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Observations From the 'Field'

1688 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  GrahamO
Well into our second cruising season I felt it was time to pay back all the help we received from this forum by adding some of my observations on equipment options. I do not presume to be an expert on any of this stuff but there maybe something useful, particularly for those just starting out on their cruising.

I have posted material on our blog so that I don't have to reproduce it in multiple fora. I hope that works. Feedback appreciated.

Topics addressed to date (hopefully search friendly):
Doyle sails
Pryde sails
Power generation setup, Renogy solar, Morningstar solar controller
Garhauer hardware
Navigation tools, Raymarine E7, Navionics charts, Garmin apps, Explorer charts, Activecaptain
Spectra watermaker
Seafrost refrigeration
Communications, Bahamas cellphone, Globalstar , OCENS, Iridium GO, Xgate
Mast pulpits
Weather options, Saildocs, WeatherTrack app, PredictWind

A few ideas:
Dealing with finger breaking cupboard latches
Stopping max prop anodes falling off prematurely
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Actually the Batelco maps are pretty accurate. We have had good coverage everywhere except:
1. The Land and Sea Park in the middle of the Exumas although the Wilson amp gave us some coverage in Cambridge Cay
2. Anywhere in the Jumentos except Duncan town
3. Conception Cay

As for the satellite options. They are universally utterly frustrating. If the InReach delivers what you need then it uses the Iridium network which is reasonably reliable. Take all data rates with a pinch of salt. Anything without a $14k installation will be sloooow.

Being able to download GRIBS using an app like WeatherTrack is important and that might need the GO/Xgate combo. More research needed there. The weather options provided by Iridium and Xgate as native are point forecasts and, IMHO pretty worthless.

The Sony for receive only SSB has been fine for listening to Chris Parker. There are apps that allow you to use this as a weatherfax but I've not gone there - too hard basket....

Have fun and let me know if I can be of any help. It is a GREAT trip. We over-spent like crazy but don't regret a dime.



Thanks for posting this information. We're planning to head south this fall and have made some similar outfitting choices - with the exception of the watermaker.

I'm still struggling with communications and weather decisions. Looking at the BaTelCo coverage maps, it gives the impression that 3G coverage even on the out islands is not bad, although I'm sure those maps are overly optimistic and we'll find ourselves wanting if we try to rely mainly on cellular.

Right now the Delorme InReach for backup coms with a receive-only SSB for weather is a contender as is the Iridium Go. I'm kind of banging my head with the conclusion that none of this is as easy as it could/should be or as the marketing materials for the sat-com devices would like to have one believe.
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