View boats all over the world on Marine Traffic

Originally published at: View boats all over the world on Marine Traffic | Boing Boing


As a former sailor, this is great fun rabbit hole to go down. Thanks @boingboing


I thought it was going to look like the clip art photo :frowning:

edit: holy crap Huy Thoai’s photography is amazing: Stock Photo and Image Portfolio by Huy Thoai | Shutterstock

edit2: although some are edited with new skies/backgrounds it seems

1 Like

I’m still a sailor and often use the app to see where ships my union is contracted with are heading to.

BTW, “ships” not “boats.”


Are the russian oligarchs’ yachts marked as a bloody ‘Z’?



Used to be NMU from 1991 to 1999. Left because of the “merger” (seriously HUGE back story with that) of NMU into the SIU and joined the Sailors Union of the Pacific. One of the smartest things I ever did for myself. The one before that was joining the NMU to pay for my college education.


I went to Piney Point in Maryland, SIU was the only option then, Way back in the 70’s. I sailed as a Chief Cook, it WAS a good Union job with good Union wages, then jobs started drying up. 5 years at sea was enough for me, got to see the world and get paid for it.

Side Note: we need publicly funded trade schools in the USA, real bad.


The Race to Alaska is starting next month after a two year pause. They usually have a tracker that is highly addictive. They also have daily video summaries so you can feel like you are part of the action while being dry and well-fed at home. The best part? There are too many to mention: The second prize is the most coveted; The winner isn’t always interesting; Lots of drama; lots of comedy; Who’s the grim sweeper going to get?


I’ve been using their app for years to track freighters, the Coast Guard, and occasionally the Navy.

The last photo was the old fashioned way with film and tracking using a hand held scanner in the car. Three freighters and 3 Coast Guard cutters including the retired USCGC Mackinaw, it’s the white ship on the right. That was in April.

I love that app, so much easier than using a scanner. Some days wen there is a lot of ice and a lot of activity me and the wife get a thermos of hot chocolate and spend the day chasing great big ships.

I forgot about the one at the bottom, that was just a couple weeks ago. It’s a great lakes cruise ship, cabins starting at 6 grand.


Further derailment of the topic:
We need more JOATs of varying types.

Back On Topic:

No such thing.
You are always gonna know where a bilge locker abaft th’ port beam is located on a sailboat, for example.
Or an airplane.

Except for the subs; but they better not be on the map.

EDIT: clarity


They do have AIS. I see some sometimes, usually when going into port.

1 Like

This is extremely cool. Look at China, shipping us all our stuff. There’s a layer called “Density Maps,” showing Oahu below.


If you’re in an area with traffic, it’s possible to roll your own receiver.


You talk about jobs drying up. From looking at the SIU newspaper, you’d think jobs were coming out of their ears from all those people they show going through Piney Point training.

BTW, are you familiar with the documentary, Canada’s Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks? You can view it here: Canada’s Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks (1985) – rarefilmm | The Cave of Forgotten Films Kind of eye-opening the level of corruption that went on with the SIU. I’m not sure to what degree that might have changed, if at all.

1 Like

Corruption & Theft of Wages are the hall marks of the SIU. Piney Point was in the 70’s, no longer, a good school to get your foot in the door, Merchant Marine Document etc. But that is where it ends, you are on your own from that point forward. I contracted with the DOD & various GOV entities, that’s when I started making good money, hard work no doubt, but I rarely went back to the Union Hall for jobs. Side Note: In 1985, Reagan decommissioned the Merchant Fleet by 10's of thousands of boats, he removed Seafarers medical clinics [free they were], sincerely f@ck that guy, that was when I saw the writing on the wall, get the hell out, went a shore never to return. I was without a job for about 3 days in 85’, with the work experience I had, I had nothing to worry about.

I have fond memories of the good Salts I shipped with, sad that a way of life is all but lost to this world…

I work on the Mississippi and use this to track barge traffic.

1 Like

Exactly. I remember much of what you wrote about Reagan. Very true.

I remember my previous SUP port agent referring to the SIU, actually saying so to a SIU rep, as Mafia. Had to do with us sponsoring Alaska fishermen, but the SIU wanted that action and demanded we give that to them. We would’ve taken the word to the Press.

I still wonder why no one has investigated the SIU like happened to the NMU. Forensic accounting would reveal a lot.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.