We alternate cruising on a power boat
and sail boat
. Wanting to get XM Sirius weather
, we found we’d need two subscriptions and two antennas to have on both boats or have to put more effort into rewiring and moving one antenna
back and forth between boats. So we figured we’d make a portable system to serve as the weather
station and back up plotter. We settled on a SIMRAD
Go7xsr and WM3 antenna
as the least expensive option, mounted to a little box we could plug
into a 12v outlet.
Here’s our experience:
Go7, with the CMap chart chip doesn’t inspire navigation
confidence in our area when the roads show up plotting over the water
. Simard confirmed that's what they got too. (glad to have navionics
on an iPad)
2. XM weather was useful for sailing with wind
and wave direction, but the marine
zone forecasts were unavailable most of the times we checked, so we were back to listening to NOAA NWS marine
broadcasts on our VHF
. Had really hoped that we would be able to get to the text forecasts easily and often.
3. Weather radar
is OK, though not a lot of experience with this function yet, but the rain areas are pretty pixilated and not as precise as an iPhone
app like Radar
4. Sirius weather reboots every few minutes with a distracting graphic default that has to clear-up before getting to the update.
All in all, we will keep the subscription for a few months for the times we are cruising out of cell range. All in all about $1,400 for a marginally satisfactory result. Considering the cost, hassle and less than expected performance, perhaps a sat-phone to get data from weather underground, NWS, and Radar Pro might have been a better option.