Many use Marinetraffic to follow their friends and family that are out sailing, but sometimes they receive the message "Position received by Satellite" eller "Vessel is Out-of-Range".

Data on Marinetraffic is collected by volunteers that have installed an AIS Station. It is therefore random where these stations are located, and the distance between the stations can be quite large in places where there isn’t much ship traffic. The range of an AIS station is around 40 nautical miles (74 Km), and they are most often placed along the coastlines with lots of ship traffic.

If you have a Sailserver onboard, you also have a mobile AIS station (https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/stations/5871), that covers the entire world, and that can send the boats position to Marinetraffic and Vesselfinder. Sailserver uses the mobile network, and can operate on 2G/3G/4G and the networks that are allocated to IoT devices, such as LTE.M. The range on these networks can be upto 150 Km, but typically the range for a mobile phone or a Sailserver is maximum 30 Km.

Unlike the AIS antenna, the antennas for the mobile network are directional, and will in most cases be placed to cover the landmass. But it is very likely that there will be a decent mobile signal 5-10 Km from the shore. More and more equipment uses the mobile network for connectivity, so in some places there will be good coverage, even far from the shore.

In many cases there will be better coverage with a Sailserver, especially in low populated areas, and along the rivers in Europe. If you are sailing offshore, only the satellite network will work. The advantage with the Sailserver compared to Marinetraffic, is that you collect the entire track, even if you have no network connection. As soon as you have a connection to a mobile network again, your entire track is visible in the app.


How to send data to Marinetraffic and Vesselfinder

Before the Sailserver can send data to Marinetraffic and Vesselfinder, it has to be activated for your account. You change the settings by selecting Account under the menu in the upper left corner.

  • Open the settings by selecting “Boat”
  • Select the “Edit” button on the right side
  • Update the MMSI field with the MMSI number for your boat
  • Below the form, put a checkmark in the setting “Send position to Marinetraffic and Vesselfinder (need MMSI)”.
  • Select “Save” to save your changes.


Everytime your Sailserver is logging information, your position will be sent to Marinetraffic and Vesselfinder. If you also use Noforeignland, then you place a checkmark here as well, and when you complete a track, it will also be updated on Noforeignland.

The Sailserver has many other useful functions, among other things it has an Anchor watch that monitors your boat if you go ashore while anchoring.  It is also easier and more fun for those at home to follow your travels, with the free Sailserver app.

Just like on Marinetraffic, you can see boats that have chosen to share their data publicly on the Sailserver app https://app.sailserver.com, or you can download our free app for iPhone and Android.