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Old 27-08-2008, 21:45   #1
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Navtex - anybody using this?

i'm thinking of adding navtex for florida/bahamas cruising. seems a good way to get wx when i can't vhf nearby boats that are better equipped than mine.

if anybody has navtex experience - especailly in the bahamas/caribe area - i'd be interested to hear your experience.

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Old 27-08-2008, 22:43   #2
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Hi Matey,
Well I'm not in that Bahamas but have used Navtex for years. In Europe we find it invaluable with not just regular weather updates, but also other maritime warnings. Earlier this year when in Caribbean we did not pick up as many stations as I believed we would - but we did get some.
Hopefully someone else cruising the Bahamas can give you more local info.
Good luck

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Old 28-08-2008, 10:34   #3
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navtex can be gotten off of any portable sw radio audio output into a PC with a little cheap software and a patch cord. An easy addition if you have a pc on board.
You can get weather faxes this way too.
Check this link:Weather messages decoder - RTTY, NAVTEX, WEFAX (HF-FAX), NWR SAME software
There are others as well but i know this one works!

In the Abacos and Exumas there are daily VHF radio nets which supply weather plus wifi in many harbors so depending on your cruising plans you may not need any of this.

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Old 28-08-2008, 12:11   #4
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As Swagman says, Navtex is one of the "must haves" on cruising boats in Europe. I am from the UK and so fitted a cheap Nasa unit on my Eclipse catamaran.

I used it extensively in the Caribbean and Bahamas. I also got good weather info from it as far south as Panama so it has a 1000 mile + range.

It always puzzles me why so few Americans use Navtex. It is much easier to have a forecast written down which you can read at any time, then remembering to listen to a sometimes faint, often garbled, net forecast at an inconvenient time of day.

And of course Navtex gives much more information than just the weather. Buoys adrift, lost boats, bridges failed, distress messages etc

I will certainly be fitting one to my new Romany catamaran (currently in Va) prior to sailing south to the Bahamas this winter

Hope this helps

good sailing

Richard Woods of Woods Designs
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Old 28-08-2008, 18:50   #5
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an american friend of mine who cruised the med for seven years bought a navtex while he was there. said the best thing about navtex is that the broadcast is in english while most of the local weather forecasts were in the native language of the country he was in; like most of us americans, he is genetically incapable of learning a 'foreign' language....
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