Aerial Photo of a Marina

What is AIS?

Updated: Feb 7, 2021

Some FAQ's around the ever popular AIS (Automatic Identification System)


AIS is a relatively simple concept as it uses VHF and GPS to transmit data to other ships significantly increasing the safety of you, your crew or your family.

AIS, or Automatic Identification System, is an ideal way to see and be seen in busy ports, waterways and out at sea. It is a simple concept, fusing dynamic and static data together to build up a live image of the surrounding marine environment which is then displayed on a chart plotter or on board display.

AIS works via a combination of GPS, VHF radio, and an AIS transponder. The transponder broadcasts a ship’s information, such as speed and heading (information gathered by GPS), the ship’s name, port of origin, size and draft, and more, over VHF frequencies 161.975 megahertz and 162.025 MHz. This information is updated constantly and can be viewed by any other ship or boat equipped with an AIS unit, as well as on any chart plotter, MFD, computer or smartphone linked to the internet.