Occasionally technological progress can create unforeseen incompatibilities and unfortunately this has recently proved to be the case with some NMEA2000 chart plotters displaying AIS data. A recent “name and shame” article on Panbo, the leading Marine Electronics Blog, highlighted a very important issue with some popular chart plotters from major manufacturers not reading all of the AIS data that was being transmitted on NMEA2000.
Although all of Digital Yacht’s latest Class B Transponders output all of the AIS data on both NMEA0183 and NMEA2000, some chart plotters connected via NMEA2000 will not display the Boat Name, Call Sign and dimensions of other Class B vessels. Although the Class B targets will be displayed on the chart plotter screen, when you try to query the AIS target, the only info you will get is the position, course, speed and MMSI number.
The good news, is that all of the manufacturers involved have indicated that they will be fixing this problem with a future software update. If you cannot wait for the update, then a good work around is to connect the AIS to the chart plotter via NMEA 0183 and this allows all of the AIS data to be displayed.
If you think that your system might be suffering from this missing Class B static data, or you would like more information on this subject, it is well worth reading the original article on Panbo by clicking on this link.