Internet AIS Marine Navigation Collision Avoidance in action in CA

We had some great feedback from one of our users, Ken, in Southern California:-

I have now been using Boat Beacon in the southern California waters for the past few months and really enjoy the visibility it provides me. Just this past weekend, my Yacht Club had a large cruise over the 4th in Catalina and in my trip over, I had a cargo ship that, based on Boat Beacon CPA data, going to get really close. I called the ship, by name, on VHF Channel 16 and based on the conversation, he changed course, which again we had a conversation with him telling me what he had planned to do etc.

It is exactly that type of data that made my trip along with a lot of others.

My question is; I have an assigned MMSI and Transmitting from the iPad, I “see” the ships, do they “see” me on their shipboard system? I know I can be seen on ship finder, Marine Traffic, but not sure if they see me in real time on their system.

BTW; a number of my club members who were in transit had heard my call and discussion and came away impressed with what Boat Beacon can do. A number of them have already downloaded it onto their apple IOS and Android devices.

In answer to Ken’s question, if you are only transmitting your position using Boat Beacon then the ships will not be able to see you on their VHF AIS Systems. However many of the Coast Guard stations and Harbour/Port Authorities around the US, UK and Australia do now combine internet AIS feeds with their local VHF AIS data, so there is a good chance you will be showing up on their screens.

Pocket Mariner’s SeaNav app updated to provide boaters even more accurate charting and navigation

Wales, UK – Pocket Mariner’s recently launched SeaNav app, with versions for both the US and UK/Ireland, has been updated to offer a more complete charting and navigation toolkit for boaters. To improve navigation and collision avoidance when out of reach of cell phone coverage, SeaNav — together with Pocket Mariner’s Boat Beacon app — can now also use on-board live VHF AIS data feeds. The app also now enables sailors to jump directly to specific locations using latitude and longitude searches and has been extended for use on iPods as well as iPhone and iPad.

SeaNav was designed to enable boaters to explore, plan and navigate their boating trips in real-time and high-resolution using the latest up to date Digital Vector Marine charts covering the US coastlines and Great Lakes or the UK and Ireland. Pocket Mariner has successfully completed sea trials of the new local AIS feature with Lowrance, Simrad and B&G’s GoFree™ wireless systems, as well as with easyAIS and Digital Yacht.

Robert Langford-Wood Product Manager for GoFree Technology said: “Applications such as SeaNav and Boat Beacon, when combined with GoFree wireless, allow boaters to make the most out of their Lowrance, Simrad and B&G chartplotters and AIS systems away from the helm. It means that every member of the crew can have a navigator’s eye view, increasing safety and enjoyment out on the water – a great innovation!”

SeaNav works best when paired with Pocket Mariner’s Boat Beacon, which has become an enormously popular app among sailors for its simple-to-use location sharing and real-time “Map View” of both the user’s and other nearby boats via AIS. Together, SeaNav and Boat Beacon provide a powerful set of charting, navigation and location-sharing tools. While Boat Beacon provides SeaNav with its AIS data and alarms, Boat Beacon gets marine charts and routes from SeaNav. The two apps share hot-jump buttons that ensure they are both on the same location and at the same zoom level on the map.

Key features of SeaNav include:

• Route Planning and real time tracking including Waypoints, SOG, COG, ETA, CTE etc.

• Route and Track export, import and sharing.

• Charts downloaded and stored on device so they work without mobile coverage!

• Seamless fast panning and zooming across charts.

• Live AIS Ship positions overlaid from Pocket Mariner’s Boat Beacon app.

• Configurable layers; buoys, lights, depths, rocks, wrecks, anchorage areas etc.

• Automatic Chart updates.

SeaNav has two versions, SeaNav US which uses NOAA charts providing complete coverage of USA and Great Lakes and free chart updates for life. SeaNav UK uses UKHO Admiralty charts and includes the complete set of charts for the UK and Ireland plus a year of free chart updates in the one-off price. New versions of the app with charts for other countries and regions are in the works.

Both versions are available from the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and – in this latest version – on an iPod touch, for US$9.99 and £9.99 in the UK.

For more information, visit PocketMariner.com. or email steve@pocketmariner.com

Live screenshots testing Boat Beacon in the Solent

Our test boat!

Live view from Boat Beacon: the test boat is the purple boat in the centre, while the Ferry is blue to port

View of the blue target (Ferry) from bridge of our boat.

About Navico: Navico is currently the world’s largest marine electronics company, and is producing products under leading marine electronics brands: Lowrance, Simrad and B&G. Navico has approximately 1,500 employees globally and distribution in more than 100 countries worldwide. www.navico.com

Australian CoastGuard using Boat Beacon

We were asked if we could help out with a new Australian Coast Guard radio log  system using Boat Beacon. The system is now live and made it onto Australian TV.

Boat Beacon being used with the Australian Coast Guard.

N.B. The clip where they accredited Pocket Mariner with making Boat Beacon is on the cutting room floor unfortunately – you have to love reporters 🙂

Compass Eye and the iPhone 5 Camera

The iPhone 5 had a nice surprise up its sleeve for Compass Eye.  The camera on the iPhone 5 has a 4 fold increase in low light ability (iso 3200). Unfortunately Apple did not make this available to existing apps out of the box. You have to specifically request the function to be enabled within your app on iOS 6. Yesterday I did just that and tested a new version of Compass Eye on the iPhone 5 against the iPhone4S at dusk – and the results speak for themselves:-

I was trying to take a bearing on the Dovecot (white with pointy roof) – bit like a North Cardinal 🙂

 

This is pretty much what it looked like to the naked eye too.
iPhone 4s

This is pretty close to how the scene looked to the naked eye too (admittedly non-light adapted). Can you see the Dovecot?

Below is the same scene taken on the iPhone 5 , 28s earlier. Bearing acquired!

 

iPhone 5

I continued taking photos with the iPhone 5 until they matched the iPhone 4 photo at 17:13:59. Even 10 minutes later the iPhone 5 was better than the earlier iPhone 4S photo and I could still just about take a fix on the Dovecot. This could be a real advantage.

A new version of Compass Eye (2.0) is now available in the iTunes store that takes full advantage of the  new camera on the iPhone 5 and also has an automatic night vision mode to help maintain your dark adaption.