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Old 06-02-2020, 08:19   #1
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Email capability

I'm looking at doing the Salty Dawg fall rally to Carib next Nov. They have recently required email capability to do rally (already have 802 and Inreach) . Texting doesn't meet their requirement. We are not full time cruisers and I don't miss email capability on offshore passages. ( did 2 transatlantics 2 yrs ago). What is the least expensive way to meet Salty Dawgs requirement? Having email capability once we are in Carib has little value to me.

I really don't relish having to spend a lot of time meeting their requirement which detracts from other preparations. Would be interested in other serious sailors thoughts. (please do not need replies on how great email capability offshore is for you). I probable can have older sat phone available.

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Old 06-02-2020, 08:41   #2
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Re: Email capability

Have a read through this web site gives good advice and alternatives

Your SSB and sat phone can hook up to email look through your options on the website

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Old 06-02-2020, 08:59   #3
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Re: Email capability

I see two primary options. One is very cheap and one is very easy.

The cheap option is to configure your 802 to transmit on the ham bands and pair it with a PC laptop to use Winlink. We bought a laptop exclusively for this purpose ($180) but if you already have one then the costs are minimal. However you'd need to pass your technician and general amateur radio licenses. If you have experience with electronics or are very familiar with radio you could probably pass the tests outright, otherwise you can study a bit.

The easy option is to buy an Iridium Go! ($700) and one of their basic plans ($60 a month). It's just plug and play and cheaper than getting a Pactor modem for your 802.

EDIT: You might be able to rent an iridium Go! for a couple hundred bucks to use for the event. However if you're planning to participate in more rallies in the future a permanent email solution might make more sense.
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Old 06-02-2020, 09:42   #4
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Re: Email capability

The really cheap option is to skip the rally.

Several years I been departing from the lower Chesapeake at the same time as the Salty Dawg. I saw a lot of analysis paralysis with skippers second-guessing their decisions about the best time to leave because others didn't agree. Several people missed weather windows with indecision and group-think.

I am be a bit different, and I have no use for rallies.
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Old 06-02-2020, 11:12   #5
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Re: Email capability

Thanks for the replies- all options still on the table- including not doing rally.-
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Old 06-02-2020, 17:53   #6
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Location: Oceanside Ca
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Re: Email capability

Since this is just a short stint, look into renting an IridiumGo instead of buying one. I am sure they are available. For that matter, just look into renting any satphone with data capability.

Brian D
S/V Takara
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