By Ben Ellison
Voyage of Ava T.
Will optional Class
B AIS be adopted by the boating fraternity? N.S., via e-mail
You also might want to check out SeaLinks (www.sealinks.net), a new company that’s purportedly about to introduce the first Class B AIS, a design that should be easy to add to your bridge, as all the hardware is self-contained in its two-foot tubular antenna. SeaLinks already markets a simple AIS receiver for less than $1,000 and is encouraging land-based users to stream the results to its own Web viewer (so far only Puget Sound, Washington, is covered). The availability of AIS info on the Web brings up one worry that has developed about the technology: the perception that terrorists could horribly misuse it. It’s a sad sign of our times that bad guys targeting missiles at tankers or megayachts wasn’t a serious concern when AIS was developed in the late 1990’s. The authorities are working on ways to thwart this super-stomach-churning possibility; stay tuned for more information in a future column devoted to AIS.
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This article originally appeared in the August 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.