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Old 06-04-2013, 08:24   #1
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InReach systems, practial experience

Ahoy

Anyone who has practical experience with inreach systems ?

Realworld prices when used ?
Stability ?

Alternative to eprib ?

I read this article about their newest model, but there was an older model without screen.

Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: inReach SE, will the screen do it?
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:06   #2
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Re: InReach systems, practial experience

I am testing one right now.

Do NOT consider it an alternative to an epirb. It is grossly inferior (and spot is even worse) in several regards for emergency signaling. You should have a GPS enabled epirb even if you have an inreach.

For tracking and SMS type messaging it is quite easy to use and functional if you have a smart phone or iPad (I am using it with an iPad). So, excellent for family and friends to follow your track, and to send short text messages.

It's more expensive than some alternatives (like spot), but is the only true pole to pole worldwide solution. It's also more stable and reliable than spot. Inreach would be my choice for "serious" cruising, while spot would be more economical for casual usa coastal cruising.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:11   #3
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Re: InReach systems, practial experience

Thanks for your reply.

Why is it inferior as replacement for epirb ? it sends a signal with gps position to the same satellites as an epirb.

Needs to be more waterproof ?

How long is the delay on your system from when you send a ams to someone actually receives it ?
Same with social updates, any long delays ?
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:45   #4
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Re: InReach systems, practial experience

Check out the Yellow Brick. I think the price plan will work out to a fraction of the annual cost compared to the DeLorme.

I have a fixed mount sat phone on my boat inherited from the previous owner. I've never activated it -- sat phone doesn't turn me on. BUT the ability to send and receive SMS messages by satellite -- that to me is an extremely useful application of the technology. So I think devices like this are really useful.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:49   #5
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Re: InReach systems, practial experience

We have an Delorme and loved using it when we were out of cell range. Posting messages and locations to friends and family was pretty nice. We also have an epirb though. We feel like it is a good backup.
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Old 06-04-2013, 13:17   #6
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Re: InReach systems, practial experience

The plus of epirb, well it's free IF it works and someone responds

I use the Gen 1 inReach in the High Arctic north of 75 deg and it’s great, I’ll be upgrading to the SE, so I don’t need my iPhone or iPad as the interface, though I see I can still use the IOS devices if needed. I have the max message account and use it all the time to send info south. I would trust it anywhere in the world to replace an epirb as I can SMS with someone on the other end in an emergency, you really don’t know if your epirb that has been hanging for 5-10 years on the bulkhead by the companionway is even going to work, not for me anymore.
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Old 06-04-2013, 13:33   #7
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Re: InReach systems, practial experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ Christenson View Post
Thanks for your reply.

Why is it inferior as replacement for epirb ? it sends a signal with gps position to the same satellites as an epirb.

The SOS message (for both inreach & spot) goes to a private company (called GEOS). It does NOT go to the USCG. GEOS then try's to contact your emergency contacts and validate it before contacting the USCG. That wastes a lot of time. And if the signal is turned off (as in you sink or it dies) they stop following up. You should read the accident report for the vessel Aegean. I was on the accident investigation panel and researched and wrote the section on the emergency response. If they had fired off an epirb the USCG would have had a helo on site within 45-60 minutes, but with SPOT and GEOS it took 8 hours before the USCG came on site and there was a sequence of GEOS errors (mis-communicating the lat/log format, just leaving voice mails and not following them up, etc) that did not give one great confidence. An EPIRB goes signal essentially goes directly to the USCG and they have a very high quality and low error rate (not zero error but damn close) response process.

Needs to be more waterproof ?

I keep it in a ziplock bag. It seems just fine with that. By itself it does not float, which an epirb will. In addition to watertightness, the ziplock adds floatation, but it does NOT maintain the antennae up attitude (which the eprib floatation does) so I am not sure if it would actually work in the water . . . be worth testing sometime.

How long is the delay on your system from when you send a ams to someone actually receives it ?

Less than 60 seconds.

Same with social updates, any long delays ?

I have not measured that, but I would suspect the same as the SMS's.
..........
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Old 06-04-2013, 16:38   #8
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Re: InReach systems, practial experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
It's more expensive than some alternatives (like spot), but is the only true pole to pole worldwide solution. It's also more stable and reliable than spot. Inreach would be my choice for "serious" cruising, while spot would be more economical for casual usa coastal cruising.
InReach also provides two-way messaging while Spot is one-way as I understand it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ Christenson View Post

Why is it inferior as replacement for epirb ? it sends a signal with gps position to the same satellites as an epirb.
It is not the same satellites. The EPIRB uses the COSPAS-SARSAT systems (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interna...rsat_Programme) while InReach uses the Iridium system (Iridium satellite constellation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:17   #9
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InReach has 100% global coverage.

The SPOT coverage is... spotty

We have an InReach onboard that's always hooked up to the 12V house battery. Works great to keep in touch with family and friends while out traveling.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:58   #10
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Re: InReach systems, practial experience

Have both SPOT and InReach aboard, been cruising 6 months with both.

Spot and InReach work well (Carib, Atlantic), if I had only 1 it would be the Inreach... bUT
Bring a huge stack of batteries! The battery life on mine is very short. Spot wins on battery life, but the 160 char texts are very nice.
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:33   #11
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Re: InReach systems, practial experience

Thanks for all the replies everybody :-)

Seems everybody agrees that the 2way communication works well.
But several people recommend to still have a proper epirb on board.

Anybody who has tried to use inreach in a real emergency ?
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:54   #12
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Re: InReach systems, practial experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ Christenson View Post
Thanks for all the replies everybody :-)

Seems everybody agrees that the 2way communication works well.
But several people recommend to still have a proper epirb on board.

Anybody who has tried to use inreach in a real emergency ?
For all the reasons mentioned by several others here, do not rely on a device like that for an emergency. Get a real EPIRB.

A device like this is like sending an SMS. Do you want to rely on that if your boat is sinking? Do you want to be fumbling around for mobile telephone numbers, inputting data, hoping that whoever you send the message to understands what to do with it? An EPIRB sends a signal coded with all essential information needed to rescue you, directly to the coast guard. It keeps sending it. Then it sends out a homing signal to make it easier to find you. Just push the button and the system does everything. A whole different ballgame.

They are not very expensive and there is no running cost. An EPIRB (or at least, a PLB) is a no-brainer, IMHO.

Be sure to compare subscription plans. Another system -- Yellowbrick -- uses the same satellites as DeLorme, but has a plan where you can activate it and de-activate it without charge on a month by month basis, so you don't pay for an entire year just to use for a one month cruise. The device they sell can be used to input your messages directly, unlike the DeLorme which requires a computer or smartphone. Looks like a much better deal to me, at least in our area.
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