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Old 13-03-2017, 05:43   #1
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Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

Based on a few threads of missing vessels and vessels having to be abandoned, neither of which has to my knowledge ever been heard from again, had me a little worried.
I initially believed AIS would be the salvation if my boat went walkabout, or if we ever had to leave her, however AIS has turned out to not be as useful as I had hoped. So I started thinking about a tracker, trucks and containers are tracked world wide, so why can't a boat be?
Being that Garmin had just bought out Delorme, I waited until the Garmin product was available. Initial thought was to put it in a waterproof box in the cockpit but plugged into a 12 VDC source to keep it charged, that way it is out in the open, protected and continually charged.
However, it seems to work fine on my chart table down below, it sends and receives messages via satellite, receives GPS and transmits successfully track data.

Interestingly by comparison, the phone I used to carry a Motorola 9500, would never have worked below deck.

Also it is too early to say it will always work below deck, nor can we say because it works under my deck, that it will work under all decks. There is no wood in my deck for example.
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Old 13-03-2017, 06:16   #2
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

Using the Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device seems like a great way to go.

This device does a lot of things well and a lot of world circumnavigators are already using them with great success.
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Old 13-03-2017, 07:46   #3
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

Pair the inReach with a portable solar charger and you have the perfect ditch bag device.
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Old 13-03-2017, 07:51   #4
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

It is a great device. Some of my clients carry one.

Too bad Garmin's first "improvement" was bumping up the price and by such a large margin.

At times the original DeLorme incarnation can be had at about USD 250 from online retailers though. Looks like a great deal.

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Old 13-03-2017, 08:18   #5
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

I hadn't though of it as a ditch bag item, I guess so.
I think the thing has a very long internal battery life, and for use in a ditch bag, likely you would only turn it on for a few minutes a day anyway, and or could recharge it from one of many devices meant to recharge cell phones, it's micro USB.
Garmin is going to jack up the price, they are Garmin, which also means that in five years they won't support it any longer, because they are Garmin, you will have to buy the new one.

At work, we are Garmin dealers, which means though the employee discount program I can get anything Garmin for 35% off, limit one, and they are very careful to make sure it's not re-sold anytime soon too.
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Old 13-03-2017, 08:35   #6
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

I use my InReach on long trips. I strap it under the dodger and leave it on all the time if I'm moving.

- The Emergency SOS button is comforting on long voyages.
- Friends and family can track my progress.
- Can send and receive text messages from anywhere.
- Charge the battery every 3-4 days.
- Can turn off the monthly charges when not in use.

Wouldn't leave without it on a long trip.
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Old 13-03-2017, 09:00   #7
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

I have a Spot Trace on my boat, hard wired, and it emails me at 2 PM every day to tell me the boat is where it belongs. If the boat moves, it lets me know where it is every 10 minutes. What could be better than that?
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Old 13-03-2017, 09:14   #8
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

I chartered a sailboat for 6 months in the Eastern Caribbean a couple of years ago. The charter company put an InReach in the boat under the bimini. They knew where I (and their boat) was at all times and we could text each other in case of any problems. Also friends could access it to track our progress. Works great! Never needed it for SOS but it was comforting to know it was available.
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Old 13-03-2017, 10:28   #9
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

An almost perfect solution. I use one in the Nth Pacific. I would also subscribe to their marine weather system too. Set it so that it only updates every three hours, and a charge will last a week or so.
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Old 13-03-2017, 12:07   #10
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

Invaluable, I would not do a long sail without one... VOE: An Unexpected Storm Tests Boat and Crew - Sail Magazine
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Old 13-03-2017, 12:15   #11
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

I have used an InReach for the past 4 years
both in Europe and the east coast of the US
Unit worked great, family and friends tracked and communicated with me flawlessly.
Soft button broke at 13 months and Delorme
replaced under warranty.
Delorme service was exceptional
but have not had any interactions since taken over
by Garmin. I hope it stays the same
Good back up GPS
Sending tracking points every 30 minutes
battery lasted 72 hours.
Cheers
Neil
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Old 13-03-2017, 12:36   #12
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

You also get weather forecast anywhere in the world. This is super nice. Imho.

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Old 13-03-2017, 13:38   #13
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

I have a YB tracker and after many years of use, realised it worked just as well in a cupboard in the cabin as it did on deck. So when I shipped my boat from Turkey to Australia, I added a temporary USB port directly connected to the battery and left the YB in the cupboard. It was great to be able to see exactly where she was on the whole journey.

My YB lasts at least a month on battery alone.
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Old 13-03-2017, 14:14   #14
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

It looks like the Spot Gen3 will do most of the same things (no option for weather) for a lot less money. Am I missing something?
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Old 13-03-2017, 14:28   #15
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Re: Garmin Inreach as a Tracking Device

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Woodward View Post
It looks like the Spot Gen3 will do most of the same things (no option for weather) for a lot less money. Am I missing something?
Poor coverage
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