sat phone vs. SSB radio - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-28-2003
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sat phone vs. SSB radio

It seems that it is geting to be a close call as to wich one to install. You can get a hand held satalite phone for $400. and a kit for your PC for st $70. and you are only paying around $40. a month plus .60 a minut if you go over yor time. The only problem i can sea is that you cant talk to outher long range cruisers. What is your genaral openion???
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Old 06-02-2003
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sat phone vs. SSB radio

I don''t believe all long range crusers have SSB radio. Sat phone doesn''t require a license where SSB does. Your VHF should be enough to call other boats in your area, Personally I don''t think where is a choice the Sat Phone has it all over SSB..
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Old 06-04-2003
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sat phone vs. SSB radio

Biggest issues are cost. Sat Phone requires that you know who you want to talk to, and you pay by the minute, or according to the plan you have.
On SSB, once you have installed the radio, which does cost a bunch and has its own challenges, the cost is free. VHF is limited to line of sight and so distances are limited. SSB also has the option of sailmail email systems for very low cost--text only. OTOH, you must be listening to SSB, so if you want someone to be able to call you in an emergency, sat phone is better.

Personally I believe more cruisers have SSB than sat phone. But having both is really the best.

You pays your money and takes your choice.......
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Old 06-05-2003
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sat phone vs. SSB radio

More than cost, it depends upon what you are trying to do. Are you trying to keep in touch with the office? Are you going to call your friends to ask them what the weather is like where they are? Then get the phone. Your hometown fire and police departments are not going to be very helpful for you, so don''t program their numbers. Of course, if you NEED the fire or police (or anyone else that might be able to help you) it might be a good idea to have a radio with more range than the roughly line-of-sight limit of VHF. A ship 120 miles away - well beyond VHF range - can be at your location with a pump in less than 6 hours if they know you need it. If you don''t happen to have their phone number, (you''re going to keep track of every ship''s phone number and where they all happen to be all the time you''re sailing??) your arms may get tired after the first day or so of pumping, and you may have to take up rowing the liferaft instead. The safety requirements for the Newport-Bermuda Race (check their website)
are pretty sensible and time-tested for blue-water sailing. They include an SSB radio -not because it''s cheap, but because the price of not having one might be too high.
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