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OfftheGrid 05-01-2013 03:07 PM

E-Mail while crusing
This has probably been covered before, how do you stay connected with your kids and sailing friends while at sea and crusing. I have been reading about SSB Radios and there E-Mail capabilities, dose any one use this method?

Thanks in advance

night0wl 05-01-2013 03:20 PM

Re: E-Mail while crusing
Email over SSB - sailmail. costs a few bucks a year. equipment costs $$

Email over HAM frequences - winlink. free, but ham license is a few bucks. equipment costs $$

Email over Satellite - $$$$ service and equipment

copacabana 05-01-2013 03:54 PM

Re: E-Mail while crusing
The other option is internet cafés which you can find in virtually every corner of the earth. It's cheap and practical.

OfftheGrid 05-01-2013 03:57 PM

Re: E-Mail while crusing
Thanks that answers our question.

ebs001 05-01-2013 04:08 PM

Re: E-Mail while crusing
Really depends where you are cruising. Wireless Internet is available throughout the USA. In the Bahamas it is available in a lot of areas through Betelco and most marinas have free wifi. Out at sea it's not so convenient and then you are into SSB or satellite. Satellite has come way down in price and is a cheaper option than SSB.

nkamper 05-01-2013 04:08 PM

Re: E-Mail while crusing
email over SSB, is that $$ for the SSB, or is there something additional that is required? And I take it there is a service that you are referring to that enables this, and that is fairly reasonable? This presumably would not require being on land to check email either.

ebs001 05-01-2013 04:11 PM

Re: E-Mail while crusing
To send and receive email via SSB you also need Pactor

nkamper 05-01-2013 05:04 PM

Re: E-Mail while crusing
Thanks! :)

sailvayu 05-01-2013 05:06 PM

Re: E-Mail while crusing
If you are coastal cruising I would invest in a good wifi radio like the Ubiquity Bullet, also a cell phone internet adapter would be useful. use the bullet when you can to save cell costs and the cell when you are out of range of a wifi signal. For anything beyound 15-20 miles offshore you have 2 choices, Satellite or SSB. Satellite you pay by the minute and it adds up fast I think I last saw 1.35 per min but it changes. It is not cheap I have heard some spend 300 a month for just a daily download. SSB is expensive to start but if you do a HAM license it is free for the service, without on sailmail it is 250 a year so worth getting the license. A basic SSB installation with used gear will run you about 1500. New closer to 4000. SSB has a learning curve but it is not rocket science and even a technically challenged old fart like me was able to do it. Personally I love the SSB as you can use it for tracking, email (mainly text) and weather so very useful. Also there is a community on the SSB nets of cruisers who share information and that is helpful as well. Another option is the Sat trackers like Spot and INreach. inreach is limited 2 way but not cheap either. I used it for a trip to Bermuda and figured the 1 month cost came to about 500, hardly worth it but if you are going full time and out there for more than a year your monthly cost would be closer to 50. I plan a long voyage in a couple of years so SSB is a good investment. If you are going out for a month or 2 renting a sat phone could be a good option. You have to weigh all the factors and costs and pick what is right for you.


outbound 05-01-2013 05:12 PM

Re: E-Mail while crusing
4 Attachment(s)
check out sailmail web site. other advantages of ssb is getting weather and being able to communicate to other boats. still a good option. once you have it doesn't cost. fees for services are low c/w satphone. probably won't obsolete for awhile as commercial boys use it. can rent satphone for a given trip. Once service fees come down satphone probably will be major way cruisers communicate but not there yet.

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