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Old 03-02-2017, 16:30   #1
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GPS tracker for your sailboat?

Anyone use a GPS tracker? How reliable is it in a marine environment.

Was looking for GPS trackers for trucks at my job and ran into some models that cost $99 for the device and $99 a year for satellite tracking every 5 to 60min. They have an adapter for DC power and once the sailboat battery runs out the device will report its position for 24 to 50 days on its own batteries.

Was just curious what people think of them, worth it? Or just sorta fun toys.
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Old 03-02-2017, 16:56   #2
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Re: GPS tracker for your sailboat?

I've got a Delorme, I like it. I'd put a link to the online map here, but I'd get laughed out of the forum for sailing so slow.
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Old 03-02-2017, 17:13   #3
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Re: GPS tracker for your sailboat?

Are you sure that truck system is satellite tracking? At that price, I'd suspect it is cellphone based SMS tracking. (Spot Trace? )

Satellite trackers such as Inreach (I use it and like it) and Spot Gen3 are quite a bit more expensive.

It seems to me that Inreach has better coverage worldwide than Spot, I've seen many cases of Spot trackers not uupdating mid-ocean).

As for "worth it" or just toy". I wouldn't do a passage without my Inreach SE.

Not only does it allow people that need/want to know my progress to follow me, it also gives me two way SMS communications if required, access to weather forecasting and an emergency communications channel without needing to activate an EPIRB.
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Old 04-02-2017, 02:54   #4
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Re: GPS tracker for your sailboat?

Yeah spot trace caught my eye I did not even know they made that. Thought they just had the rescue one. The truck ones are all cell based but spot is cheaper on the monthly fees, but maybe not as feature rich. Thanks for the other brand, looking them up. Good to know about how you like them.

If they are portable you could even keep them on you. Reading in sail magazine a few months back I saw someone lost there life falling off a sailboat during a race in rough weather. Wonder if something like that might help. In rough weather not sure a ping every time 5min or 60mins would be much help. They already know where you are and can't find you.
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Old 04-02-2017, 09:16   #5
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Re: GPS tracker for your sailboat?

We used our Spot for a 5 week honeymoon from Annapolis to Martha's Vineyard last summer and it worked really well. In a couple of years when we have a cat and possibly spend half a year aboard at a time, I might consider an inReach. It's costlier, but with more extensive services.
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:42   #6
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Re: GPS tracker for your sailboat?

Is this to find the boat if stolen or for offshore safety. If not offshore, most cell companies let you add,a,phone for free or very cheap. just leave an old smartphone on the boat and use one of tge anchiw,watch programs. I do that when anchored and get a text if tge boat moves out of a user set parameter.
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Old 04-02-2017, 15:13   #7
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Re: GPS tracker for your sailboat?

This is our 3rd year with a Delorme Inreach and love it. All our friends follow us and think it's neet. Plus, you can text message from anywhere if required! They also offer evacuation insurance from the boat at a very reasonable price!
You can stop and start their plans every winter, as we only carry ours for 3-4 months then stop it. At the time "Spot" did not offer that, maybe they do now?
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Old 04-02-2017, 15:15   #8
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Re: GPS tracker for your sailboat?

Forgot to mention that Delorme/Inreach/Garmin will soon have a new model coming out with a bigger screen. I would wait for that.
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Old 04-02-2017, 17:49   #9
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Re: GPS tracker for your sailboat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Are you sure that truck system is satellite tracking? At that price, I'd suspect it is cellphone based SMS tracking. (Spot Trace? )

Satellite trackers such as Inreach (I use it and like it) and Spot Gen3 are quite a bit more expensive.

It seems to me that Inreach has better coverage worldwide than Spot, I've seen many cases of Spot trackers not uupdating mid-ocean).

As for "worth it" or just toy". I wouldn't do a passage without my Inreach SE.

Not only does it allow people that need/want to know my progress to follow me, it also gives me two way SMS communications if required, access to weather forecasting and an emergency communications channel without needing to activate an EPIRB.
Hi Stu,
What is the form of weather forecasting and can you connect it to a computer on a map?
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Old 04-02-2017, 17:51   #10
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Re: GPS tracker for your sailboat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannacat View Post
Forgot to mention that Delorme/Inreach/Garmin will soon have a new model coming out with a bigger screen. I would wait for that.


It's Garmin, they bought Delorme out, and launch date is Feb 10.
I can get it with an employee discount as we are dealers, but I see no advantage to the Garmin for boating, and I think it's lots more. Now may be the time to buy the Delorme while it's still an option
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Old 04-02-2017, 18:36   #11
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Re: GPS tracker for your sailboat?

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Originally Posted by peter57 View Post
Hi Stu,
What is the form of weather forecasting and can you connect it to a computer on a map?
It's just simple abbreviated text messages, but still very useful.

See SpotCast Extreme Weather
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Old 04-02-2017, 18:41   #12
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Re: GPS tracker for your sailboat?

I have the Delorme Inreach and will get the new Garmin Inreach this month because of better firmware and larger screen and more water resistant which we had issues with on our present model.

The spot does not use Iridium satellite network so mid to South Pacific is out of coverage as well as south Atlantic.

We tried a Spot while we were in the NW Pacific and although it will track your position, its about all it will do. The unit is very un-user friendly and cumbersome to use. Looks like the new unit is not much different. There is no texting, only preset messages you can set up on the web site.

After using the Inreach, I would never go sailing without it. Its a very inexpensive way to text anyone anywhere in the world, and is a great backup to the EPRIB for emergency communication, plus I think one of the best websites for tracking.
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Old 28-02-2017, 13:06   #13
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Re: GPS tracker for your sailboat?

We have a great tracker available for sailboats or any other asset, zero install cost, satellite based tracking that will cover you anywhere in the world.

If you are interested send us a PM or send me an email: andrew@atlastraxusa.net
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