I saw this thread and thought I could help, but...
But, lumping "watermakers" and "SSB Radios" together in one discussion seemed like a recipe for disaster...
So, I thought about sending you a PM with some info...but...
But, then I saw some of the info that was being offered here, and it seemed that maybe my info/ideas/recommendations (on HF-SSB Radios) might be helpful to others here, as well...
Originally Posted by dive
I am getting ready to head
out for an extended cruise and want to add a water maker and SSB
before getting under weigh. The boats a Hardin 45'...
I have never had a SSB
before on previous boats but have always been within a day of land. I now will be making up to 3 week passages so want to be able to make long distance calls and I understand that they can also provide weather
fax, and email
as well? I would love to hear from anyone who has used the above on their thoughts. I also understand that you can buy a SSB/Ham combination as well so does the extra cash warrant that?
Not knowing where you are currently located...nor your specific plans, where, when you're voyaging....nor what your budget
is....I can only offer generalities....
The more info you can supply, the more details we can give!!!
Just, FYI, here are some photos of my Nav Station....
And, of my ham shack at home....
(I've got about 40 years experience in HF communications
, at-sea and on-land, both maritime and ham..)
So, in general...
1) I am going to suggest some reading for you, which should keep 'ya busy for a while....but will also educate you on what a Marine HF-DSC-SSB radio can do for you, and how-to best use it...
Please have a look at these threads/discussions, and watch some videos, and you'll learn a LOT!!!
M-802 Instr Videos(basic-adv) & LIVE DSC-Distress Call
(especially videos #8, 10, 6, 4, 5, and 9....videos 1, 2, 3, and 7 are "radio specific" to the Icom M-802, and are helpful to users of other radios, but I'd recommend them AFTER you've watched the others, and made a decision on a radio
These threads/discussions hold a great deal of info, and probably most of the answers to questions that you may have....
Tips for using an HF-SSB Radio (mostly for newcomers)
Offshore / Hi-Seas Weather data / forecasts
HF Radio Freqs, summertime Atlantic crossing, offshore Net..
Icom M-802 DSC-Distress Signaling, what really happens!
EPIRB Activation? What happens/How to improve rescue odds
2) As for a specific radio recommend, that's easy....
The Icom M-802 Marine HF-DSC-SSB (which also does HF ham radio, if you have an amateur radio license), is the only affordable HF-DSC-SSB radio on the market...it sells for about $1850....and the whole system, including remote auto-tuner, wire, cable, connectors, etc...installed, ready-to-go, will set you back about $2650...
And, if want a detailed discussion as to why trying to use a ham radio on the marine bands/channels is a very bad idea...please read this thread...
Icom 725, switch to SSB
3) You can get a pretty good understanding of HF-DSC signaling by watching some of the above videos, but if you desire more info/clarification on it, please ask!!!
4) If you can get by with having e-mail on-board only when in port, at anchor
, etc....and not while offshore
, far out at-sea....then a good external hi-perf Wi-Fi system, such as that sold by Island Time PC http://islandtimepc.com/marine_wifi.html
and whatever 3G/4G wireless plan/provider will work for you along your journey, will do everything you need....
There is NO need for a satellite communications
system, NOR any PACTOR
....as these items/systems would give you e-mail access when offshore
on long passages and/or in far-flung remote
locales (where internet
access is scarce)....and most find this unnecessary (although the guys selling the stuff, won't usually tell 'ya that unless you ask 'em...)
5) But, should you find a need
for e-mail access while offshore, at-sea, and you can afford it.....
you can access e-mail using LOW-SPEED data connections (typically ~ 2.4k baud) via either Sailmail (using a PACTOR modem) or via a satcomm system (such as an Iridium
system, with ext. antenna
Though, usually not a necessity for most...and, since adding just this one capability (e-mail access when offshore), will cost you an additional $1000 to $2000...
Rick, please provide more details for us....read over the above threads/discussions....and ask for clarifications / more questions....
6) Rick, I usually don't agree with "Lake Superior" on HF-SSB issues, as I am a BIG proponent of HF radio
Originally Posted by LakeSuperior
But, here he DOES make a good point....and especially if you are really "getting ready to head
out for an extended cruise", and do not have the time to actually learn how-to use an HF radio
, you may find a sat comm system to be more to your liking...
But, just be forewarned that a sat phone
is NOT a substitute for a properly working HF-DSC-SSB....but it is better than nothing at all...
7) Compared to HF Radios / Communications, my thoughts/recommends on watermakers are easy...
Originally Posted by dive
The boats a Hardin 45'and I have two 75 gallon water tanks
with a cross over line but would like to be able to shower
when I want and not worry about taking on fresh good water in remote places or lugging in by dinghy
in 5 gallon containers. I hear that they come in electric
or driven off the main and in an attempt to keep the cost down, I am looking for a smaller unit say 50 gal a day?
You are NOT going to want a "drive-off-the-main engine" unit....lots of "helpful" souls will try to convince you that it is the cheapest way to go...but PLEASE heed the advice of others here (like Tellie and Rich/"Third Day")!!!
Probably the single most important aspect of watermaker choice is, how are you going to power it!!!
Please do NOT discount this...as many have, and have regretted it!!
I'm a rare watermaker owner/user, in that I am energy self-sufficient...meaning I run my hi-efficiency Spectra (as well as my refrig/freezer, stereo, radios, navigation equipment, autopilot, etc.) from 12vdc battery bank and a large (un-shaded and well ventilated) solar array....
(Most watermaker owners/users are NOT so lucky..)
Bottom line for watermakers in the 21st Century:
a) Either you choose not to have one...
b) Or you choose a high-efficiency 12vdc unit (Spectra)
c) Or you choose a high-output 120vac unit (CruiseRO)
These days, almost any other choices are typically fraught with "issues"....and end costing a LOT more $$$ and aggravation!!!
In addition to the input here from Rich (Third Day) and Tellie, please read over these threads for more info....
Watermaker advise needed
Request for information on Aquamaax Water makers
Building 12 volt watermakers
Ready for Solar - need advice!
Regardless of the topic of the thread, there is a LOT of watermaker info/advice in these discussions!!! }
Here is an article/photos of my Spectra Ventura MPC-5000...which has worked great for me for about 7 years and > 12,000 miles offshore...(and I'm completely energy self-sufficient as well...)
Fair winds and good luck...
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927