Originally Posted by High Wire
Are you planning to go out of cellular and VHF range regularly? If so, yes install it. If not the real estate could be better used for something else IMHO. A Ham would have already installed it
Personally, I wouldnít bother with SSB. A sat phone, especially and Iridium Go, is more versatile. Unless you enjoy the chats on the ham nets, you wonít miss the SSB.
During my offshore sailing days I had SSB only, or SSB and sat phone. Now, on a trawler where we might be days offshore rather than weeks, I have only a sat phone and am glad to be done with the SSB. On good propagation days I might get clear commo, but on bad days it would take hours of fiddling and tuning to download an email. So here is how we do it:
Email: I get my mail directly from my gmail account via an app on my phone or iPad
Weather products: I can download virtually any NOAA product via another app on my iPad.
Predict Wind: direct tie in to Iridium. GRIBs, routing, etc
Voice commo: calls to any phone anywhere in the world, not just another SSB station.
Safety and emergency coms: No I canít broadcast via SSB to ships at sea. But how often are trawlers out of VHF/ DSC radio range of at least one ship? And by the way, what has your experience been with getting ships to respond? I would rather call the USCG region responsible for the area I am in. Talk to them via my cell phone.
Ditch bag: the Irdium Go gets to come along. SSB not.
Wilderness hike on a remote island; the iridium go is in my backpack
Chats: no, the iridium phone canít do that. For me, no real interest. Up to you. The chat nets arenít nearly as prevalent as they were 10-15 years ago.
If you get Practical Sailor, read John Nealeís comments about his latest refit. Mahina spends most of her time offshore teaching. And once he moved to a sat phone he no longer used, or found a need for the SSB.
Money does matter. If I had a full up SSB rig on board, I would keep it. But starting from scratch it would be a long time before the air time adds up to the cost of a full 802/Pactor set up.