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Old 11-07-2016, 12:04 PM   #1
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Spot vs Delorme Inreach?

I just received an email from Spot that told me that my old basic service plan was being discontinued and a new basic service plan would be used. Also the Annual fee is going to $149.99.
Before I renew my spot coverage, I thought about possible getting a Delorme Inreach.
Does anyone have experiences with both and have any recommendations?

Thanks,

Wm Mayberry
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Untieing the lines from Bradenton and heading South
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Old 11-07-2016, 01:16 PM   #2
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I have a DeLorme and haven't used it much...essentially just took it for a long boat ride. I had it as an emergency satellite "communicator" and we didn't have any emergencies.

but...they have a few different plans which you can start and stop..annual not required.

also...think they were recently purchased by Garmin so would expect things to change.

Ken
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Old 11-07-2016, 02:49 PM   #3
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My wife loves the delorme. Some of her friends prefer to text back and forth on phones vs. emails. She uses it all the time to stay in touch with friends back in the States. It does two way cell or email and also delorme to delorme. I like the tracking, back up GPS and SOS features. We have the unlimited everything plan which is about $50/mo. One of us can also take it with us and communicate with the other back on the boat if we have internet or a local sim card at anchor.
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Old 11-07-2016, 03:02 PM   #4
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Delorme works so well that I sold my sat phone and spot.
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Old 11-07-2016, 05:47 PM   #5
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We like the Inreach. We have unlimited satellite text and satellite waypoints for $79 Cdn/month. We go that route because cell service is very limited in the central coast. If you have reliable cell coverage, you can go with a cheaper plan.
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:12 PM   #6
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Sorry to muddy the waters but how about the goTenna and would it be a viable option?
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Old 11-07-2016, 06:25 PM   #7
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We have used both and for us the Delorme Inreach is the winner hands down. It communicates with the satellite much faster, sends better tracking info and has the added functionality of text messages, navigation, criuse info like time, distance, etc. it's a lot more expensive than the Spot, vut well worth it IMHO.
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:09 PM   #8
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Customer service with SPOT is terrible. The unit we have does not work as it is supposed to - turns it self off when we do a lock or stop for a bridge to open.
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Old 11-07-2016, 07:33 PM   #9
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I have a SPOT that is primarily for emergency use. I rarely am out of text message service range and so far have never been out of range of either the US or Canadian CG or other boaters who could relay information. My impressions would be different if I was in more remote locations.

I think the SPOT device is expensive at $150/year for what you get. OTOH, the Delorme inReach is a lot more expensive.

The way I look at it, the primarily advantage of the inReach is that it allows two-way text communication. That is a great feature if you need it, but comes at a cost. An annual plan for inReach that offers 40 text messages/month (send OR receive) costs $300/year. Another way to look at it is that the inReach costs $12.50 per month more than the inReach just so you can send/receive 40 text messages. If you go over the 40 they are $0.50 each. That seems expensive to me and 40 messages per month would get burned up in a hurry.

If you want to use text communication to really stay in touch, then you can pay $600/year for unlimited text messages. This is $450/year more than the spot but does provide that communication piece that SPOT doesn't. Again, for me that is way more than I want to spend, but then I'm notoriously cheap.

inReach does have another option that might be very good for folks like me that still have dirtside jobs and can't cruise full time. You pay a $25/year fee then pay monthly for the type of service that you want. If you want to just have basic service with only 10 texts/month it costs $15/month or you can suspend it all together and pay nothing for each month it is suspended. If you are going to be out in the stick for a month you can pay $65/month for unlimited texts. This means that if you are only going to be in remote areas for 1 month a year, and don't need tracking etc for the rest of the time, you could just pay a total of $90 and have unlimited text for that one month.

Now... I have a SPOT primarily for emergency use (initially got it for my son who soloed the John Muir Trail). I only really need it if I am away from my normal Puget Sound waters. That is only going to happen about once per year. I could spend $90 on the inReach for that month vs $150 for a year of SPOT service... The nice thing about the inReach is that if you are on a monthly plan, you can change plan levels without a charge. The yearly plans are cheaper but they charge $25 each time you change plan levels.

Options....
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
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We have used both and for us the Delorme Inreach is the winner hands down. It communicates with the satellite much faster, sends better tracking info and has the added functionality of text messages, navigation, criuse info like time, distance, etc. it's a lot more expensive than the Spot, vut well worth it IMHO.
Man o Man! Would I like to sit with you for a period!! I have Deloreme Inreach and use it to keep the wife and others advised. I have never sent a message other that pre-programmed 'Start'-Here Okay, and never yet used the 'Help having problems' message.
I will say that the Inreach folks are very patient and helpful to an older 'tin can-to- tin can on a string' user.
My goal and next reach out to the youngsters at Inreach is to be able to do the 'Blue Tooth' thing between my iPhone and the Inreach to utilize the larger keyboard. The cost of texting by satellite while spendy, is really not so for the comfort of reaching out when without cell, which I am more than not.
Your demonstrated use is so encouraging-
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Old 11-07-2016, 11:46 PM   #11
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A couple of years ago Trawler Forum member Richard on Dauntless crossed the Atlantic and we were able to track him all the way on the Delorme website. Many of us exchanged text messages with him while he was in the middle of the Atlantic. Amazing technology.
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Old 11-08-2016, 04:20 AM   #12
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Man o Man! Would I like to sit with you for a period!! I have Deloreme Inreach and use it to keep the wife and others advised. I have never sent a message other that pre-programmed 'Start'-Here Okay, and never yet used the 'Help having problems' message.
I will say that the Inreach folks are very patient and helpful to an older 'tin can-to- tin can on a string' user.
My goal and next reach out to the youngsters at Inreach is to be able to do the 'Blue Tooth' thing between my iPhone and the Inreach to utilize the larger keyboard. The cost of texting by satellite while speedy, is really not so for the comfort of reaching out when without cell, which I am more than not.
Your demonstrated use is so encouraging-
Al-27' Marben Pocket Cruiser
Pretty much everyone has already said, what needs to be said.

I will only add, that it's strength is it's connectivity to satellite.
But to really send text messages, you must get it to connect with your smart phone using Bluetooth.
When it connects it is fantastic, in that you can use your contact list using the associated Earthmate app.

Only downside is that getting the InReach and phone to connect was only a sometimes proposition.
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Old 11-08-2016, 08:09 AM   #13
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I admit I had similar problems with iPad connectivity. Need to turn blue tooth on and off often, but tech support has been top notch for me as well. One phone call straight to a human located in the US. (No offense to foreign call centers, I just prefer US)
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Old 11-08-2016, 11:22 AM   #14
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Another vote for InReach. The two-way text feature and the ability to change or suspend plans on a month-by-month basis are the big sellers for me.

I don't recall much trouble connecting via bluetooth, maybe an occasional reboot. And it IS possible to send text from the device itself, just a little clunky because it's not a full keyboard. Or you can use the pre-canned messages like "I've arrived" or "Leaving now" or make up your own.

I'm the first to admit I'm not a huge fan of 24x7 connectivity. But today it's expected. InReach gives you that, which keeps the folks back home (and at least one on board) a lot more comfortable.
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Old 11-08-2016, 01:45 PM   #15
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I've had SPOT for 7 years and DeLorme inReach for 4 years. If I had to only have one, there is no question that I'd pick DeLorme inReach. If I were buying one now, there's no question that I'd get the DeLorme. From a safety standpoint, the DeLorme kills SPOT in capabilities.
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Old 11-08-2016, 09:39 PM   #16
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Looks like ACR is going to get into this game.
https://www.acrartex.com/products/ca....xaF1RQpa.dpbs

Theirs uses the 406 system, just like an epirb, for sending distress signals and the Iridium satellites for communication.

You can't buy it yet but I bet it won't be long.
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Old 11-09-2016, 12:54 PM   #17
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I've used an InReach since they first came out. My only complaint is that Delorme is simply not very good at writing software. I still have a Delorme GPS with topo maps and the software is so poorly written it's almost impossible to use. The software in the Iphone app is ok but works in a convoluted manner. The most confusing thing is time tagging of the text messages. The time tag is when you received it and not when it was sent. The other chronic problem I have is many times it will not show messages waiting to be downloaded (flashing LED) unless you send a message to the network and wake things up. This is probably a firmware issue but Delorme hasn't put out new firmware for my device in 3 years.

Garmin has purchased Delorme so maybe between the two of them, they can make things work a little better.

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Old 11-09-2016, 01:18 PM   #18
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The ability, to access weather, on DeLorme is another feature we have used. We are happy customers.
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Old 11-09-2016, 03:39 PM   #19
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I've used an InReach since they first came out. My only complaint is that Delorme is simply not very good at writing software. I still have a Delorme GPS with topo maps and the software is so poorly written it's almost impossible to use. The software in the Iphone app is ok but works in a convoluted manner. The most confusing thing is time tagging of the text messages. The time tag is when you received it and not when it was sent. The other chronic problem I have is many times it will not show messages waiting to be downloaded (flashing LED) unless you send a message to the network and wake things up. This is probably a firmware issue but Delorme hasn't put out new firmware for my device in 3 years.

Garmin has purchased Delorme so maybe between the two of them, they can make things work a little better.

Tom

Tom, You are antiquated with myself enough to respond. My use to date is the simple sending of a departure message, an arrival message and as stated, non use to date of the third pre programmed "Help required" message. That and the ability to have the recipients use 'Map Share' is the limit of my utilization. The concept of using the satellite feature for texting was the clincher over the SPOT at that time of decision. Now, of course, knowing the differences, I will remain with InReach with my limited use of available functions.
Being a lummox on this blue tooth applications between my iPhone an the InReach begs the question of how much importance I should place on pursuing the education required? Stated as the ability to use the simple messages and MapQuest has me comfortable in ignorance.


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Old 11-09-2016, 08:25 PM   #20
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Al,

The problem with my InReach paired to my IPhone is simply because Delorme seems to have stopped supporting the original InReach 1.5. It was always clunky, now just more so. If you have the newer model SE or Explorer it should work much better. With the older model, you will just have deal with it, if you want to send text messages. I'll give you a primer on it next spring on our first trip to Ketchikan (Walmart run).

Tom
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