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Old 27-07-2011, 10:54   #61
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Email sent via Ham bands must not be encrypted, by regulation. So yes, theoretically anyone can read that mail. If you had to send secure email, you would need to use Sailmail on the marine SSB bands, not on the ham bands. You could then encrypt with something like PGP.

Or use your Satphone.

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Old 27-07-2011, 11:28   #62
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Re: Opinions of Non-HAM Sailors Solicited

Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
'Day all,

Ann and I have been in lots of crowded anchorages over the past 25 years and have certainly had SSB and Pactor interference with our daily ham nets. Simply a fact of life, regrettable and inconsiderate at times but not a show stopper.

But never in all those years and anchorages has there been interference from either these sources or from HF ham traffic to any VHF transmissions.

Our experience started on the California coast, wandered through Mexico and the South Pacific and equatorial islands, lots of time in NZ and Oz. It seems odd that we have never experienced these "very common" problems.



Agreed. I have never had VHF interference from HF either...


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Old 27-07-2011, 18:28   #63
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Re: Opinions of Non-HAM Sailors Solicited

Originally Posted by Capt. lulz View Post
I have concerns with these methods of sending/receiving email. Because they are over radio, couldn't your messages be intercepted? And worse, your password?

I don't understand how this this works. Even if encrypted, your messages are only safe until it reaches its endpoint where it is decrypted, which I assume can be a 3rd party just before reaching your actual email server (man in the middle attack by design)

From what I understand, this is not a means to access the internet, which implies I cannot contact my email server directly, therefore unable to use standard encryption schemes such as SSL/TLS etc..
Lulz, with SSB email like Winlink or SailMail, your email is not SSL secure but it would take some serious effort for someone else to read it. Go to or to see how it works, or better yet read my Radio Email page. You go through their email servers, so it means a new email address, & there are some pretty severe limitations (plain text, limited attachments, etc). For us, we wanted an SSB anyway, so the additional cost of a Pactor Modem for essentially free (social) email anywhere in the world was worth it. But we don't do business over it.

But if you need to do secure business with your own email server, go with a SatPhone & data hookup. This will also give you (limited) web as well as voice capability. I haven't looked at Iridium lately, but I was never able to get more than 2400 baud out of it, despite advertising claims of much higher. An Iridium handset will run about a Boat Buck ($1,000) with another $200 for the data hookup. There are several plans but ~$700 will buy you 500 minutes (less than 2min/day). Inmarsat requires more hardware & is more expensive, but may be better for what you want.
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Old 27-07-2011, 19:53   #64
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Re: Opinions of Non-HAM Sailors Solicited

Opinions of Non-HAM Sailors Solicited

Notes on a Circumnavigation.

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Old 27-07-2011, 19:54   #65
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Re: Opinions of Non-HAM Sailors Solicited

Here's my 2 cents on the subject:

Most cruisers just want HAM because of the free email. They don't care about the technology, the cult, the contests, the DX (that's long range) CQ's etc.... they just want... free email.

That's just fine, but then stop complaining about having to pass an exam. If you find it hilariously stupid, pull out the sat phone instead and put the $$$ on table.

ps. I got full instruction on SSB (incl. actually calling a coast station), Inmarsat-C, EPIRB and SART during my MARCOM-A GMDSS course so I guess it's available (or have they stopped that?)


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