Title: How to use GPS, AIS and RADAR 
Location: Stetson M.S., 1060 Wilmington Pike, West Chester, PA 19382
Cost: $40
Dates: Mondays, Mar 20 - Apr 3, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Registration: Register by going to Chester County Lifelong Learning. A direct registration link will be posted here when registration opens.
Contact: Russ Jones (wrjones3@verizon.net)

This course is designed to teach boaters how to effectively use the following three marine electronic systems and to understand their differences, strengths and weaknesses:

Global Positioning System (GPS) provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing services. How to specify waypoints, build routes and backup/accuracy issues will be presented. Boaters need the most reliable location and position information available, which makes getting the most out of your Global Positioning System pretty important. Learn how to use waypoints, build and execute routes, and monitor progress. Learn to interpret location information and tracking data, and get an overview of how GPS integrates with your boat’s electronic systems. Explore what features you need and how to arrange your display. Also get tips on connecting your GPS to your VHF marine radio, which opens up a new world of digital hailing and distress signaling.

Automatic Identification System (AIS) transponders are designed to be capable of providing position, identification and other information about the ship to other ships and to coastal authorities automatically. AIS provides tracking of targets including course, speed and closest point of approach of boats and ships. With the Automated Identification System (AIS) for marine vessels, you can avoid collisions in crowded waters by knowing the name and locations of other boats and ships, how close they will come, and when to act. Many AIS systems also broadcast your boat’s information to other boats so they can also make better, safer boating decisions. Our AIS Electronics for Boaters seminar can help you decide if an Automatic Identification System is right for you and show you how AIS and Radar differ. AIS electronics are not just for commercial vessels and more recreational vessels are employing this technology for safer cruising.

Radio Detection and Ranging Systems (RADAR) uses radio waves to determine the distance, angle, and velocity of objects relative to the your boat. It can be used to detect other vessels, aids to navigation, weather formations, and terrain. Don't get lost in the fog. Whether you want to navigate safely or decide what equipment to purchase, this seminar provides clear advice. Learn how RADAR works, how to use it effectively, and its limitations as a piloting aid. You'll receive a copy of the Student Notes that has copies of the slides used in the seminar. The RADAR Book by Kevin Monahan is optionally available.

Topics covered include::

  • What does AIS do and how does it work?
  • How is AIS different from Radar?
  • How do I use AIS to navigate more safely?
  • How do I integrate AIS with my existing electronics?
  • Understanding RADAR basics
  • Collision avoidance
  • Target identification
  • Rain and snow effects