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Old 17-05-2022, 14:08   #1
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Garmin inReach

So it looks like you can get one of these Garmin inReach Satellite Communicators for around $350 -$450.

With a monthly plan of less than $15/month?

Is this correct?

And it will allow you to text offshore, act as an EPIRB, and gives you marine weather reports?
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Old 17-05-2022, 14:13   #2
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Re: Garmin inReach

Yes

Great device.
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Old 17-05-2022, 14:19   #3
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Re: Garmin inReach

This page shows Garmin's InReach service plans: https://www.garmin.com/en-US/p/837461. At $15/month (plus taxes) you can't use it very much without incurring substantial additional costs. You can text offshore. It has a safety contact feature, but it is not equivalent to an EPIRB because the request goes to a Garmin support service: https://support.garmin.com/en-US/?fa...o51ib0Zh8L4El6. I haven't found the weather reports very helpful. If you have a competent weather reporter on shore, they can text more meaningful info than you'll get from InReach. At $35/month you can use unlimited tracking, so your shore person will know where you are. Unlimited texting is at the next higher subscription level. You can reduce the costs by signing up for their annual plan, and adjusting the service level up or down as needed. That was cheaper for me than their Freedom plan that lets you pause service without accumulating charges, but has higher monthly rates for each service level.
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Old 17-05-2022, 14:30   #4
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Re: Garmin inReach

Yes, great device. We've had one for going on a decade; long before Garmin bought them out.

Not an EPIRB replacement, but definitely another emergency option.

We value the texting and tracking mostly. The weather forecasts are good when you have no other options.
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Old 17-05-2022, 15:03   #5
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Re: Garmin inReach

The tracking option sounds great and pretty much what I was looking for.

Thanks all..
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Old 17-05-2022, 17:34   #6
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Re: Garmin inReach

I have been using one down the west coast of the USA and currently in the Sea of Cortez. I really enjoy the tracking feature, it lets our family and friends know where we are.

I also use the preset messages every time we leave an anchorage and again when we anchor. They are free and unlimited on our plan.

I use the basic weather feature often. In the Sea of Cortez I place a waypoint far north and far south of our location. That way I can see what is coming in a few days. It works well for us.

The earth mate app that goes with it is a little bit clunky for me. It works, but does not always sync properly to my phone. More often then not I have to read the message on the Inreach, I then type a reply with my phone.

Overall it has been a great device
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Old 17-05-2022, 18:17   #7
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Re: Garmin inReach

Lot's of uses for it for sure. But it does not really "act like an EPIRB." it does not access the SARSAT and Global Distress system- not directly anyway. When you hit the distress button it connects to the GEOS commercial operator (contracted by Garmin) who then contacts SAR authorities. Also, an EPIRB or PLB has a more powerful transmitter then the INREACH which could be important depending upon where one is and provides for a homing signal (121.5 MHZ) that allows rescue forces to home in on you. The INREACH does have an advantage in being a 2-way communications device where EPIRBs are one way. I am not sure I would replace an EPIRB/PLB with an INREACH but as a supplement, sure.

There is a good article with a comparison between the Garmin INREACH and a PLB (same as EPIRB just smaller and less battery life) at:

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ch-264559.html
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Old 17-05-2022, 20:25   #8
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Re: Garmin inReach

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjShap View Post
This page shows Garmin's InReach service plans: https://www.garmin.com/en-US/p/837461. At $15/month (plus taxes) you can't use it very much without incurring substantial additional costs.

I suggest doing the math on the different plans, both the monthly and annual versions. It boils down to "how chatty are you?" and "how many tracking points do you want to have?", and figuring out what is the best option for you. It is quite possible that "safety plus 4 extra tracking points a day" is a better option for you (30*4*$0.1= $12, while freedom recreation is $20 more expensive than the freedom safety, giving you a monthly allowance of 18 messages before the recreation plan is worth it). And a smart use of presets will allow you to do quite a bit of free communication: technically you could encode and transmit the entire works of Shakespeare with two different messages, even if it would be exceedingly tedious, leaving you one "all is ok, happy you are not here" to send daily to your friends and family on a daily basis.



Funny story about an "ancient" predecessor of the inReach system. It could only send something like 20 characters IIRC, and not receive any messages. A couple of the Norwegian polar expedition guys get to borrow one for a south pole trek. So they sit in their tent and try to figure out what to send to their expedition manager, who is planning to keep the press entertained for a couple of months based on these messages. What do they send as their first message? "Chased by polar bears, fleeing south". Pure silliness in other words.



Inspired by this story; if I ever actually end up sailing across the Atlantic I will send "chased by lions, escaping to the west" to someone.



These days expeditions are expected to keep their instagram feeds updated, mentioning the great gear from their sponsors at a suitable frequency. With pictures.
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Old 17-05-2022, 20:40   #9
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Re: Garmin inReach

And get an Earthmate app. it allows you to use your cellphone to send messages (via bluetooth). inReach keypad sux, especially in waves.

Also one other nice feature, they let you put your plan in suspend mode so that you don't have to keep paying if you are not voyaging.
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Old 17-05-2022, 20:47   #10
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Re: Garmin inReach

I have an InReach that I used for some solo adventures. If you are interested, Id sell it to you. Funny enough I bought it from another here on CF.

PM me if you are interested.
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Old 17-05-2022, 21:27   #11
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Re: Garmin inReach

I have a Garmin inReach Explorer+ and I consider it a supplement to my EPIRB. The fact that I can send/receive texts and emails which also provide my position are very handy. The weather reports are local but better than nothing. The tracking feature allows me to amuse myself and the maps are a supplement to my chartplotter. I have never suspended my plan as I use it when hunting so it’s only out of use for three months a year.
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Old 18-05-2022, 03:35   #12
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Re: Garmin inReach

Quote:
Originally Posted by JC Reefer View Post
I have an InReach that I used for some solo adventures. If you are interested, Id sell it to you. Funny enough I bought it from another here on CF.

PM me if you are interested.
Thanks but I don't need one just yet, but if I should decide to sail to Bermuda one day I'd want one then and an EPIRB.

That would be a couple years from now ........
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Old 18-05-2022, 04:13   #13
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Re: Garmin inReach

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
Thanks but I don't need one just yet, but if I should decide to sail to Bermuda one day I'd want one then and an EPIRB.

That would be a couple years from now ........
Ive made several singlehanded trips to Bermuda and Ive only had the inReach on the last one.last year. Ive always had an EPIRB and a life raft just in case the worst happens. Having a means of communication aboard keeps friends and family from getting apprehensive, and I have realized how pleasant it is just to be able to stay in touch rather than departing and being incommunicado for five to eight days. I Bluetooth my phone or tablet to the device which makes it much easier to type the messages. I have used the tracking feature to provide real-time trending graphics to see how Im faring against the Gulf Stream. Last year I snuck onto the fair side of an eddy and I was doing 9.5 knots over the ground for several hours.I was doing at least 3 knots over my hull speed.
Im leaving again Friday for six weeks.
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Old 18-05-2022, 04:21   #14
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Re: Garmin inReach

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I’ve made several singlehanded trips to Bermuda and I’ve only had the inReach on the last one….last year. I’ve always had an EPIRB and a life raft just in case the worst happens. Having a means of communication aboard keeps friends and family from getting apprehensive, and I have realized how pleasant it is just to be able to stay in touch rather than departing and being incommunicado for five to eight days. I Bluetooth my phone or tablet to the device which makes it much easier to type the messages. I have used the tracking feature to provide real-time trending graphics to see how I’m faring against the Gulf Stream. Last year I snuck onto the fair side of an eddy and I was doing 9.5 knots over the ground for several hours….I was doing at least 3 knots over my hull speed.
I’m leaving again Friday for six weeks.
Nice......

Btw the Annapolis to Bermuda race starts in a few weeks......

they will be coming down the Bay starting at around 1pm on June 3rd..

They have some pretty awesome boats in that race.

In 2018, I was in the center of the Bay just North of Cape Charles at about 0830. They had sailed down the bay over night....

There was a Navy 44 Tenacious headed SE (PHRF 73) and an XP-44 Sly (PHRF 28) running down the Western side.

Then the rest of the fleet started to appear to the North.

Quite exciting for an old racer.

When I got home a couple days later, I watch the rest of the race on the tracker. You can still see it here from start to finish

https://yachtscoring.com/race_tracking.cfm

Annapolis Bermuda Race 2022

https://www.bermudaoceanrace.com/
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Old 18-05-2022, 04:53   #15
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Re: Garmin inReach

I'll second or third the Garmin inreach. I use mine all the time even when coastal cruising so I can look back at my trips and where I went. I linked it to the earthmate app on my cell phone so I can text anybody as if I was sending a regular text message. It was indispensable for getting weather reports from the weather routers and keeping in touch with my wife.

I get the unlimited package, but you can suspend it if there are times when you won't be cruising. So I typically suspend mine from December to May.

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