Marine GPS adding AIS in same format
I have recently decided to go back to doing deliveries on Sailboats and power boats (if I have to...). It has been a long time since I was in command of a vessel and recently flew to George Town, Bahamas to bring a Caliber 40" back to Beaufort, NC, USA, and ten years of technology improvements amazed me actually. (I started out with my dad's thieved Weems and Plath from the US Navy from WW2, as soon as Loran came out I used it as well with Loran-C as well as the Maganavox, BUT I still carried the Sextant and my Merlin III computer. Now the sextant is stored in a closet.)

So I have looked for the last week at different software that I could add GPS to my old Dell Latitude laptop as well incorporate the AIS system to come up on the screen at the same time.

I saw the Navtech, I saw the Fugawi and queried about the combining the AIS and GPS, and was told it would not work. Then I read here somewhere that someone had in fact done so...

I am asking as a NEWBIE for some suggestions.

Thanks for any help on the matter as it will be used as a secondary unit when I travel in case the vessel's primary is compromised.

SO I found on my own the Coastal Explorer from Rose point navigation systems for 400.00$$$USD for software. Some charts included, Raster and Vector. Then the AMEC CYPHO-101G for the receiver. It does both, AIS and GPS, and plugs into your USB on the computer for power. Two antennas come with it a 3' whip for the VHS (not so sure about it being 3' and traveling), and then it as well has the GPS receiver 389.00$$$USD.

ANY better suggestions out there?
Although it will require system integration on your part, you might consider this AIS (Automatic Identification System) configuration:

AIS receiver SR161 -- $200 US
GPS Garmin GPS-16 -- $100 US
Sea Clear Navigation Software -- Free

The SR161 has a rudimentary NMEA multiplexer that combines the GPS fix information with the AIS data.

You will need a VHF antenna to receive AIS data from nearby ships. If you don't require extreme range reception, a simple 'Rubber Ducky' works.

Since your laptop probably doesn't have a serial port, you'll need a serial to USB converter/cable.

I have a SR161 and it works OK. I bought it a few years ago from Milltech Marine. They also sell accessory items.

A friend served aboard a nuclear attack submarine. I asked him if there was a sextant aboard and he said there was but couldn't recall it ever being used. Although it won't do you much good finding a channel in the fog, if you're going onto blue water, try out that sextant there.

--- CHAS
Thanks, I will look at those options as saving a buck and not loosing efficiency is a good thing. I assume that the AIS and GPS will overlay each other on the Chart and give me all the info for the AIS. (Excuse me I see that you already stated this fact.)

Small internet as Milltech Marine is who I finally found that understood what I had in mind as far as a back up system. Of course they are completely across the country from my little town of Beaufort, but my trip is not until another few weeks, so no problem.

The laptop I am using is old school and does have a serial port. It is the computer that was used to tune my BMW and a serial port was necessary to complete that task. So now that the BMW is being sold the laptop will be used as a navigation facilitator.

My using of the sextant was a matter of navigational need when I used it and that my dad gave me crap about all the new navigational tools at hand were poppycock. He was old school, too many years in the Navy. To be honest I would have to practice a heck of a lot with the real heavy Weems&Plath and my triangles were never very small anyway. I figure the closest I ever was about a 10 mile fix offshore and when coming into land I depended on the water depth and a RDF (in the beginning I used and old radio with an antenna) as well shooting a bunch of fixes. We always seemed to be somewhat close to where we wanted to be, but nothing like the new tools at hand that bring me with in 50' of a buoy. Now I have to just make sure we do not hit the buoy. Pretty amazing for an old fart as I...

Thanks again...

Upon a quick glance the Garmin GPS 16 is discontinued. I will see if there is another upgrade for the unit. I found the new model, never mind. Pretty cool, something for free... About