AIS Technology to Play Vital Role in 2015 Winterfest Boat Parade

ACR Electronics' Class A AISLink CA1

By MarEx 2015-12-09 16:23:01

This weekend’s 44th Annual Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale will use the latest AIS (Automatic Identification System) technology from ACR Electronics to manage the flow of over 150 parade boats.

The world’s largest holiday boat parade featuring the biggest, one-day, live audience of any event in Florida has named ACR Electronics as its first ever ‘Official Boating Safety Partner’ to assist with the navigation and safety of the boats and to help ensure the celebrations flow in a timely manner and are as safe as possible. As a result of the partnership, a key element of the safety strategy this year is for the capabilities of Fort Lauderdale-based ACR’s new AISLink Automatic Identification System (AIS) navigation products to be harnessed and utilized by the parade organizers.

AIS will be installed on grand marshal Nick Cannon’s boat, the official Santa boat and the ACR boat, ensuring that the first, middle and last boats of the procession will all be equipped. The information will be used to manage a safe flow of parade traffic, plus a visual of the parade will be available on a computerized map for the team of law enforcement/emergency service representatives and other volunteers and staff.

A well-prepared and extensive team of agency boats, support vessels, police officers, rescue crews and radio operators is already in place, but the added assistance of ACR Electronics and its AIS products will mean this year’s parade is even better equipped to deal with situations such as too much space between boats, mechanical failures or other incidents which may disrupt the flow of boats or cause safety concerns.

The power of AIS in aiding the management of such a challenging two-and-a-half hour logistical operation will be demonstrated in front of more than a million spectators lining the 12-mile route and millions more watching live on television. The ultimate aim is for all participating boats to cruise in line past the judges at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park before finishing at Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach.

As well as featuring in the parade on its own boat, safety partner ACR also presented the features of AIS at the Captains’ Meeting for parade participants and has taken an active role in parade planning and events leading up to the event on Saturday at 5pm. The safety and survival technology expert have provided boating survival gear, as well as safe boating and water safety tips feature on Winterfest’s social media accounts.

The Winterfest Boat Parade is a night time flotilla of brightly decorated yachts and boats which started in 1971 and displays a variety of over 150 boats ranging from international and local celebrities to everyday mariners.

Winterfest, Inc. President and CEO, Lisa Scott-Founds said: “ACR Electronics in our control room is a wonderful addition to the safety measures Winterfest currently has in place for the parade. Our control room monitors the parade visually along the New River and relies on radio and cell phone communications with the parade entries. Thanks to ACR Electronics, our team of law enforcement/emergency service representatives, ham operator volunteers and staff will have a visual of the parade procession by monitoring the first, middle and last boats on a computerized map.

“I am excited to see ACR featured as the official boating safety partner of this year’s Seminole Hard Rock Winterfest Boat Parade,” added Gerry Angeli, President and General Manager of ACR. “This parade is internationally recognized and reaches thousands along the shores of Fort Lauderdale and millions more on television. Our hope is that spectators and participants alike realize boating safety requires planning, proper equipment, training and awareness; all of which need to be present whether you are boating down the intercostal during the Winterfest parade or just heading out for casual day on the water.”

Approved worldwide and certified to the latest AIS regulations, the AISLink CA1 and AISLink CB1 are appropriate for all US and foreign-flag vessels.

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 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 perfect for leisure boaters and 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 products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.