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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 09-23-2007
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This might seems like a dumb question but I'm new so...

Hi all - I'm in the planning stages still - should be out of MA in a month or so headed for Florida and buying the boat. So my question is about expenses for misc gear. Outside of buying the gear or having it come with the boat what monthly expenses if any would I be looking at to run certain equipment. Any monthly charges for the SSB, VHF,radars, ect. I plan to anchor out for awhile and will use solar, wind, and gen but outside of cell phone and possible internet will I have to budget any monthly/yearly fees to use any gear. I know some things cost money charts and such but anything you all can think of that I will have to budget would be great info - and does anyone know of wireless access points around the keys . Not looking for maintence issues more electronic gear which I have never used before so don't know about. Thanks
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Old 09-23-2007
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Aside from electricity, VHF, Radar don't have any associated costs, excepting the small cost of the FCC Ship's Station License, which is good for 10 years. SSB can have some costs if you use an SSB-based e-mail service. Your FCC Restricted Radio Operator's license in a one-time cost. You'll need both if you have SSB aboard, or are planning to go to foreign ports.

If you use cell phone for internet service, and are in the US... you should be able to get a flat monthly rate for unlimited access.

The only other piece of gear that might have monthly charges associated with it is the Weather Radio service from XM, which is used by the newer Garmin Chartplotters.
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Old 09-23-2007
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Instead of using my cell phone as an internet access point or as a modem I have my onboard computer hooked up to an air card with Sprint. Works up to 12 miles offshore and from Maine to Key West, with occasional short term blackouts in remote places. I get service in the Bahamas but it costs more so I leave it off except to get weather and download text only e-mail a couple of times a week. An air card runs me about $60 per month and gives me close to broadband speed. I think Verizon has one for around $40 per month, but I'm not familuar with their coverage area. I just got tired of looking for hot spots and having to rely on Marinas. If you need to have e-mail via single side band it will run you about $200 per year, and getting lower every year, for text only, non commercial traffic.
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Great info - thank you both
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Glad to help...

BTW, if you do decide to use a cellular "Air Card" for internet access, you can often get an external antenna, which if mounted up a bit higher, will extend the effective range of the card.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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You can get email over HAM for free. IIRC it's called airmail. However you can't conduct for profit business through the email or by voice.

SSB can conduct for profit business. It's called sailmail.

Both HAM and SSB can use the same modem.
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Old 09-24-2007
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Realistically I'd add in a monthly maintenance fee on the electronics too. It's kind of a living system in a tough environment and things just go wrong sometimes and you have to fix them. Storm might break your antenna, corrosion might eat something, gremlins zap your VHF, or whatever. Stuff just breaks sometimes.
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Wind_magic-

IMHO, it makes far more sense to just have a monthly maintenance budget, with a bit of a maintenance slush fund for unexpected repairs, than to allocate an electronics specific one.
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New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Wind_magic-

IMHO, it makes far more sense to just have a monthly maintenance budget, with a bit of a maintenance slush fund for unexpected repairs, than to allocate an electronics specific one.
Well .... yeah ... fine.
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