Internet at Sea - Sky Mate I1000 - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-10-2015 Thread Starter
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Internet at Sea - Sky Mate I1000

I was thinking about adding a Sky Mate I1000 to my boat for limited internet at sea, mainly for weather information and limited email. Anyone have experience with this unit?


Skymate I1000

Overview

The SkyMate I1000 is your global communication solution. Our technology gives you access to essential data services including email and weather so that you can stay in touch with friends, family and co-workers when out of cellular coverage on your boat. The SkyMate system works with any Wi-Fi enabled device (cell phones, tablets, and computers), simply connect and open the browser of your choice.

Retail: $1,600 and about $35-65/mon.

Features

E-Mail & Attachments

SkyMate provides worldwide email coverage. Whether you are at the dock or in the middle of the Atlantic, you can stay in touch with family, friends, and coworkers with SkyMate. Our easy to navigate screens makes it simple to send or receive emails from anywhere in the world. With the addition of Wi-Fi you are now able to access your SkyMate email on your phone, tablet, or laptop anywhere on your boat. You can read messages from your work and home e-mail accounts if your office or Internet Service Provider uses a Post Office Protocol (POP3) server. If you like, you can choose to retrieve message headers only, which can then allow you to select which full messages you would like. New in the Skymate ISeries are attachments. For your convenience, attach any type of file to your email up to 40 Kb and press send, its that easy!.

Weather

SkyMate offers a wide range of weather options from textual to graphical. All of our weather is on a per request basis. You select the type of weather and the location and your request will be sent to you within minutes. Examples of services available are: Coastal, Offshore, High Seas, Buoy, Point Forecast, Tropical, NEXRAD, and various charts.

WiFi Connectivity

The Skymate ISeries is now completely wireless. Connect to it through any device capable of running a browser such as Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer from anywhere on your boat. Enjoy the freedom of staying connected without wires.
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post #2 of 18 Old 03-11-2015
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Re: Internet at Sea - Sky Mate I1000

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFletcher2 View Post
I was thinking about adding a Sky Mate I1000 to my boat for limited internet at sea, mainly for weather information and limited email. Anyone have experience with this unit?

Skymate I1000

Overview

The SkyMate I1000 is your global communication solution. Our technology gives you access to essential data services including email and weather so that you can stay in touch with friends, family and co-workers when out of cellular coverage on your boat. The SkyMate system works with any Wi-Fi enabled device (cell phones, tablets, and computers), simply connect and open the browser of your choice.

...
If by "at sea" you mean the middle of the ocean, where will you get WiFi? And if it is designed to work "when out of cellular coverage," How can it work using your cell phone?

I must be missing something big in the description.

Donna


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post #3 of 18 Old 03-11-2015
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Re: Internet at Sea - Sky Mate I1000

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Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
If by "at sea" you mean the middle of the ocean, where will you get WiFi? And if it is designed to work "when out of cellular coverage," How can it work using your cell phone?

I must be missing something big in the description.
I don't have any first-hand experience or knowledge about this product at all, but after looking at their website I think they mean that the device has a WiFi transmitter/receiver in it, allowing your phone, tablet, netbook, or whatever to connect to it wirelessly, much like your wireless router at home provides a WiFi access point to your equipment. The base doesn't access the internet via WiFi.. that's done via satellite.

Here's the page that describes the setup in more detail..

SkyMate | Wherever you go. Whatever you need.

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post #4 of 18 Old 03-11-2015
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Re: Internet at Sea - Sky Mate I1000

Spot Global Phone had an interesting accessory where one of the optional accessories turned a cell phone into a Sat. phone per se ..

SPOT Global Phone

..but was discontinued.

Last edited by aa3jy; 03-11-2015 at 08:26 AM.
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Re: Internet at Sea - Sky Mate I1000

Satellite. Got it.

Less expensive to use HF radio for weather and limited email I would think. No monthly service plan involved.

Donna


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post #6 of 18 Old 03-11-2015
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Re: Internet at Sea - Sky Mate I1000

Looked through their website. It appears to me that you do not get "internet" at sea. You get specific, limited capabilities through applications that they provide: e-mail, weather, position tracking. In other words, you are not going to be surfing the web on this thing. What's more, I could not find anything that indicates upload/download speeds, or whose satellites they are piggy-backing off of (I am quite sure they have not launched their own satellites).

Since I can do all of these things (and more) with an HF transceiver, at dramatically less cost, even if--possibly--somewhat less reliably, I cannot see any use for this, for me.
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post #7 of 18 Old 03-11-2015
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Re: Internet at Sea - Sky Mate I1000

It's nice to hear that HF radio is alive and well. Seems everyone has abandoned it in favor of more modern systems (which are built around recurring charges). Remember, in our first foray into WWII, the only comms available to the big shots was HF radio. So the guys driving the ships and boats were on their own command.
On a cost basis, you can't beat it and devotees of HF radio will go out of their way to help you when you need it.
I know, I'm a retro sailor.
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post #8 of 18 Old 03-11-2015
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Re: Internet at Sea - Sky Mate I1000

Even though HF radio doesn’t come with recurring service charges, it still carries an extremely high equipment cost that can be hard to justify in many situations. An SSB, antenna tuner, Pactor modem, and sundries run $4-5K installed plus a $250 yearly SailMail subscription. Basic satellite equipment can be installed for $1-2K with many service plans offering the ability to activate and deactivate as needed. Even on a $100+ monthly service plan, the satellite option can be very enticing for seasonal cruisers or those only wanting service for occasional passages. For those users it could take many years of paying for satellite service to equal the costs of HF.

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post #9 of 18 Old 03-11-2015
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Re: Internet at Sea - Sky Mate I1000

Skymate was on Global Star so didnt cover some oceans. The new system does.
I was very interested in putting it on and would be now except I am borrowing a sat phone from a friend so it can go into the liferaft if necessary.

Skymate could well be a solution that works for you.

Sea Life
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post #10 of 18 Old 03-11-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Internet at Sea - Sky Mate I1000

Good questions. Satellite communication gives internet signal. The SkyMate allows WiFi aboard for other devices. Yep, I am talking about blue water passages. Here is my understanding. I have a sat phone aboard but data cost rates are very high. My own WiFi hotspot in the middle of the ocean sounded like a nice ATON. But transmission rates are low enough to keep email to a minimum. No large attachments such as pictures (I would have liked that). No chance of my teenage son using it for gaming, which I would not like at sea. Its a good story. Does it work? That is why I am posting.
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