go.

 

Considering the number of both commercial and recreational boats going up and down the coast and the number of 'run over' incidents there is no reason to stress.

 

Suss the AIS websites and you can see where all the boats travel. Rigger may have something flash.

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the rena ran onto the astrolab reef

 

even though they could see the radar return from the exposed rocks

 

they woke each other up, pointed at the screen, sucked their teeth, looked with binos, at night for lights

 

but didn't alter their course and the ran up on the reef

 

so yeah

 

AIS and/or a night watch would be safer than just a radar reflector 

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We passed several ships in the night. I never had any issues. It's not just shipping, but Fishing Vessels as well. I used AIS on my Laptop when traveling from Palliser across Wellington to the Sounds. We had Fog much of the way as well as it being night. I could see everything around the Country and knew that a Ship traveling down the Coast from say Napier to Wellington would be in a particular area at x time and I would be at point Y. There was nothing of concern and it was nice to see that. The ones of concern were two Talleys Ships trawling in the strait. AIS was brilliant with these. One in particular would trawl at 3kts in opposite direction to us, then turn and steam back past us at 18kts and then turn and trawl again. this went on all night and it was great to be able to set courses to stay out of their way. Especially as I assume they have little ability to change course when the net is being dragged behind them. So for me, it was more about staying out of everyone elses way rather than assume they can see me.
Without AIS, it would have been nail biting wondering what was out there in the dark. Of course, the only problem with using the laptop was that it only gives you info when you have a connection. Where as a proper AIS device would give you that info all the time.

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As above. Relying on a radar reflector means relying on someone else's watchkeeping.

You will definitely see ships in the upper North island east coast.

At night it can be very difficult to tell which way they are headed with the naked eye. Save some coin and buy the AIS you wont regret it.

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We passed several ships in the night. I never had any issues. It's not just shipping, but Fishing Vessels as well. I used AIS on my Laptop when traveling from Palliser across Wellington to the Sounds. We had Fog much of the way as well as it being night. I could see everything around the Country and knew that a Ship traveling down the Coast from say Napier to Wellington would be in a particular area at x time and I would be at point Y. There was nothing of concern and it was nice to see that. The ones of concern were two Talleys Ships trawling in the strait. AIS was brilliant with these. One in particular would trawl at 3kts in opposite direction to us, then turn and steam back past us at 18kts and then turn and trawl again. this went on all night and it was great to be able to set courses to stay out of their way. Especially as I assume they have little ability to change course when the net is being dragged behind them. So for me, it was more about staying out of everyone elses way rather than assume they can see me.

Without AIS, it would have been nail biting wondering what was out there in the dark. Of course, the only problem with using the laptop was that it only gives you info when you have a connection. Where as a proper AIS device would give you that info all the time.

Be damn  careful with that method wheels, there can be quite a delay on the online AIS trackers, sometimes 1/2 an hour or more that Ive seen. You can buy a VHF with built in AIS receiver for as little as $299 incl GST, or if that is too expensive and you have a laptop, you can make one from a USB tv tuner for about $20. The cheap one is pretty crap though. Both are better than relying on a website that is not intended for navigation decisions.

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Just had a look at enautical.co.nz.. Man, how cool is that!

 

I see for each vessel it gives a time when last updated.. Can that be unreliable IT?

 

Is there a plug and play type set up for a laptop that works through VHF?

 

I have a plotter with NZ maps but it is a bit basic and I don't trust it 100% it shows me sailing through the middle of the mount each time I head out. This is why I would like to go to a laptop for down in the cabin.

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theoretically

 

some older vhf can be hacked? (modern term) into ais receivers

 

but you'd probably want to be an experience "home brew" (older term)  radio guy to get away with it

 

http://www.aisonvhf.com/faq.html 

 

nowadays far better to do as island times suggests

 

and simply buy an ais vhf to start with

 

https://www.marine-deals.co.nz/lowrance-link-8-fixed-vhf-radio-ais-receiver

 

even better of course if you can transmit an ais signal

 

so huge ships steer around you

 

714PH4X5FRL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.gif

 

instead of you needing to steer around them

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I got a good ais reciever transmitter,sent from overseas for around 350$, I use it with a seperate vhf aerial rather than a splitter, I also paid 120 to have a v hf radio modified to recieve ais data and display it on a laptop with open cpn, but I could never get it to work. The $350 unit is simple and stand alone with its own display, pretty good value if sailing offshore or short handed.

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linking to a Laptop, or a Plotter (that has AIS display ability) is simple - im talking about NMEA0183 here. NMEA 2000 is completely different.

NMEA0183 There are two wires only, and if you put them on the wrong way it wont break anything, it just wont work. There are a couple of things to do. AIS by default is 38400 Baud ( thats a speed of data). So the device at the other end needs to match that speed (see the menu and setup, or control panel on  a windows PC). Then the transmit wire on the AIS goes to receive on the PC or plotter, and vice versa.

 

A plotter  will likely have an NMEA 0183 input - use that.

A PC needs a Serial port to connect to. It probably only has USB available. Fortunately USB - Serial adapters are cheap - look on trademe. Then use that.

 

NMEA 2000 . Very simple if your AIS, and Plotter or PC have NMEA2000 interfaces. Simply plug the AIS into the NMEA2000 bus, and your away.

 

If your PC does not have an NMEA2000 interface installed, I have them in Stock. But it would be cheaper to use NMEA0183...

 

Now, a note of warning. Importing a AIS transponder that has neither FCC or CE certification is legal. It s just not legal to use them!  You could be fined, although its unlikely. A bigger issue might be that AIS is governed by a set of rules about when to transmit etc. If is possible that a poor quality unit could stop all AIS units in range from operating properly by jambing the frequencies or not following the rules. It is worth getting a certified unit to be sure of compliance, and legal.

 

IMO the best possible AIS class B (for most yachts) is made right here in auckland, by Vesper Marine. Not cheap, but great functionality and class leading software, NMEA 0183, 2000, USB, and wifi - it will connect to anything, and can be worked by anything  (MAC, PC, Tablet, Phone, or your AIS capable plotter). It will even convert instrument data from NMEA0183 to NMEA2000 and vice versa. From around $1200 + GST.

 

If anyone needs help with a system, send me a PM, email or call on 0221539176

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sabre, you may be able to adjust your plotter so that it doesn't have you sailing through land. Personally I like to keep improving my skills by using paper charts, pencil, parallel rulers and dividers in the old fashioned way. I use the gps for position, but even that is a bit lazy of me and I should be triangulating more via coastal features.

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Sailing thru land -

true Kevin, some plotters you can set the time interval between plotted fixes. Too long can cause the track line to cut through a headland for example. Older plotters that only track 7 or 8 satellites often suffer from this issue, but they are just slow. The other problems can be wrong chart datum set, an offset programmed in or just old/ poor charts.

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Is my thinking wrong on ships at sea within the inner gulf,ships outside of the shipping channel approaching AK,if sailing from coromandel(te kouma)to Kawau island ,who has right of way .ship or yacht?I do one race a year that takes from Ponui outside gannet rock and this usually means a lay to the beehive,generally its easterly.And I always seem to encounter a ship leaving or entering AK.

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I am hoping that is a tongue in cheek question, but anyway.

 

A ship always has rights, keep well clear (unless you are on a sailing ship) .

 

" all vessels under 500 gross tons must not impede vessels of over 500 gross tons."

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