ACR Electronics announces new AIS resources to meet 2016 USCG mandate

(NEW ORLEANS) — In preparation for the U.S. Coast Guard’s March 2016 deadline facing thousands of vessels now required to comply with the new AIS mandate, ACR Electronics, a Drew Marine Company, has announced additional resources to assist and advise commercial owners and operators.

The international safety and survival technology expert has committed to answering the questions and concerns of vessel owners and operators who are affected by the new mandate and need assistance and advice about installing an appropriate AIS (automatic identification system) in order to operate legally in U.S. waters.

Introducing its new Class A AISLink CA1 and Class B AISLink CB1 transceivers for the first time at this year’s International Workboat Show, ACR has also just launched a new website,, to inform, advise, update and interact with mariners about AIS and the new USCG mandate.

Gerry Angeli, president of ACR Electronics, said: “ACR welcomes the opportunity to be a resourceful partner for the commercial sector by being at the forefront of AIS technology, as it will continue to evolve in the years ahead to further improve safety, security, tracking and accident investigations. As the USCG March 2016 deadline approaches for commercial vessels to comply with the requirements to install AIS, we will also be working online and in person to assist boat owners, operators and installers who may have questions about the mandate or who may need help installing transceivers on their vessels.

“The safety of the vessel and its crew is always priority. The fact that the USCG has mandated AIS for commercial vessels is a poignant validation that AIS is instrumental in vessel detection and protection. By installing ACR’s AISLink CA1 transceiver, or in some cases our AISLink CB1 Class B transceiver, captains globally will have access to state-of-the-art technology allowing navigation to be simplified. ACR AIS transceivers offer high reliability, performance and compliance with regulations at a competitive price. They facilitate faster communication and navigational planning especially when vessels are not visible or obstructed from radar.”

The new USCG AIS mandate affects U.S.- and foreign-flag vessels operating in U.S. waters and has been introduced to enhance the safety and security of maritime transportation. Failure to comply could result in a large fine. The rule means vessels such as commercial self-propelled vessels of 65 feet or more in length, towing vessels of 26 feet or more, passenger vessels certified to carry more than 150 passengers, vessels that move or carry hazardous cargo and vessels that engage in dredging in or near a commercial channel will all require a Class A AIS device. Meanwhile, certain vessels, including fishing and small passenger vessels that operate outside U.S. Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) areas, can use the less expensive Class B device.

The website created by ACR Electronics at aims to help users in the commercial industry to understand AIS and the different options available as they research and plan to equip their vessels for the future. As the deadline approaches, owners and operators can find out if they are covered by the new rule and whether they need a Class A or Class B AIS device. The user-friendly site also features frequently asked questions, answers about AIS and the new mandate, plus useful links, informative graphics, technical information about type-approved transceivers, installation advice and the latest global news as it relates to AIS.

Approved worldwide and certified to the latest AIS regulations, the AISLink CA1 and AISLink CB1 are appropriate for all U.S.- and foreign-flag vessels affected by the new mandate.

A GPS-enabled, commercial standard system which demonstrates the highest AIS transmission power and the most frequent transmission of AIS information, the AISLink CA1 offers commercial operators and owners a premium system with an extensive feature set. The leading Class A option is compact, easy to use and install, and offers outstanding reliability and versatility at a competitive price. Developed to clearly display and track critical safety and navigational information, the unit will send and receive wireless data to and from nearby AIS-equipped vessels including the vessel’s name, position, course or speed over the ground, heading and rate of turn.

Competitively priced and with a rugged and waterproof design, the ACR AISLink CB1 is a viable option for certain commercial vessels, such as fishing and small passenger vessels. Small, rugged and waterproof with low power consumption, the Class B device is reliable and easy to use with an internal GPS antenna to save space.

The MSRP for the AISLink CA1 is approximately $2,800 (£1,779 +VAT / €2,449 +VAT), while the AISLink CB1 is retailing for about $900 (£589 +VAT / €799 +VAT).

For more information about AISLink CA1 and AISLink CB1, go to Alexander/Ryan Marine & Safety LLC, a Division of Drew Marine, at Booth 3317 at this year’s International Workboat Show or visit

By Professional Mariner Staff