Originally Posted by artisthos
I think I have solved
our weather and communications
system. Use an inReach. DeLorme inReach - Two-way satellite text messaging, tracking and SOS anywhere in the world
now they have weather.
The expedition plan is $65 a month which you can purchased by the month. Each weather download is a dollar. I have not confirmed that this is the Premium Marine Plan which we would have.
The inReach Explorer device is $380. Plugging it into a pad or laptop
would give you the weather with wind and waves.
You can communicate with unlimited 114 character messages.
Combine this with a AIS VHF
receiver to see ships broadcasting.
A chart plotter like GPS
Navigator may complete the system.
Plus it would be easy on the batteries.
Maybe we could avoid getting radar
which is hell on the battery
Thanks for a great group, I'd buy you all a beer
if I could find the link.
What a fun adventure you have planned.
As a fellow high latitude sailor [but on the other coast...] I would encourage you to gain a deeper understanding of the marine weather [and Wx forecasting] in the areas you plan to travel before concluding that the automated products currently available via SMS only [Delorme, etc.] are adequate for your needs.
My statement has nothing to do with whether the DeLorme, Yellowbrick, and similar two way SMS devices are useful. They are, but within limits with regards to weather products.
Expanding on what I mean about Marine Wx, I believe there is a difference between understanding the Wx, and understanding the Wx products available for diagnosing/predicting/confirming the Wx where you are. [For more details, here is a related blog post
which links back to another somewhat related discussion on this forum, and contains links to some of the excellent marine Wx resources we rely upon...]
What are some of the Wx products I cannot do without when traversing higher latitudes that are not all available via SMS?
- Weather Fax [surface forecasts and 500mb charts]
- Forecaster's Discussion [What were 'they' thinking?...]
- Detailed Marine Forecasts
- GRIB files of my choosing [variable data as needed; one download feeds several applications onboard]
Very recently I assisted some fellow sailors on a crossing they made by aggregating [and sometimes interpreting...] and sending Wx info they could not find/receive through other resources on their DeLorme InReach, so I have some recent experience with this.
It looks like the recently released DeLorme Wx offering is a nice interface rendering GRIB data. But I constantly remind myself GRIB data is computer generated and not interpreted by a human- except you and I when we receive it. WeFax charts
contain those interpretations, as well as illustrate fronts...
Another point I would like to make is, after a quick cost analysis I would argue that doing all this via sat phone
costs about the same, and yields far more usable results and capabilities.
e.g., A used Iridium
Sat phone costs the same [for older phones- scroll down to the 9505
] as a new InReach. [For the sake of discussion, newer used sat phones cost twice as much. Scroll to 9555 on above link...]
Your annual unlimited SMS service with DeLorme is US$65/mo or $820/yr; 500 Int'l sat phone minutes are US$730/yr. We use about 400 minutes/year downloading Wx data twice daily, and send/receive email
and SMS messages as well. And we can make voice calls in an emergency
DeLorme forecasts are US$1/each, so that would be US$2/day for us. For US$1/day we subscribe to UUplus service so we can download any Wx products we need [all free via SailDocs] and send/receive email
with anyone. Of course it uses sat phone minutes, but that is already accounted for above.
We can also do all of the above on our Marine SSB/MF/HF radio
, but we choose to use the sat phone for reliability
[Here is my detailed write-up about our Sat phone and costs
, which includes more specifics (and hopefully clarity) with links to much of what I mentioned above.]
In closing, please don't take my comments as discouragement regarding your adventure. Please accept them as encouragement to further your depth
of understanding of marine weather- especially for the complicated weather areas you plan to explore.
There are many Wx prediction products, and several somewhat cost effective methods for receiving them while on the water
. I hope this provides more food
for thought as you work through what might be best for you.
Best wishes with your impending adventure!
PS: As a side note, I would also strongly advise RADAR capability for your trip [Dense Fog
...] The newer digital units (3G, 4G, etc.) are very easy on the batteries... [We have a 4G and speak from experience...]