With an SSB radio, PACTOR modem
, and a laptop
you can exchange e-mail at sea.
When you properly license your marine
SSB station (a restricted operator permit
for you and a station license for the boat neither of which require a test, both of which require some fees) you will get a callsign that will allow you to use PACTOR for e-mail on marine
SSB frequencies. The going rate for accounts with Sailmail and Cruisemail is 250 USD per year.
If you get an amateur radio license (exam and trivial fee, if any, depending on the examiner), you will get a quite different callsign that will allow you to use PACTOR for e-mail on ham radio frequencies. There is no charge to use the amateur Winlink system.
systems your connect time is generally limited. I haven't found that to be very difficult to manage on Sailmail, but I do use Winlink also.
On amateur frequencies (i.e. Winlink) there are limits on content, the most significant of which is nothing of pecuniary interest to the parties involved. My understanding is that the FCC has interpreted the rules as allowing for repair parts
to be ordered since the pecuniary interest of the vendor is secondary to the safety
of the boat and operators. You might want to consult with the Winlink organization before counting on that; I use Sailmail for anything with any commercial
interest to anyone at all.
73 es sail fast, dave / KO4MI