Sat Phone - Rent or Buy and which one - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-16-2013
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Sat Phone - Rent or Buy and which one

My voyages are getting longer. Without connecting back to office has become a concern. We are a kind of lucky in the east coast that most sailing ground are within 10 days of out of cell coverage. I am thinking to venturing out to the Pacific this year which will take 30 to 45 days. At a bare minimum, I want at least text message capability.

I look into this: it looks good so far.
Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro WIFI Package - Satellite Phone with RedPort Optimizer

Anyone have one ? Suggestions?
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Old 05-16-2013
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Re: Sat Phone - Rent or Buy and which one

You can send limited texts on a Delorme Inreach tied to your smart phone but it won't do emails for weather and such. There is an app for the I phone which listens to HF weather and prints it out on your IPad but again it's limited. I feel in my own case to be really connected I would like the sat wifi and the system like you have found sounds usefull. Seems like more/better is way more costly but coming down.
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Old 05-16-2013
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Re: Sat Phone - Rent or Buy and which one

Can a ham radio keep you in contact with a secretary an you could relay the information back and forth? It would be good to have anyways and free.
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Old 05-17-2013
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Re: Sat Phone - Rent or Buy and which one

I need something more substantial for communication and portable since I need to move from boat to boat.

No one here uses Sat phone regularly ?
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Old 05-17-2013
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Re: Sat Phone - Rent or Buy and which one

I've used one when I was in the Army. Can't afford the civilian version. The one you are looking at is $765 for the hardware, $150 for the service, and 90 cents a minute or so usage charges. Not as outrageous as satphones used to be a few years ago, but still pricey.
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Old 05-17-2013
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Re: Sat Phone - Rent or Buy and which one

I have a cheap sat phone that I bought used. It is an Iridium 9505. It is okay for SMS and voice. If I were making a long term investment, I would consider the new Iridium Extreme (9575) which includes a tracker feature (and will handle data as most of the newer models will). Incoming SMS is free on the iridium network and outgoing is cheap (but the phone is a lousy platform to text from). When I buy minutes, I buy them for a specific trip and time period (they expire quickly unless you buy a big bundle)

Immarsat seems to have better phones but it is difficult to get a handle on their rate plans which are totally different than Iridium. It looks like Immarsat may be more geared to annual plans (and you pay for SMS). Good luck!
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Old 05-18-2013
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Re: Sat Phone - Rent or Buy and which one

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
My voyages are getting longer. Without connecting back to office has become a concern. We are a kind of lucky in the east coast that most sailing ground are within 10 days of out of cell coverage. I am thinking to venturing out to the Pacific this year which will take 30 to 45 days. At a bare minimum, I want at least text message capability.

I look into this: it looks good so far.
Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro WIFI Package - Satellite Phone with RedPort Optimizer

Anyone have one ? Suggestions?
You might want to check out this review?
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2393970,00.asp
I'd rent to try out several phones before investing in one.
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Old 05-18-2013
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Re: Sat Phone - Rent or Buy and which one

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
I'd rent to try out several phones before investing in one.
This is pretty much of my thinking too. I don't need sat phone 365/24/7, but may be 30 days at a time. With the technology and cost moving so fast, renting makes sense.

On the side note of getting a SSB transceiver, a heavy some of investment for yesterday technology. I don't think I will get one even I have my boat. Besides, I seldom chat with other boats since I like to leave others in peace. But of course, that is just me talking.

Thanks for all replies.
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Old 05-19-2013
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Re: Sat Phone - Rent or Buy and which one

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
This is pretty much of my thinking too. I don't need sat phone 365/24/7, but may be 30 days at a time. With the technology and cost moving so fast, renting makes sense.

On the side note of getting a SSB transceiver, a heavy some of investment for yesterday technology. I don't think I will get one even I have my boat. Besides, I seldom chat with other boats since I like to leave others in peace. But of course, that is just me talking.

Thanks for all replies.
I bought a used one at a satphone store in Miami. My thinking was, EPIRBS and all are nice, but that if I was sunk out in the middle of nowhere, it would sure be nice to have my phone in my hand, calling every single person I knew, telling them to get somebody to come get my ass.

My bailout kit has an Epirb, a SPOT messenger, a handheld VHF, and my satphone. I believe in redundancy.
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Last edited by Group9; 05-19-2013 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 05-19-2013
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Re: Sat Phone - Rent or Buy and which one

Check out globalstar. Their sats are almost all up and running and they are running a great sale at basically twice the mins for half off. Ends in june i think.

Its the minutes that kill ya.

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