Find a boat using GPS

Sometimes we get requests from people who would like to find a yacht or boat.

There is the misconception that you can find boats just by using a GPS. No, you can’t. When people say “GPS” they refer to GPS receivers, and what that means is that the GPS receive data from various satellites and compute it to provide the user with an accurate position. But these devices, GPS receivers, do NOT send any information outbound. So there is no way that anybody knows about the position of the boat.


Now, the question then is, how can you know the position of a boat from elsewhere?

By using a GPS tracker with broadcasting capabilities. This means that the GPS is using some transmission technology in order to share the position. The solution may use the celular telecommunications network (GSM, CDMA, 3G, 4G…), other radio communication technology (VHF with AIS), or even Satellite technology to track the GPS position.