Communications On Board - SailNet Community
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 2 Old 01-26-2003 Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 8
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Communications On Board

My husband and I will be living full time on our Rafiki 37 full time in about 6 months (have 2 houses to sell, and the last child is going in the Coast Guard in June). My question is this. I would like to be able to communicate with family/friends via e-mail. We already own an SSB and a laptop, so I''ve researched the "sail mail" route, since the only additional item necessary is the modem (a whopping $650). Anyone out there using this way of communicating? Opinions? Cell phones are out of the question as we plan on cruising away from the US. Sat phones seem to be a bit out of our budget. Suggestions?
S/V Southern Comfort
St. Simons Island, GA
slynn is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 2 Old 01-26-2003
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,120
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Communications On Board

Hi, Sharon...hope you''re able to enjoy some occasional warmth there in St. Simons!

You will find MANY boats using some form of HF email (your choices are a for-profit service like MarineNet or CruiseEmail, the non-profit commercial Sailmail service and/or the ham Winlink service). The others have charges for their service while Winlink is free (once you get to the point of getting the pieces in place and have your license).

Shop a bit and you''re likely to find an SCS PTC IIe Pactor modem for less than $650. If you know someone who''s visiting Europe, they can pick one up for you at much less cost (SCS is in Germany). However, your SSB needs to be capable of handling Pactor operation (meaning long transmit periods while you are sending email, and also quick switching as the ''packets'' of data are exchanged). You can get more info on suitable SSB radios at the airmail and sailmail sites (both software programs are written by the same fellow, and these are what run on your laptop - they are referred to as ''client software''. Airmail is for the ham system; Sailmail for the Marine SSB services).

If you''re somewhat into radio, perhaps have some friends who can get you up to speed, then just dig in. There''s a learning curve that takes some effort. OTOH if you want email but aren''t sure where to start and what you''ll need vs. what you have, then a good commercial provider can be a big help. HF Radio (, I think) gets good reviews and the fact they are on the West Coast shouldn''t be a problem.

Good luck. Oh, and a Sat Phone is very simple and a great emergency communication tool but it won''t connect you to any of your cruising buddies; SSB is the way to go for cruisers, even in this era.

WHOOSH is offline  

Quick Reply

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
on-board electronic inter-communications Johnnycatt General Discussion (sailing related) 4 09-22-2013 09:30 PM
state of satellite communications? davidimu Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 5 05-17-2003 03:14 PM
offshore communications carisea General Discussion (sailing related) 1 03-12-2003 05:35 AM
radio communications bullseye Gear & Maintenance 3 08-17-2002 05:09 AM
Caribbean Communications holdon Cruising & Liveaboard Forum 4 07-01-2001 03:41 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome