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Welcome to next generation navigation from Digital Yacht

Please remember our main website is at www.digitalyachtamerica.com so please visit there  for further product information.

This site is a daily news feed – packed with useful hints and tips on marine electronics in general, useful installation guides, white papers and links to other sites too. Feel free to subscribe by joining our list. Follow us also on Twitter and Facebook.

Southampton Boat Show Starts Tomorrow


Its that time again, the Southampton Boat Show marks the end of the 2014 sailing season but the beginning of the European Boat Show calendar and this will be our home for the next 10 days. We are on the CA Clase (our UK distributor) stand G147 in Ocean Hall and the photo above gives you a sneak preview of our new AIT3000 transponder, which will be working live at the show sending data wirelessly to our new NavLink UK for Mac app running on our MacBook Air.

For those of you that have never been to an exhibition during the build-up, below is a “behind the scenes” photo of what the stands look like just 18 hours before the show opens. Miraculously all of the mess (usually) gets sorted out and when the show opens everything looks perfect.

photo mess

If you are visiting the show this year, please come by the stand and we will be happy to show you the latest in AIS, Wi-Fi and Apps for your boat.


AIT3000 Nucleus AIS Transponder transponder debuts at Southampton Boatshow

Wow! New AIT3000 Nucleus Class B AIS transponder with built in antenna splitter and WiFi interface

Class B AIS transponders have made a remarkable impact on small craft navigation but many potential users or installers are put off by the requirement for yet another VHF antenna.

The new AIT3000 “Nucleus” Class B AIS  changes that and incorporates not only a full function Class B transponder but also an antenna splitter allowing the main VHF antenna on the boat to be shared with the AIS and VHF.

ait3000 mq jpeg

It’s also been designed with the latest interfacing capability including NMEA 0183, NMEA 2000, USB and a WiFi server to allow tablets and iPads to connect – hence the name Nucleus as it becomes the hub for on board navigation.  NMEA data from other on board systems can be multiplexed by the Nucleus and combined on the WiFi link.

The Nucleus transponder is the World’s first to include patented ZeroLossTM technology for the antenna sharing and a wireless interface for iPad connectivity.  More and more boat owners are utilising an iPad or tablet as either a primary navigation display or as a touch screen repeater for their existing navigation system.  Digital Yacht also offer a free AIS viewing app called iAIS as well as more sophisticated charting apps like NavLink. If you’re an Android user, AISView is also compatible.  The NMEA interface allows connection to any AIS compatible chart plotter and USB is available for MAC or PC users as well as allowing programming of the unit with your boat details.

ait3000 main mq

Other features include a silence switch option allowing the unit’s transmissions to be stopped while continuing to receive AIS transmissions.  It also has an output for a FM stereo radio.  The AIT3000 will have a UK list price of £825 plus vat.

A dealer preview pack is available here

See it first from Friday 12th September at the  Southampton Boatshow Stand G147 with our UK Distributor CA Clase – check out the 2 minute video below to:

WL60 the Ideal Wi-Fi Solution for Narrow Boats

WL60 on Narrow Boat


Our WL60 has always been a popular long range Wi-Fi adaptor for Yachts, but now it is also finding its way on to Inland Waterways and particularly on narrow boats, where having an external Wi-Fi antenna outside of the steel “Faraday cage” hull significantly increases the Wi-Fi range of your PC or Mac.

With its simple suction cup mounting and 5m USB cable, it’s really easy to stick it to the side of the hull when moored, feed the cable down through the hatch or in through a window. plug it in to a spare USB port on your computer and in seconds you can be connected to a local hotspot and start browsing the internet or reading emails. With many marinas and canalside pubs/restaurants now having Wi-Fi it is becoming much easier to get online and the WL60 is a great way to increase your Wi-Fi range and therefore chances of finding a hotspot signal. With typical “clear line of sight” Wi-Fi ranges up to 1Km, the WL60 will not only increase your Wi-Fi range but also maximise signal strength and therefore connection speeds.

For more information click here.

The Non-Idiot’s Guide to AIS

Non Idiots

We had an enquiry today from a US Dealer about why some chart plotters do not display all of the 26 different AIS Messages that are transmitted by Ships, AtoNs, AIS MOB systems and other AIS equipment. This is quite a complex issue as there are three variables at play….

1) The AIS transponder or Receiver

Most AIS receivers and transponders support all AIS messages, however it is true that early Class A and some receiver only units do not support all AIS messages. It is always best for the owner of older AIS units to check that they have the latest firmware in their units and to even contact the manufacturer to see if their unit supports the more recent AIS messages like AtoNs and AIS SARTs (MOB) systems.

The good news for Digital Yacht customers is that every AIS unit we have ever sold supports all of the 26 AIS messages currently defined.

2) The Chart Plotter or Software Application

Even if the AIS transponder or receiver is compatible with all 26 messages, it does not necessarily mean that the chart plotter or software application (running on PC, iPad, etc.) knows how to read and display the AIS messages.

When AIS was first released, many manufacturers and software developers just did a partial AIS implementation, only supporting what they considered to be the most important AIS messages. Also due to delays in the definition of Class B transponder messages, some of the manufacturers only supported the display of Class B targets but not the reading of the Class B static data (boat name, boat type, etc.). Even large manufacturers like Raymarine, Navico and Garmin took a few years to release new firmware for their plotters to improve the number of AIS messages that they supported.

3) NMEA2000 PGNs for AIS

Due to delays in the NMEA committee defining PGNs for AIS, some plotters only support some of the 26 AIS messages when connected via NMEA2000, even if they support all 26 messages via NMEA0183. This Panbo article provides more info on this issue.


To help the dealer better understand some of these finer points of the AIS system, we sent him a copy of our Non-Idiot’s Guide to AIS that we produced for the British Marine Electronics Association.  The 26 AIS messages are detailed on page 12 of this document and the NMEA2000 PGNs are on page 13.

This presentation is a few years old now but is still a useful reference for anyone wanting to learn a bit more about AIS technology. To download a copy click here.

Great Deals at the Southampton Boatshow From Digital Yacht

Digital Yacht will be exhibiting with UK Distributor CA Clase on stand G147 (Ocean Hall) at this year’s Southampton Boatshow which starts on 12th September.  We’ve some exciting new product introductions and some very special offers on a great range of products.  More about the new products at the show but here are some tempting offers only available at the show.

Boaters love wireless navigation allowing integration of iPads and tablets into the boats’ systems and Digital Yacht have made these packages more affordable than ever with the following exciting deals:

  • Buy an AIT2000 and get the WLN10HS wifi adaptor for just £99.95 – that’s a saving of over £130
  • Trade in any AIS receiver and upgrade to an AIT2000 transponder – get £50 cash back for your trade in
  • Buy a WL450/WL510 hi power wifi internet access system and save over 50% on any Digital Yacht router product with the iNavConnect at just £89.95 and the iNavHub for just £179.95
  • Buy an S1000 AIS SART (list price £400 plus vat) and get a  FREE AIS LifeGuard MOB alarm, saving £239
  • Get NavLink UK, our full featured Apple charting and navigation app with detailed charts of the UK & Eire for just £19.99 on the Apple app store


sbs2014 offers jpeg

These are fantastic offers from Digital yacht, available only at the Southampton Show and subject to availability.
The Digital Yacht team looks forward to welcoming you there.  Need more info – Download the offers from here or give us a call on 01179 554474

European Space Agency and the International Space Station have AIS on board

Since 2010, the International Space Station has been equipped with a space-based AIS System receiver that allows it to track ships at sea from space. Since then, the system aboard the ISS has been receiving as many as 400,000 ship’s position reports from more than 22,000 different ships every day.

This video shows how this experimental system was used in 2012 to rescue a sole surviving crew member of a Norwegian vessel after it overturned in the North Atlantic during a storm.

For the technical, there’s details here on the scientific projects that the ISS is carrying out right now – click HERE.  We say get a Digital Yacht or Digital Deep Sea AIS Transponder on board today – and an AIS SART too!

dds family



Digital Update August 2014 Out Now

The August 2014 edition of Digital Update is now out and available to download from the link below.  This month we explore:

  • NavLink UK – our new MAC based navigation program designed to integrate with our NMEA to wireless and NMEA to USB products and will turn your MacBook into a full featured navigation system.  Now available for the US and UK – Europe coming soon!
  • WL510 Hi Power WiFi Access System – Wins Best on Test in this month’s PBO magazine
  • SmarterTrack Lite gets an upgrade
  • Using iOS with our hi power WiFi systems – useful tech tip on iPhone and iPad compatability

Newsletter_Aug_Front Page

Download from here Digital Update August 2014