Tag Archives: SAR

OpenCPN, a free open-source navigation software, alternative to MaxSea

We are very happy to see that the great open source software OpenCPN is releasing a new version, 3.2. in May 8th 2013. This is a great alternative to MaxSea, Navi Sailor, etc.

In this version we find a lot of improvements for AIS support. Please see the list below.

OpenCPN a free open-source sofware for PC, Mac and Linux

OpenCPN a free open-source sofware for PC, Mac and Linux


  • BSBv3 raster and S57 ENC chart support.
  • CM93 vector chart support, with per cell offset corrections.
  • IHO S52 compliant display of S57 vector charts.
  • “BSB4″ and “nv-chart” support through plugins.
  • Single-chart and Quilted display modes.
  • North-up, Course-up and Chart-up display modes.
  • Moving-map display mode.
  • Route navigation with ship tracking functions.
  • Waypoint navigation.
  • Dashboard for configurable on-screen display of ship’s NMEA data.
  • NMEA 0183 GPS interface at selectable baud rate.
  • OpenGL support for enhanced performance on modern hardware.
  • Advance NMEA message handling structure, with built in multiplexer.
  • Autopilot output support.
  • AIS input with full target tracking and collision alerting.
  • AIS support for SART, DSC and GPSGate Buddies.
  • Anchor watch/alarm functions.
  • GRIB file input and display for weather forecasting.
  • GPX Waypoint, Track and Route input and output file support.
  • Tide and Current prediction and display by location.
  • Route planning with tidal support.
  • Builtin great-circle routing.
  • Integrated weather routing through qtVlm.
  • GPX Layers for annotation of charts.
  • A selection of display themes.
  • A growing number of plugins. Google Earth, World Magnetic Variation, Voyage Data Recorder, AIS -radar, SAR and a LogBook.
  • Multi-language support. 20+ languages supported.


  • Windows XP, Vista and 7
  • Linux, BSD, Solaris
  • Macintosh OSX

More information: http://opencpn.org/ocpn/

Search and Rescue AIS

It seems like the Spanish authorities with Search and Rescue responsibilities are pioneering the way into AIS. The AIS SART standard starts being a reality in the rescue vehicles in Spain.

Our friend Eladio has sent us the AIS info sent by a target that in his screen showed up like a rectangle with blades near the Spanish coast. Once he clicked on the contact, the info that appeared was the following (check the mmsi, different from the Spanish 224……):

Type:    S.A.R
SOG:    155kn
COG:    81.7°
Lat:    40°48.598′N
Long:    002°01.671′E
MMSI #:    111224101
RNG:    37.039NM
BRG:    119°

 Any boater that has found him/herself in a scary situation will be aware of the undoubtful benefits of being located almost instantaneously by a rescue helicopter.