greeting and question about AIS

Eric Freedman

Why did you choose the seacas system over the NASA unit? Do you have a
Raymarine chart plotter on board? the Nasa black box will put the ais
targets on the C and E series chart plotters.
The install of the Ais antenna is simple.
I believe I suggested the sea me unit to you. If the unit is mounted as on
Kimberlite, there is a hole in the edge of the mizzen masthead on the
starboard side.
I just used a large reamer to enlarge the hole for the VHF antenna. Amel
left runners on the masthead to be able to pull a cable through the mast. It
is accessible at the bottom of the mast on the port side. It is a fiberglass
plate with two screws.
You pull the cable down to that point. Then go into the aft head and there
is a panel to the right of the mirror. Remove the panel and you will find a
piece of corrugated hose that leads up to the bottom of the mizzenmast with
the radar cable in it. You then just pill the cable down into the mirror
area with a snake. . there is a wood panel below the forward port in the aft
cabin . Remove this with the few wood screws. Incidentally, Amel uses torx
screws and not Phillips head screws. They look very similar, but the torx
screwdriver available from McMaster works much better on all the screws of
the boat. With this panel removed you can run the ais antenna cable across
the boat. Just follow the radar cable across the headliner in the mid-ships
bunk using the access panels. The cable then runs down into the forward
cabinet in the mid ships cabin. It is behind removable panels on the forward
side, which is held in with Velcro. Then remove the panel behind the
bookshelf and you are at the nav station. After mounting the antenna, I
believe we had the cable at the nav station in less than 30 minutes.
Fair Winds,
Amel Super Maramu #376 Kimberlite

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Pitt []
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2008 9:25 PM
To: eric
Subject: greeting and question about AIS


How are you doing? Are you in the Caribbean this time of year?

I am back at Brown after 12 months at sea. My wife and I left
the boat in New Zealand. We will return in May and continue
in the South Pacific for awhile before heading west in another

I am thinking of adding AIS to Sabbatical III, although not
the NASA system. Probably a SeaCAS receiver.
Which ever AIS system I use, I need to
get an antenna up on the mizzen and thread the cable to the
nav station. Your Yahoo post seems to suggest that you
received some assistance from Amel in figuring our how to
do this. Can you please pass that info on to me? I already
have a SeaMe active transponder up there, so I hope there
is room.

Best regards,


--- Mark M. Pitt
--- Professor of Economics

Miles Bidwell <mbidwell@...>

Hello Mark,

I used a slightly different approach to AIS which may be of interest. I
purchased a SITEX black box unit and connected it to the VHF antenna with an
active splitter. The splitter is a unit called "EasySPLIT. I do not know
if it is sold in the US, but I have seen others in the Defender catalog.
The splitter costs more than the AIS but avoids adding another antenna and
cabling. The AIS shows on a laptop that lives on a shelf (that Amel
designed) over the chart table. This has worked flawlessly for the last
year. Passing through the Straits of Gibraltar last December, I counted
about 40 ships underway. Since the AIS range is well over 40 miles for a
big ship with a high antenna, I could have seen more ships on a larger scale
chart, but the close ones were of more interest. An added benefit of the
AIS is that it shows the name of the ship as well as the closest passing
distance. Ships seem to respond better when addressed by name than by "the
ship at position . . . . "

Miles Bidwell

S/Y LADYBUG (now in Martinique)

SM 216