Ship Finder 1.7, 50 freebies

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

11 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Requests by email only, please, not via comments. Thanks.

  2. John says:

    Just received my code. Thanks to you and the developer for this.

  3. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Well, there’s 50 new Ship Finder users out there, at least theoretically. I’ve gotten some “cool app” type feedback, but hope to see some more specific comments here.
    One of my feature requests is that Ship Finder list targets alphabetically, or, better yet, limit the list to the screen the user zooms to.

  4. JonM says:

    I should have used some iPhone app to remind me to start checking Panbo this morning. So, I had to buy the program. Interestingly, I was warned that it might contain objectionable material and I had to say that I was older than 17.
    There are now at least 51 new users…

  5. Patrick says:

    The office for my day job (oh I count the days) is on Elliot Bay in Seattle, WA and I fired up the app and was able to ID all the freighters at anchor waiting for the grain elevator as well as the Ferrys criss crossing the sound. Pretty cool. If only the iPhone let apps run in the background you could switch between this app and the Navico’s and get some pretty cool info. Another idea would be for one to buy the other. An iPhone App Merger !!

  6. AaronH says:

    Curious that New York Harbor is devoid of targets on Ship Finder, when I’m looking at a Raymarine E120 w/AIS500 and it’s showing a screen full of targets. Where is Ship Finder getting its “Eastern Seaboard” data?

  7. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I see that, too, Aaron. Normally NY Harbor is very well covered but I’d guess that one of the listening stations is down or off line tonight. Penobscot Bay has also been flaky recently.
    My guess is that “Eastern Seaboard” is a bunch of individual listening stations that stream together somewhere. If you go to and enable “stations” you can see some of the listeners and find out what equipment and software they’re using. I’m pretty sure that many of these stations are also being fed to ShipFinder, though the two sets of feeds do not completely overlap.

  8. John says:

    I think it would be interesting to add feeds for inland waterway traffic, at least for the US.
    Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee Rivers’ etc.
    I presume they would be using AIS as well?

  9. Richard C says:

    I have two minor comments on Ship Finder. So far, I have not found how to enter the name of a vessel I would like to find. For example, I wanted to find out if the “Maltese Falcon” was listed on one of the AIS feeds, but there is no search box for this. Did I miss this feature? If not, then I would add it to suggestions for a future update. Without the ability to search for a specific vessel this is just a nice app allowing you to see who’s around. Searching for a specific vessel allows the user to find long lost cruising friends or allows my wife to keep track of me. Second, Where is the software version number? If I see I have an older version I would make a point to sync the iPhone and update to the latest.

  10. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I agree that the vessel list could be much improved. It would be better in alphabetical order, for instance, or if it was limited to the vessels showing on the screen you’ve zoomed in on. Search would good too. I’d also like to see Class B transponders identified.

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Ship Finder has some serious competition, sort of. The pros at gCaptain have developed an app called gTrax that looks similar to Ship Finder but uses a commercial AIS receiver network instead of the mishmash of volunteer sites that feed Ship Finder.
    I dare guess that the coverage of commercial ports is more thorough and reliable, but it will cost you. gTrax itself is only $4.99 but you just get daily target updates, and a real time subscription to a particular port costs an added $9.99 per month. More information here:

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