AIS for small boats

How many Boats can you count?

ais systems for small boats

And why is an AIS receiver so important for small boats?

With summer approaching the thought of sailing the clear blue sea can feel great.

But you won’t be alone…

At any one stage the sea & inland waterways will be teeming with ships of any shape & size.

Which is why AIS for small boats (or larger ones) is so important to help you identify & spot them.

So, how many boats are there?

Well the easiest way is to have a quick look at some of the great websites, which will give you instant updates from boats & ships using AIS transmitters in any one area..

There are a number of sites but the ones we like best are:

1. Marine-Trafficais for small craft

Very easy to use site that uses information from the AIS system on boats (large & small) to show details of them.

The great thing is that you can find out which boat or ship is where, their speed, direction, etc.

Visit Marine-Traffic

2. Vessel Finder

Very easy to use site, with simple clear information. Just click on a ship on the map & it will provide you with details of the name, a picture, where it’s going, etc.

Visit Vessel Finder

3. Ship Finder

The advantage of this site is that you can not only ‘spot’ what’s in the water near you – but you can also find specific ships through options like ship number, tonnage and capacity, ownership, etc.

Visit Ship Finder

So, why is an AIS receiver so important ?

ais systems for small boats

Because it doesn’t matter where you are.

  • In the English Channel or North Sea
  • The Rhine, Danube or Amazon
  • Pacific or Atlantic Ocean..


There are likely to be many boats & ships in your vicinity – and having your own AIS receiver onboard will help you avoid them.

For more details of how to select the right AIS receiver for your boat have a look at our guide to choosing the right AIS receiver.