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MoonlightSailor 29-12-2018 11:15

Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Hi,

I'm contemplating purchasing a device from www.findmespot.com. Technology has come a long way since we were cruising 6 years ago.

If you're using SPOT, how do you like it?

Since I'm new to the service, is there anyone that wants to refer me so we can both get $30 towards our service?

Thanks!
Matt

Group9 29-12-2018 11:55

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
We've had a Spot II since 2010 (the store we bought our SatPhone from threw it in for free). It is still going strong, and has turned out to be our friends' and family's favorite device. They love getting the updates from it and seeing where we are with the Google Earth link.

MoonlightSailor 29-12-2018 12:19

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Well, I think I've found the info that will nix my decision to go with SPOT. There coverage in the Pacific Ocean is JUNK.

I'm researching the Garmin option with their inReach device. Worldwide coverage with those devices.

boatman61 29-12-2018 12:21

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Use my Spotgen3 on all my trips.. Owners like to be in touch with my/boat location at the touch of a button with the phone App..
CF'rs like to follow it as well.. see what I do next.. :biggrin:

Group9 29-12-2018 13:22

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MoonlightSailor (Post 2790438)
Well, I think I've found the info that will nix my decision to go with SPOT. There coverage in the Pacific Ocean is JUNK.

I'm researching the Garmin option with their inReach device. Worldwide coverage with those devices.


We only used ours in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the Bahamas. It worked great there, I have no idea what their coverage is in the Pacific. You might need an Iridium based platform out there.

StuM 29-12-2018 14:18

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MoonlightSailor (Post 2790438)
Well, I think I've found the info that will nix my decision to go with SPOT. There coverage in the Pacific Ocean is JUNK.

I'm researching the Garmin option with their inReach device. Worldwide coverage with those devices.


Absolutely correct. Go for the Inreach - it's an excellent solution.

907Juice 29-12-2018 14:25

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
I was a strong supporter for spot devices but they couldn’t keep up with technology. I switched to DELORME Inreach 8 or so years ago and haven’t looked back. There is no reason that you shouldn’t get confirmation a messages sent and two way communication.

HopCar 29-12-2018 14:52

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
A friend of mine crossed the Atlantic, cruised Europe, re-crossed the Atlantic, passed through the Panama Canal and is now in California. I was able to follow him on the Inreach Website and send him text messages the whole way. Amazing technology!

MoonlightSailor 29-12-2018 14:55

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Thanks for all the feedback thus far. I've just researched the Garmin inReach devices and it looks pretty good.

Are there any other similar services offered by other companies for sailors that hasn't been mentioned?

907Juice 29-12-2018 14:57

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Iridium has a service and yellow box or something. But none have the market share or name recognition as the inreach.

nzmal 29-12-2018 15:12

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 907Juice (Post 2790534)
Iridium has a service and yellow box or something. But none have the market share or name recognition as the inreach.

I've been using Garmin inreach for just over a year and love it. Use it sailing and hunting. Sending and receiving texts in remote areas is gold.

MoonlightSailor 29-12-2018 15:17

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
DeLorme inReach....

Is Delorme just a different service that uses the inReach devices?

boatman61 29-12-2018 15:29

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Now this is why I love my Spot.. the owner et al can follow my progress but.. I have the peace and independence away from the outside world..
yet still can transmit messages from 'all is well'.. to 'PanPan' and 'Mayday'..
The rest..? you guys can keep. :biggrin:

IslandHopper 29-12-2018 15:52

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MoonlightSailor (Post 2790543)
DeLorme inReach....

Is Delorme just a different service that uses the inReach devices?

Garmin acquired Delorme back in 2016 along with substantial stocks of the Delorme units, these where still available but to be discontinued when supplies ran out, which they could have by now as Garmin have already released the newly designed Garmin inReach SE Plus and Explorer Plus.....

https://newsroom.garmin.com/press-re...cquire-delorme

https://explore.garmin.com/en-AU/inreach/

......and yes, another vote here for the inReach :thumb:

boatman61 29-12-2018 16:12

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Forgot to say.. Spot now has a new toy, the SpotX..
I did enquire about it but was told its currently only available for the US market which was a bit of a bumma as I would have upgraded..

Spot X - 2-Way Satellite Messenger

Waterford 29-12-2018 17:06

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
The InReach has worked very well for email and weather. It uses an app to connect to your iPhone or iPad to make writing and reading easier. Perpetual track posts to online map for friends to follow. Excellent product.

Captndave1 30-12-2018 09:05

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
I have a Spot Trace, when I am home, it sends me an email each day to inform me they the boat is where it should be. When I am out on the boat, it still sends email once a day as well as marks my position which anyone that I give permission to follow my track. Haven’t crossed oceans with it, so don’t know how well it works offshore. Back in my delivery days, I used a Spot to track in the Atlantic and Caribbean and it worked just fine.

Cpt Mark 30-12-2018 09:07

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
My personal experience with spot was that it is slow and took forever to acquire satellites. I used it for my airplane and on my final backpacking trip where I fell, was paralyzed from the neck down for a while and helicoptered out to trauma the next day. We pushed the SOS button and they launched into rescue mode immediately. It's a good enough unit but the In-Reach unit is so much better and has more functionality and is worldwide. On the other hand, SPOT is cheap per year vs In-Reach.

charris 30-12-2018 09:15

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
As usual you get what you pay for. InReach costs more but has so much more to offer. I have a Spot and an inReach, and the InReach offers accurate weather for anywhere in the world, and perhaps most important - two way communication. In the event of a medical emergency, this along justifies the added cost. You can tell the doctor where it hurts but if he can't tell you what to do it doesn't help much. And just getting a reply at all gives one a feeling of confidence. When you send out that SOS you want to know you've been heard. The display on the new SpotX is tiny - my 69 year old eyes almost need a magnifying glass. I do all my work on the InReach using my iPhone and have no troubles with it. So IMHO the InReach beats the Spot hands down. Unless Spot gets cracking and catches up with InReach I wouldn't be surprised to see them go under.

Joyful Noise 30-12-2018 10:01

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
My oldest son bought one for me when I purchased my boat on Shelter Island New York. He and others in my family were able to trace my voyage home to Salt River St Croix through Newport RI and Bermuda. They were pleased to have the ability to follow Joyful Noises's progress to her new Home.

davenrino 30-12-2018 11:10

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by charris (Post 2790920)
As usual you get what you pay for. InReach costs more but has so much more to offer. I have a Spot and an inReach, and the InReach offers accurate weather for anywhere in the world, and perhaps most important - two way communication. In the event of a medical emergency, this along justifies the added cost. You can tell the doctor where it hurts but if he can't tell you what to do it doesn't help much. And just getting a reply at all gives one a feeling of confidence. When you send out that SOS you want to know you've been heard. The display on the new SpotX is tiny - my 69 year old eyes almost need a magnifying glass. I do all my work on the InReach using my iPhone and have no troubles with it. So IMHO the InReach beats the Spot hands down. Unless Spot gets cracking and catches up with InReach I wouldn't be surprised to see them go under.

:thumb: I have Inreach Explorer for sailing and backcountry motorcycle trips. I also bluetooth my non-cellular ipad to it for Navionics. One of my friends was killed in a motorcycle crash in Mexico where there was no cell service. All 3 of our friends with him hit SOS on their Spots but never did find out if anyone received it. They switched to Inreach.

Sea-TechSystems 30-12-2018 11:18

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatman61 (Post 2790563)
Forgot to say.. Spot now has a new toy, the SpotX..
I did enquire about it but was told its currently only available for the US market which was a bit of a bumma as I would have upgraded..

Spot X - 2-Way Satellite Messenger

It's not US only.. Though the two-way messaging has a smaller footprint compared with the tracking functionality. If you upgrade to SPOTX from A SPOTGen3, the tracking coverage will be the same..

You can see the coverage map for one-way (send) vs two-way coverage here: https://www.sea-tech.com/product/glo...ite-messenger/

rbk 30-12-2018 11:31

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Been using spot for as long as they’ve been around. Still use my gen 1. Big difference is memeberhsip cost but Spot keeps uping the price but offerning no further services. So I’ll be moving to inreach after this years spot expires.

Sea-TechSystems 30-12-2018 11:32

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rbk (Post 2791022)
Been using spot for as long as they’ve been around. Still use my gen 1. Big difference is memeberhsip cost but Spot keeps uping the price but offerning no further services. So I’ll be moving to inreach after this years spot expires.

Have you seen the SPOTX?

FlyingScot 30-12-2018 11:45

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
I have the inReach Explorer+. I recommend it. More than just sailing usefulness. I wish I could get slow internet through it for GRIB files. One thing to keep in mind is they do not work at all without a subscription. So plan on $13/month for the rest of your life for the minimum package.

Caribsailors 30-12-2018 12:37

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
I use the Spot for about 6 years, and have had no issues with it. The reason I got it was twofold.

First to let my darling, who does not go offshore with me. It lets her and family know where I am with regular updates, and custom messages if weather delayed.

Second is the PanPan and SOS feature. My EPIRB need to be recertified. I removed if from it's original mounting place and sent it off. Was contacted that it could not be recertified because of a cracked housing....it never left the mounting from the day it was installed, til I sent it off for recertification.....I think I was being played, as I know I packed it properly for shipping, on their recommendations.

So I elected to go with the SPOT.. same authorities are contacted for SOS as with the EPRIB.

I have been considering the Garmin product .... the main reason is the message confirmation feature....not all that concerned with the two way messaging.

Cheers

boatman61 30-12-2018 13:15

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sea-TechSystems (Post 2791011)
It's not US only.. Though the two-way messaging has a smaller footprint compared with the tracking functionality. If you upgrade to SPOTX from A SPOTGen3, the tracking coverage will be the same..

You can see the coverage map for one-way (send) vs two-way coverage here: https://www.sea-tech.com/product/glo...ite-messenger/

I contacted Spot directly to ask if I could transfer my current account Gen3 to the SpotX if I bought one..
It was them who told me not available for Europe..
I am based in Portugal.

Glacier Crews 30-12-2018 15:43

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
We have used Spot for 5 years. It is extremely cheap to own and use and is its “own thing.” It is not connected to anything else on the boat.

We live in Alaska. . We operate away from a port throughout the year. We use our spot as a part of our Cruise plan. We send an email or text to our children; giving them our general itinerary and the date of departure and places we plan on visiting during our cruise.

We turn on spot each night so they can follow our progress.

They enjoy following along and more important we know that 6 adults are out there making good decisions about or state of wellbeing.

We send a spot message saying where we are and that we are enjoying ourselves. There is an option to say “hey we need some help, here is where we are, but it’s not an emergency.” Or we can send a message out that says “help come now.”

6 adults we trust, smart capable people who know us are out there talking to each other. “Hey! Did you get their last spot? Looks like they decided to spend a couple of nights fishing”. Or 6 adults can make a decision about “what to do” if they haven’t received anything for 5 days or 3 days or 1day if it looks to them like we may need help.

It’s cheap insurance that brings us great confidence as we take adventures.

We do not use any of the fancy stuff. The simplistic model does it all for us.

We used the spot at least 10 years ago when we kayaked around Chichagof Island with no support boat. It was perfect.

Alaska, BC, and Washington State are on the Pacific. Of all places on the Pacific Ocean, Alaska has the least number of satellites traveling overhead, the worst weather, and mountains that can interfere. Conservatively we are at sea, away from any port, 180 days a year and in all other days we are still on the boat snd in a port. We have not been able to send a message by satellite twice in 10 years.

We like several aspects: (1). It allows us to be tracked as we travel and reaffirms our whereabouts via a gps check that is completely separate from whatever systems on our boat (radio, furunos x2), etc (2). We trust our adult children to make good decisions and allows us freedom to be very general on a float plan. (3). If we take a hike, travel by kayak, spend time in a forest service cabin ashore—then everyone still knows exactly where we are.

More than you wanted to know?

All complex decisions that involve one’s safety and confidence as a seafarer do require you to learn more than you thought. Yes?

StuM 30-12-2018 16:00

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FlyingScot (Post 2791031)
I have the inReach Explorer+. I recommend it. More than just sailing usefulness. I wish I could get slow internet through it for GRIB files. One thing to keep in mind is they do not work at all without a subscription. So plan on $13/month for the rest of your life for the minimum package.


I only use it for passages and long trips - most of the time it's in "suspend" mode and costs $AUD5.95/month (approx $US4.20)

JimJohnston 30-12-2018 16:25

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
If you are prepared to acquire your Amateur radio licence, an HF radio allows you to send a position report with text message using your computer, some dedicated software and a Pactor modem, to an internet site.

rbk 30-12-2018 16:44

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sea-TechSystems (Post 2791024)
Have you seen the SPOTX?

Ya but like the inreach it makes it a requirement to contact people and relay info. I really like the old spot’s that require me to push one button and is one way com’s not two way. This is the biggest reason I’ve avoided inreach, I don’t leave civilization to have to talk/text people. In reality I’ll proabbly just move to a plb, higher cost but no membership and one way com’s.

belizesailor 30-12-2018 20:54

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MoonlightSailor (Post 2790543)
DeLorme inReach....

Is Delorme just a different service that uses the inReach devices?

More than just a device difference. It uses the Iridium network, which had full global coverage. SPOT uses the GlobalStar network which does not.

belizesailor 30-12-2018 20:58

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by davenrino (Post 2791008)
:thumb: I have Inreach Explorer for sailing and backcountry motorcycle trips. I also bluetooth my non-cellular ipad to it for Navionics. One of my friends was killed in a motorcycle crash in Mexico where there was no cell service. All 3 of our friends with him hit SOS on their Spots but never did find out if anyone received it. They switched to Inreach.

When I had a SPOT here in the W Carib, it often dropped messages and there was no way to know because its one way.

In one case here, repeated SOS messages were dropped.

belizesailor 30-12-2018 21:00

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sea-TechSystems (Post 2791011)
It's not US only.. Though the two-way messaging has a smaller footprint compared with the tracking functionality. If you upgrade to SPOTX from A SPOTGen3, the tracking coverage will be the same..

You can see the coverage map for one-way (send) vs two-way coverage here: https://www.sea-tech.com/product/glo...ite-messenger/

GlobalStar has lied for years about their coverage.

Coverage map for InReach is the entire globe. Done.

belizesailor 30-12-2018 21:04

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rbk (Post 2791189)
Ya but like the inreach it makes it a requirement to contact people and relay info. I really like the old spot’s that require me to push one button and is one way com’s not two way. This is the biggest reason I’ve avoided inreach, I don’t leave civilization to have to talk/text people. In reality I’ll proabbly just move to a plb, higher cost but no membership and one way com’s.

Both SPOT & InReach SOS messages are relayed to SAR...no further contact required.

Moontide 31-12-2018 05:13

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Garmin bought Delorme so it is the same, maybe with a newerodel. It uses the Iridium system so has world wide coverage.


Spot is limited in how far offshore it will cover. If doing Transocean and you want full coverage them Inreach is it.

boatman61 31-12-2018 05:24

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Well CF has been tracking my Spot for years.. and members have been using its tracks to calculte speeds, course changes and guess my track choices for approaching fronts.. Caribe, N Atlantic and Med..
Mind, I do only have it on for half hour or so maybe 4 times in 24hrs.. must gain response points for less time switched on.. :biggrin:

belizesailor 31-12-2018 07:14

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Moontide (Post 2791425)
Garmin bought Delorme so it is the same, maybe with a newerodel. It uses the Iridium system so has world wide coverage.


Spot is limited in how far offshore it will cover. If doing Transocean and you want full coverage them Inreach is it.

Yes, Garmin introduced a newer version of the Explorer with full GPS functionality, including map/chart display. Unfortunately, it only supports maps/charts sourced via Garmin. This does inclued OpenStreet Map's maps (topos & road maps) and NOAA charts (USA only) and is a small display. No ability to import maps/charts from other sources, but you can import routes & waypoints. For my purposes I found that limited ability not so useful so did not upgrade from my Delorme Explorer.

With either model you can pair with EarthMate running on your phone/tablet. This gives you a bigger map/chart display and makes entering messages WAY easier than pecking them out one painful character at a time on the device itself.

belizesailor 31-12-2018 07:25

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boatman61 (Post 2791429)
Well CF has been tracking my Spot for years.. and members have been using its tracks to calculte speeds, course changes and guess my track choices for approaching fronts.. Caribe, N Atlantic and Med..
Mind, I do only have it on for half hour or so maybe 4 times in 24hrs.. must gain response points for less time switched on.. [emoji3]

SPOT has expanded their [claimed] coverage a lot in recent years. Atlantic coverage in particular has expanded a lot, so likely works for many of your routes, but Pacific still lacks coverage.

The GlobalStar network is made up of land terminals (antennas) linked by satellites. SPOT must be in range of a land terminal to work. Iridium is 100% direct satellite comms so no gaps on coverage.


https://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=108

Checkswrecks 31-12-2018 07:36

Re: Anyone Using Spot Devices???
 
I've had a series of SPOT devices for years to use on motorcycles, kayaking, and hiking around the world. Switched to the Garmin InReach Mini and agree with belizesailor and others on InReach being FAR better than SPOT in almost every aspect.

Regardless of what the SPOT coverage map shows, I've had the device not connect in the US, Canada, and Africa. That's a fatal flaw right there. We use Iridium sat-phones for work and I've never ever had problems connecting with that service, which is what the Garmin is on.

Got tired of SPOT's predatory business practices and ending that was almost the best part of the switch. Garmin is not my favorite company in a lot of ways, but dealing with SPOT was an annual pain in the a$$. When I began, the annual cost was something like $50-$60/year. That doubled to renew and people suddenly realized that if they called to bitch, SPOT would drop the increase. It happened year after year, but what their practice was became apparent after that first year. They'd increase the price, but tell us the increase was far more. People would call to complain and say they were leaving the service and suddenly we'd get an increased price, but not as big as the announced annual increase. I'm sure that most people just paid the big increases, so I consider that predatory on SPOT's part. They wanted something like $245 to renew earlier this year and I'd had enough of their game.

The worst part is that when you sign up for SPOT, the AUTO payment goes on your credit card and they will NOT give that up. I'd already decided to change to a full size InReach and coincidently this year, my SPOT annual renewal and the credit card were expiring a month before the InReach Mini was to come out. The "you MUST give us your new card number" emails from SPOT began about a month before the credit card expired. With the change in card number, their service finally terminated and I still got calls and emails for another month. There is no way in Hell I'll give another credit card number to SPOT.

Picked up an InReach Mini on the most basic plan and tested it for use on a motorcycle around home and in the Canadian Rockies for most of two weeks where there was no cell service. Took it offshore in Maine attached to my life vest and had it in Guyana a couple months ago. Sent and received messages with no problem and because it will bluetooth to the phone, using the map, weather, and comm features are easy. Just watch your frequency of use because it can drive the cost up a lot if not careful. I have no doubt that if I push the panic button on the Mini, somebody will get the signal and with the drop-outs I was never totally comfortable about that with the SPOT. On the most basic plan, cost wasn't a factor and I can suspend the InReach if not using it in the winter, which is not something SPOT will do.

There's more info on the differences in this adventure motorcycling thread:
https://advrider.com/f/threads/ive-g...#post-36498499


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