We went out on Te Moana yesterday to check out the Sydney to Gold Coast fleet as they passed Broken Bay. It was a gorgeous day apart from the fact that there was no wind. So we parked ourselves near the race rhumb line, killed the Volvos and just waited for the fleet to crawl towards us.
I kept myself entertained playing with various yacht tracking technologies. I’m eagerly awaiting the day when we can use ‘off the shelf’ economical systems to track yachts, rather than clunky, expensive satellite transponders or cheap but error prone manual systems.
Every since the 2nd generation iPhone was launched last year, users can determine their location through the built-in GPS (the blue dot marks our position off the coast on the Google Maps iPhone display),
Recently, Google has been promoting its “Latitude” service, where you can share your location with your friends. This works by allowing your phone to transmit its location to the Google service, but…
We’ve been tracking yachts on this site for almost 4 years. Over the coming year, we’re expecting to introduce more ways to conveniently track your boat. Most of those features assume internet access while at sea. But we’re not forgetting internet deprived boats. From today, we’re starting a trial allowing users to submit position reports by mobile phone. You’ll still have to register your boat as per usual (here’s how), but to submit a position report, you can send us a SMS text message in the following format:
date time latitude longitude comment
AIS stands for Automatic Identification System, a marine system which identifies a ship to others in its immediate vicinity. It does that by continually transmitting a ship’s position, course and call sign on dedicated VHF radio channels.