Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-07-2019, 06:03 PM   #1
Member
 
City: Longboat Key
Country: United States
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 22
Boat Tracking real time

I would like for my children to be able to track me on my journey from home, in case of incapacitating emergencies. I will be all over the Bahamas. What is the least expensive, simplest system to allow that?
__________________
Advertisement

Chris71 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2019, 06:13 PM   #2
Guru
 
Fish53's Avatar
 
City: Pitcairn Island
Country: yz
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 549
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris71 View Post
I would like for my children to be able to track me on my journey from home, in case of incapacitating emergencies. I will be all over the Bahamas. What is the least expensive, simplest system to allow that?
I used to have a system called Skymate on my fishing boat that my wife could access on her computer and see on a chart exactly where I was and tracking as well, I could even message her through it when I was out. I don't remember the cost as I had to have it for my fishing permit. I also don't know their coverage but they have a website.
__________________

Fish53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2019, 06:16 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
firehoser75's Avatar
 
City: Nanaimo
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Pilitak
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 167
Hi Chris,
I am not able to answer all of your questions as to best, least expensive, etc. However, this past summer we used a Garmin InReach to communicate, obtain weather forecasts, and to allow friends and family to track our progress in real time on our 1500 mile voyage to the Alaska border and back to Nanaimo. I found it easy to use, and they allow you to "suspend service" when you are not boating so you only pay for the months when you are actually using it. It is satellite based, so should work in most places and we had no issues with it.
Hope that helps, at least a bit,
Tom
__________________
Tom
Nanaimo, BC
firehoser75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2019, 07:02 PM   #4
Guru
 
koliver's Avatar
 
City: Saltspring Island
Country: BC, canada
Vessel Name: Retreat
Vessel Model: C&L 44
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,800
Get them an App for their phone, Boatbeacon. It costs ($10 a few yrs ago maybe more now). Then leave your AIS turned on.
__________________
Keith
koliver is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2019, 07:10 PM   #5
Guru
 
tiltrider1's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: USA
Vessel Name: AZZURRA
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 54
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 1,121
If you do not have an AIS transponder then the Garmin InReach is a great way for you to control who can track you and who can communicate with you. We turn ours on for about one month a year. It allows us to communicate with the office even when we’re are out of cell or WiFi range.
tiltrider1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2019, 10:22 PM   #6
Member
 
wfleenor's Avatar
 
City: Scappoose, OR
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Double-Wide
Vessel Model: Custom Power Catamaran
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 20
The new Spot X is cheaper and you can turn it on and off for 30 days at a time.

Bill
Double-Wide
wfleenor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2019, 11:43 PM   #7
DDW
Guru
 
City: San Francisco
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 671
Until more reviews are in, I'd question the reliability of the Spot X tracking. It was quite unreliable on the original Spot, and quite reliable on the inReach. Recent changes: inReach has been bought by Garmin, which always seems to make things less reliable, and the Spot X is supposed to have verified position reporting which they lacked before (reports were sent in the blind). Initial reviews on Spot X not encouraging.

I've used an inReach all over the US, up into Canada, and down to the Exumas, with perfect reliability.
DDW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 01:42 AM   #8
Guru
 
City: Between Oregon and Alaska
Country: US
Vessel Name: Charlie Harper
Vessel Model: Wheeler Shipyard 83'
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,304
If you have AIS on they can track you here:

https://www.marinetraffic.com/
https://www.vesselfinder.com/
Lepke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 07:32 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
City: Chicago/Montrose Harbor
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Sea Jay
Vessel Model: Non Trawler ;-) Ask me if it matters LOL
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 409
Which is the best for last known position in case your transmitting unit has become operable for a time period?
Gmarr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 07:59 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Portage_Bay's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: United States
Vessel Model: Tollycraft 40 Tri-cabin
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDW View Post
Until more reviews are in, I'd question the reliability of the Spot X tracking. It was quite unreliable on the original Spot, and quite reliable on the inReach. Recent changes: inReach has been bought by Garmin, which always seems to make things less reliable, and the Spot X is supposed to have verified position reporting which they lacked before (reports were sent in the blind). Initial reviews on Spot X not encouraging.

I've used an inReach all over the US, up into Canada, and down to the Exumas, with perfect reliability.

The InReach when it works is impressive. But it is indeed less than 100% reliable. One total hardware failure in about 30 days of use. The replacement unit requires too much tech support from Garmin to keep it working. The marine weather forecasts (one of the main reasons I chose the InReach) are not worth the trouble. Nearly all the time when I ask for a forecast the system tells me I need to ask for a forecast over a large body of water, this when I'm 20 + miles off shore in the Pacific.

I have for a very long time used Garmin products with confidence. The InReach is changing my mind.
Portage_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 08:04 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Portage_Bay's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: United States
Vessel Model: Tollycraft 40 Tri-cabin
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 298
Phone app or web site to track AIS is easy and a good way to go. But it only works when your boat is within range of a shore station that picks up AIS signals and pushes them up to the web. I'm not familiar with the Bahamas but there are big portions of the west coast where you go "dark". People tracking you get worried for no good reason.
Portage_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 08:08 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
City: Tampa, FL
Country: USA
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 393
Be aware that nothing is absolutely guaranteed to work 100% of the time. Position fixes may be missed now and then. Your children need to understand this, and not panic if you miss one or two fixes. Nor should they call out SAR just because of one or two missed fixes. When you are overdue at your next destination by a meaningful amount, THAT'S when they should call out SAR!
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 08:25 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Portage_Bay's Avatar
 
City: Seattle
Country: United States
Vessel Model: Tollycraft 40 Tri-cabin
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Be aware that nothing is absolutely guaranteed to work 100% of the time. Position fixes may be missed now and then. Your children need to understand this, and not panic if you miss one or two fixes. Nor should they call out SAR just because of one or two missed fixes. When you are overdue at your next destination by a meaningful amount, THAT'S when they should call out SAR!

Excellent points. I don't know if you want to be this formal but here's how I do it:
  • Designated contact shore side, with backup person. I provide them with all of the relevant contact info and instructions on what to do.
  • A "no later than" report-in time daily. I like 11:30 AM their local time. It just seems to work.
  • Daily report includes a note about boat and personnel status, location if not using a tracking device and general plan for the next 24 hrs.
This procedure has saved my butt once and keeps all ashore well informed.
Portage_Bay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 08:57 AM   #14
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 6,684
Have the red Garmin Inreach and used it for my Great Loop trip in 2017. Unit performed flawlessly with tracking set fot every 10 minutes. Used the text messaging feature in maybe a dozen locations when cell signal wasn't available. That feature is also very good, but not the same speed as cellular, 30 minutes to an hour typically.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 09:37 AM   #15
Guru
 
Tom.B's Avatar
 
City: Cary, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Skinny Dippin'
Vessel Model: Navigator 4200 Classic
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,618
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lepke View Post
If you have AIS on they can track you here:

https://www.marinetraffic.com/
https://www.vesselfinder.com/

This system is not really real-time and it is based on "volunteer" land-side stations to pick up their AIS signal. That leave a lot of holes in the coverage when AIS is out of range. There is a paid version that uses satellite coverage, but I have personally not looked into it.
__________________
2000 Navigator 4200 Classic
(NOT a trawler)
Tom.B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 10:15 AM   #16
Guru
 
City: Z
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Beneteau Swift Trawler 44
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris71 View Post
I would like for my children to be able to track me on my journey from home, in case of incapacitating emergencies. I will be all over the Bahamas. What is the least expensive, simplest system to allow that?
I think you have two distinctly separate requirements.

One is for emergencies in which case: EPIRB + PLB.

Another is for tracking your vessel. Since it would be out of sight of cellular towers, you'd need something satellite-based. We took a spot with us across the Gulf of Mexico and it did not work that well. I would recommend a professional grade sat tracker. Won't be cheap and there will be an on-going monthly cost.
mystery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 10:22 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Tuttouomo's Avatar
 
City: PNW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Lady A
Vessel Model: Defever 44
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 130
We also used the IN Reach this past summer cruising in BC, through the Broughtons. Worked as advertised, with extensive use of texting, and we were tracked by friends and family that were interested. Upon our return, we had it turned off.

Bill
Tuttouomo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 10:47 AM   #18
DDW
Guru
 
City: San Francisco
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 671
I wouldn't call the inReach hardware completely reliable, it is a consumer electronics device and they do fail. However the position reporting between Spot and inReach are different animals. The inReach uses the Iridium constellation of satellites, global coverage and proven reliable (this is the system that is used and paid for by the US military). Spot uses the Globalstar constellation which has been unreliable (in fact, it's failure as a voice system is what gave birth to Spot). The inReach sends a position report and asks the satellite for confirmation of receipt. The original Spot sent it a few times and hoped it was received. Often it was not. More recently, Globalstar had launched some new satellites and the Spot X is supposed to close the loop on position transmissions. Early reviews suggest is it still lacking in reliability, must have a completely clear sky view, etc. I typically run my inReach inside, under the carbon fiber dodger or if in the glider, inside the carbon fuselage and it still has no trouble reporting reliably.

Garmin has a history of not supporting their own products (I've thrown out 3 Garmin GPS units now due to dropping support), also a history of acquiring companies and ruining them. Their most recent acquisitions (Navionics, inReach, and Active Captain) are already suffering. For that reason I hope the Spot X is successful.
DDW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 10:58 AM   #19
Guru
 
City: Fairport
Country: United States
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris71 View Post
I would like for my children to be able to track me on my journey from home, in case of incapacitating emergencies. I will be all over the Bahamas. What is the least expensive, simplest system to allow that?
Neglecting the actual passages; get Life360. free. You already prolly have international data roaming plan?
diver dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2019, 11:04 AM   #20
Guru
 
Fish53's Avatar
 
City: Pitcairn Island
Country: yz
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 549
Skymate is a commercial unit that has a variety of options, it uses iridium and covers most of the globe except the Indian ocean and central Pacific. I don't know prices now but when I had it the cost was about fifty dollars a month and I don't recall what I paid for it.
__________________

Fish53 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012