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Old 02-12-2014, 11:05 AM   #1
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SPOT Satellite devices

Does anyone carry a SPOT and/or similar device? Any other brands worth looking at?

I do know that SPOT is NOT a fully functional EPIRB. I am looking in to SPOT because of the low upfront costs, the OK function and the tracking abilities. honestly i think a fully functional EPIRB maybe a bit of over kill for me.

Another option may be a SAT phone. I have ruled out one because I am not that important though and frankly don't need to talk to anyone that badly.

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Old 02-12-2014, 01:40 PM   #2
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Spot has been more or less eclipsed by the Delorme InReach. The InReach is basically a Spot with world wide coverage over the Iridium satellite network that can also send and receive text messages to any cell phone. I have used one in place of a Spot for the last two years. Last fall my son who is a Coast Guard AMT was using it goat hunting on Kodiak and communicated in near real time with the command post there and vectored a helicopter that was on a training flight to their location on the side of a mountain. They were walking out and the command post decided to do some training.


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Old 02-12-2014, 03:46 PM   #3
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I also don't think I require a full blown EPIRB in the Great Lakes so I purchased the McMurdo Fastfind. Cheap, easy to set up, no yearly fee, works anywhere in the world etc. and I can use it hunting as well.

Fast Find | PLB | Personal Locator Beacon | 406 MHz Emergency Distress Beacon
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:22 PM   #4
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One of my customers got a spot and used it going from GOM to NC. Sometimes he failed to hit the right buttons and it sent no signal. I carried it once and had a hard time following the instructions. That's not unusual for me, though.

When I travel in a few months, I'll check out the sat phone stuff.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:07 PM   #5
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I have one of the early Spot models I bought in 2009 or 2010 I bought it it post our location to family and friends who follow our cruising blog. I just activate it manually at the end of each travel day and it sends an OK message and a link to out position on a Google earth page. I paste that link on the Blog page for that day so anyone reading it can see just where we are. When we do a crossing of the Gulf I activate it a couple of times on the way so anyone interested can see where we are. It can also send out a SOS or call 911 message. The newer models have more features but this has suited us fine for the area we travel, the subscription is about $100 a year.
Steve W.
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Old 02-12-2014, 06:18 PM   #6
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We used a SPOT device on our trip from SC to the Keys. Itís great for letting family and friends follow you progress while underway as it updates your position every ten minutes. You can send messages (via email) with the system also. It is a little complicated to use though.

Although it does have a SOS feature, I donít think I would use it in lieu of an EPIRB if I were going any distance offshore. KJ

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Old 02-12-2014, 06:43 PM   #7
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great if going to remote places..otherwise after 6000 miles of atlantic ICW...cell phone is fine for family contact...

PLB if cost is a condsideration but you want something more guaranteed than DSC, cell phone, regular VHF or flares....
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:44 PM   #8
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I've been using SPOT for 4 years - it has been on every time we've moved the boat since it has been onboard. I'm being given an inReach this week at the Miami Boat Show.

Both SPOT and inReach will be interfacing to eBoatCards - I'm working with both company's API's to capture the data and merge it into other location data. SPOT is pretty basic but does a good job. inReach adds some significant capabilities like 2 way messaging and will provide some interesting new things because of that - watch news out of the Miami Boat Show about it.

I'll be happy to give more impressions of inReach after I use it. I'll be using both in our jumps at the end of the month to Marathon, FL and will provide output samples from both.

There are a lot of great reasons to have a device like this if you're going outside cellular range and especially offshore. It also provides some great help/communications backup for a very reasonable cost too for all types of cruising (even in home waters).
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:49 PM   #9
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I recently used a Spot for family and friends to track my voyage from S.F. to the Columbia River. One drawback I found: Make sure you hit the track button evey 24hrs or you drop off.
1988 M/Y Camargue Yacht Fisher
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:38 AM   #10
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Has anyone heard about the Iridium Go?

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