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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 10-01-2009
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spot messinger ?, those who own, in here

okay i know what the spot does. i know what says it can do.

what i want to know is several ?'s

how well does it work from inside the boat?

i know the battery life in track mode is not great but do they make or could some one make an adapter to run it from ships power?

how accurate is it in the track mode... 50, 100, 200 feet?

what i want to do is to put a spot on my boat while its on anchor in track mode. then be able to check the web track to see if its dragging. currently when the boat is anchored i check it 2 or 3 times daily to see if its moving. if i could drop that to once a day it would be nice.
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Old 10-01-2009
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Check out zoombak.com, if you have cellular coverage it will wire up to your 12v system and it can generate an alarm if your boat moves outside of a guard circle.
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Old 10-01-2009
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hello sailor, that looks decent, and the price is comparable. the only problem i see is the radias for an alert is 110 yards, the anchorage where my boat is, is about a 100 yards wide.

the spot has the nice features of the track and messages, plus 911. which for the price if it can do what i asked i would go spot vrs the zoomback because of the extras the spot has.
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I've use the spot and found it generally OK.....

it is no replacement for an EPIRB or PLB, however. Ref your usage;

1. I'm pretty sure it has to have a clear view of the sky, but that should be possible.

2. The tracking only works for 24hrs so you will have to push the button again ever day.

3. They specify lithium batteries so I am not sure how sensitive to voltage fluctuation it is, if you wire it to the boats system.

4. How near to you boat are you? If you check the position daily what happens if the boat has dragged (critical, i.e. on the rocks, messy, i.e. into other boats etc.) ?

5. WAAS require accuracy of 7 meters or better both vertically and laterally, 95% of the time, as far as I know.

I would spend the $70 + the $150 per year on a bigger anchor, IMHO.
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Old 10-02-2009
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gtob i am about 3/4 miles from the boat when i am home. i am surrounded on 3 sides by marinas so a drag normally means i get tied up. i dont have a problem with dragging but i am over careful.

even better would be a screw mooring but i cant find them local for a good price ( diy ones ). and shipping is a killer on something 8 feet long. i can set a mooring where i anchor, so that would be the best. and its what i plan on doing as soon as i can
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Old 10-02-2009
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Scotty, the SPOT is designed as a one-shot device, essentially the batteries will last maybe one week and you've got to manually press the button at least once a day. In order to do what you want to do, you'll have to go out to the boat every day, rain and shine especially rain, and change the batteries at least once a week. And IIRC it prefers Lithium AA's, which may be something like $10 for a four-pack. Or, you can hack into it, totally voiding the warrranty, to apply an external power source and a daily trigger to push the "track" button. Easy enough to do--if you're into electronics.

OTOH devices likethe zoombak already are built for vehicle use and constant use and the geofencing is including in their firmware load. (Geofencing being the standard term for "anchor watch" and similar.)

100 yards is tighter than you think. You've got a normal swing on your anchor or mooring, that might exceed fifty feet. Then there's a normal fluctuation in GPS, even with WAAS GPS, which I don't know if either unit uses. If you want to pin the locaiton down tighter than 100 yards, expect false alarms. Or, a SEAL team laser-targeting a Predator drone on it. :-)
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Old 10-02-2009
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I have used Spot both to track and to be tracked.
In my opinion, its not designed for what you are intending it to do.
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Old 10-02-2009
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I've used the Spot Messenger and for what it is designed to do, it works quite well. However, as pointed out previously, it really isn't the proper device for what you're looking to do.
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Old 10-02-2009
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A Sailnet member lost a nice boat last year because he anchored for a long peroid of time. A single anchor does not do well long term.
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bene i know all about distant star

and yes i know about 1 anchor, i use 2, and have been on the hook for most of the last 14 months when not sailing. the whole reason that i have gotten away with it is due diligence of checking it alot.

but thats not the reason for this thread.

i was wondering if the spot could do what i want and it cant so i wont get it for this purpose
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