We get this question often... How do I know that I'm transmitting my vessel name?
Your vessel data is sent in multiple "messages" over time. When your vessel is stationary (<2 knots) it will transmit your position, course and speed once every 3 minutes. It will transmit that information once every 30 seconds when moving faster than 2 knots.
But your vessel name, type, size and call sign are sent once every 6 minutes regardless of speed. This is identical to how AIS Class A on-board ships operate.
Each transmission alternates between channels. So this means that if the receiver is a single channel receiver it can take up to 12 minutes for your boat's name to be received.
So, back to the question... how do I confirm it has been transmitted?
Here's the trick... look at the AIS Status window either on the WatchMate 850 or WatchMate Vision screen, within the vmAIS PC program, or on our WatchMate iPhone app. You'll find a table that shows the TX COUNT for each channel. It turns out that your vessel name and other details requires two messages to be sent. Your position only requires one. Therefore, you will see the TX COUNT increase by one whenever it transmits your position and it will increase by two whenever it transmits your boat's name, type, etc.