Sea Hawk Logo

Sea Hawk Logo

Version 2.1.1 has been sent to the App Store to fix an issue in a low memory situation, stay tuned and reboot your iPad if you have trouble processing many tracks (around 10,000).


The maritime world is a fascinating world. The amount of ships that sail the seas is incredible, and the number of people involved or enthusiastic about sailing is beyond imagination. Stevedores, pilots, VTS operators, mariners, lock controllers, boatmen, cargo handlers, operators, mariners and fans alike: would it not it be great to know, what ships are out there? Well now you can.

The App

SeaHawk is great app which can show you the maritime traffic overlaid on a Google map. The traffic can be refreshed automatically (live feeds) or manually (refresh button). Labels can be toggled to avoid cluttering the display. It also includes a list of vessels that have been detected by the application. This list can be searched and can be used to find a certain vessel by filtering on the name, call sign, IMO or MMSI number. SeaHawk uses different colors to distinguish between different types of ship which allows for easy discrimination between the ships.

The colors

Green Local vessels such as: fishing, towing, dredging, sailing, and pleasure craft.
Yellow Port related vessels such as high speed carriers and pilot vessels.
Purple Search and Rescue vessels.
White Authority vessels such as police, military, medical, anti pollution etc.
Blue Cargo ships.
Red Tankers.
Dark gray Identified ships of other types.
Gray Unidentified ships or ships of unknown type.

The data

We believe in open applications, we believe in a flexible approach. Rather than limiting your view to the feeds that we can provide for you, we are giving you the ability to incorporate your own data. (Checkout this video tutorial on how to add feeds) SeaHawk supports the following data formats:


Many people throughout the world also believe in open information, that is why they have setup their own AIS receiver and are offering the resulting information as Google KML feed to the world. KML is usually sent over HTTP with the GET protocol. Typical sources are:


SeaHawk supports ITU-1371 messages over IEC-61992 encapsulation. This data format is used by all Class A and Class B transponders to transmit data over the VHF link or output through serial or Ethernet connection. This format is usually used in combination with a TCP/IP connection. Typical sources are


The Inter VTS Exchange Format is an IALA Recommendation for the exchange of VTS (Vessel Traffic Service) data by the competent authority. This type of feed is available in all major Dutch sea ports, as well as in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Lobito, Tallinn and Singapore. To use this data you will need permission from the port authority and a valid user account. (Typically this means you are a stakeholder in the port). SeaHawk can receive IVEF over HTTP GET or PUT and also streamed over TCP/IP (port 8043) for real-time updates.


The folks at have done a tremendous job in creating a simple application that allows you to create a simple AIS receiver station and put the information on the web. Once you enabled the built in Google Earth server in ShipPlotter (in the I/O settings), ShipPlotter will create a small http server running on your computer at port 4185. You can display this information on SeaHawk by configuring the following live link:

Connection: HTTP GET
Protocol: KML
URL: http://ip number>:4185/pp_google.kml

Get Sea Hawk in the AppStore

Get Sea Hawk in the AppStore

Feedback, ideas?

SeaHawk is under constant development, send us your ideas, problems and suggestions. We are looking forward to them.

8 comments on “SeaHawk
  1. Rolf says:

    Dit programma werkt niet! Ik heb geen belangstelling voor de scheepsverkeer bi Shanhai!
    Ik kan nergens naar een ander server gaan, bij edit zou het moeten, maar gaat dus niet!

    • lukassen says:

      Hi Rolf,

      You are actually the first to provide this feedback, so I am grateful for it. I’ve put together a little movie that shows how a feed can be added, and added all feeds known to me as built-in in the new version. You can expect it to hit the App store in about 8 days.



  2. Christian Westerback says:

    The application doesnt work, it collapses all the time.

    • lukassen says:

      Hi Christian,

      Thanks for the feedback and the testing you did. We found this can happen in a low-memory situation, rebooting your iPad will help, as will running a memory manager like Memory Pro.

      We have fixed this bug and uploaded a new version to the App Store which should come out as a free download in about 8 days (that’s the time Apple takes to approve a new version)

      Thanks again for your report and sorry for the inconvenience.


  3. lukassen says:


    The new version went live last weekend and is available on the app store. when you press the settings icon you will be presented a list of build in feeds. (Maimi, Norway, Fleetmon and Vesseltracker)

    You can select either of those or add your own as explained in the movie


    This version also no longer crashes on a low memory situation but provides the user with a warning.

  4. lukassen says:

    3 more feeds have been identified and are incorporated in the new version. It will take some code change to incorporate them, but stay tuned for the next update!

  5. Kalle says:

    How do I configure tcp/ip stream, i.e. Address port?
    Now when I input to settings/traffic/user defined an address f. Ex. in format address:port, saved server shows :address:port
    What the right format?

    • lukassen says:

      Hi Kalle,

      There’s a couple of formats, so it depends a bit on what you pick. KML over HTTP allows you to specify an URL so you can say (or kmz) which implies port 1234. All IVEF servers I know run at port 8043, as for AIS. I had to look that up, but there is currently no way to specify the port. It also assumes the AIS data is running at port 8043. You only need to add the server by ip or domain name.

      I’ll add a port field to the to-do list


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