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post #1 of 3 Old 08-01-2004 Thread Starter
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Anyone using Sailmail

I have started the process to get my HAM license, and have found a radio, pactor, and tuner that I plan to install on the boat we are in the process of buying. I would like to hear from any and all who are using Sailmail, whether you installed the system yourself or paid a professional, and any hints or helpful advice.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 3 Old 08-01-2004 Thread Starter
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Anyone using Sailmail

Also interested in hearing from any HAM users that are using Winlink.....that is the system I plan to use once I pass the HAM license test.
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post #3 of 3 Old 08-03-2004
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Anyone using Sailmail

Mike, we''ve been heavy users of Winlink both in the Caribbean and also Europe for 5 years now. Sailmail is technically the same system and with the same client software (Jim Corenman deserves the Nobel prize!), and some cruisers will use both systems on the same laptop & boat when they must do some paid work (e.g. stock trading or consulting) as well as personal correspondence.

The major difference between the two systems from a cruising perspective, aside from the ham vs. marine SSB distinctions, is that Winlink provides far more wx f''cast information (plus many other kinds of information) while the weather info available on Sailmail''s system is quite limited. They will perform the same overall re: email support, altho'' depending on where you will be sailing, one may be better than the other simply due to the location of the shore stations. A secondary difference is that Sailmail limits you to an approx. running average of 10 mins-day. This is usually plenty since you are only up/downloading small text files, we''ve been told by many Sailmail users. Winlink allowances are much larger because of the large catalog of other files offered.

To give you a feel for the ease of the system, I log on each morning to download email, automatically receive the wx f''cast files I''ve semi-permanently requested, plus upload any email I have ready to go. (This is all automatic). I can choose (from Denmark, our current location) shore stations in Italy, Netherlands and Germany. A similar burst of this in the afternoon does the same. I have perhaps 2 hours of connect time available to me each day, tho'' I usually only use perhaps 15-20 mins. of it.

Hope that helps. Don''t overlook the fact that each November, the SSCA folks run a 3-day ''Gam'' seminar series in Melbourne, FL that involves ALL the key Sailmail-Winlink players, offers hands-on sessions, and addresses everything about the system, includnig a good radio installation. The Gam''s seminar cost is something like 50 bucks. For more info, you might want to visit them at

Let me know if I can help further.

Jack N3FYP (since I don''t want to paste my onboard email address on websites...but you know enough now to guess what it is)
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