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Old 06-01-2010, 18:33   #1
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Satellite Tracking System for Boat

Does anyone know of or recommend a system to use that will satellite track the boat while we travel? I'd like something that people back home can look at and track our trip...

Spot is a option but I see myself forgetting to push the button.

thanks!
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Old 06-01-2010, 18:37   #2
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Argos - Worldwide tracking and environmental monitoring by satellite

This is what we use in the Alaska Fishing fleet. I do not know the price.
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Old 06-01-2010, 18:39   #3
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Thumbs up This maybe of interest.

All Products : Findmespot.com, SPOT LLC

I had a friend sail to Jamaica and back and was able to see his track on google maps, forwarded from a another friend.

Quite cool! I'm going to get one to put the friends & family at ease next time off.

Cheers
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Old 06-01-2010, 18:57   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas_Chris View Post
......Spot is a option but I see myself forgetting to push the button. thanks!
I think you gotta ask yourself, "If I can't remember to push the button, should I really be out here?" :-)

The price differential between the SPOT system and any other option is huge.

Bill
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Old 06-01-2010, 19:07   #5
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haha, good point. I just imagine I'll be doing more important stuff... like sailing the ship!

Just would be nice for that to be automated.
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Old 06-01-2010, 19:54   #6
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Spot is nice and works

The Spot is a pretty nifty little device, and works well. Had a friend on an Alaska cruise last year, and he sent position reports every day. It is by far way ahead of anything else out there, in terms of dollars. Just get in the habit of pressing the button same time every day. Put it on the duty list, just like checking the bilge, or charging batteries. There is also a ham deal that does pretty much the same thing. Anything automated, your gonna have to cough up some big bucks for.
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Old 06-01-2010, 20:33   #7
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Make sure that Spot covers the areas where you will be cruising. Spot uses the Globalstar satellite system, and due to the system design there are large areas, usually mid-ocean, where there is no coverage.

For complete coverage look at systems based on the Iridium or Orbcomm satellites (for example). Here's a link to a SSCA Forum discussion on this topic: SSCA Discussion Board • View topic - Race tracking technology for Cruisers
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Old 06-01-2010, 20:45   #8
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If you decide that Spot will suit your needs, I just saw this new Spot/GPS combo on the great Panbo.com marine electronics website:Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: DeLorme & Spot, who knew?
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Old 06-01-2010, 20:50   #9
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"There is also a ham deal that does pretty much the same thing."
Not for world cruising. APRS relies on VHF radio, very similar to marine VHF in terms of range, posting into internet gateway servers all run by volunteers. In many places there are no receivers within radio range of a VHF radio, so even in the US you'd have to call it "unavailable" in too many places. Nice if it works for you--but not reliable unless you're providing your own coverage, or certain it is in the area you will be.
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Old 06-01-2010, 21:01   #10
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www.iboattrack.com


Great guys, ask for George, and tell him I referred you. We use them in our rally, and they work great. Folks at home can follow you very easily. It's $175 for a single trip, but I believe they also have a monthly subscription option for longer term cruising.
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Old 06-01-2010, 21:40   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"There is also a ham deal that does pretty much the same thing."
Not for world cruising. APRS relies on VHF radio, very similar to marine VHF in terms of range, posting into internet gateway servers all run by volunteers. In many places there are no receivers within radio range of a VHF radio, so even in the US you'd have to call it "unavailable" in too many places. Nice if it works for you--but not reliable unless you're providing your own coverage, or certain it is in the area you will be.
Actually, APRS is worldwide. HF APRS has been in operation for some time, and works very well. See, e.g.,. HF APRS Boat and RV Tracking Net

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Old 06-01-2010, 21:43   #12
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And remember to tell the folks not to hit the panic button if the signal disappears, that's what the epirb is for.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:45   #13
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Thanks, Bill. I know APRS is worldwide...but there are equally worldwide gaps in the coverage. HF is a nice concept, but for a non-ham just getting started, just how practical do you think that would be? Getting a general class license, a HF transmitter set up, the APRS equipment...Someone has to make a major investment of their time to make it happen and keep it happening. Ignoring what they need to buy.
I'd have to call if "of limited to no practicality" except to full time techies who were already general class hams.
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