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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
I agree it was Snarky, I far from have the answers, my apologies.

Having cruised Baja and having overland Baja for the last 30 years I know that lack of reliable cell service let alone internet on the Pacific coast, and according to my plan, which is to hang out in Hurricane zone during some of the most active months I would prefer to have the ability for a reliable forecast source in case I need to get the hell out of dodge.

Once I round the cape and am heading along the mainland it ( cell service, internet availability) may be more reliable I would imagine. A sat phone will not be onboard.

Again, I apologize for my snarkizm.

Dave
 

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I know the text messaging system for the InReach is character limited, but I'm surprised they haven't figured a way to send a serious of messages that could be used to construct a grib file. They already have the app to connect the device to a smartphone. Recombining the messages and running a display app would seem child's play. It might take a half hour to download, but that's not unlike other media. I'm betting, just like so many other things, marine offshore demand is so small, it just doesn't warrant the development time.
 

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Lanealoha, since you’ve been down the Baja, you probably already know what will work (or not work) for you. Several C36’s make the HaHa trek each year so you will have plenty of company down to PV and possibly Z-town so enjoy your voyage. Here are a couple of my thoughts (and I’ll probably trashed for them)
  • I like the ICOM 802 SSB. The Sonrisa and Baja nets are great resources. Even the HaHa uses the SSB for the daily check ins while out at sea. It’s a fantastic way to email. You can even blog from it so everybody at home knows what you are up to. The downside to the EPRIB is it is only really useful for “game over” situations. Sometimes you may need help from over the horizon for near critical things like a tow.
  • As you are probably are aware there are two types of wind down there, nuclear and non-existent. Plan on motoring, a lot when you are in the SOC. It is no shame carrying extra jerry jugs on the life lines. For example, my C34 only has 20 useable gallons in the tank so the extra 25 in jugs gets me where I need to go. Fuel in Cabo is an absolute rip off (as is Enrico’s) so you will need to go to San Jose Del or La Paz for affordable fuel.
  • A Bimini is fantastic shade plus it gives you extra real estate for solar panels (I have a hundred watts each on the dodger and Bimini. 300 watts is better if you can fit it)
  • The Sprectra Power Survivor makes only a gallon and a half an hour at 5-6 amps. With the back flush calculated in, it takes most of the day and consumes most of your solar output. The water is safe to drink in most of the major marinas.
  • I learned the hard way that an extra jib halyard is good to have when your spin halyard gets sucked up the mast.
  • I have a pair of Zarcor screen doors for the companionway and a screen for the slider for bug protection. I put in the washboards and lock when I’m away. I have a cruiser curtain for the companionway while under way.
  • The predominate wind angles are pretty deep going down and the A-kite can be pretty frustrating. Get a whisker pole if you are budget constrained. I have a Wichard Boom Brake. “Little Otto” sometimes gets confused and you will round down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
^^^ GeorgeB

Do I need a 'HAM' operators license for SSB? It seems there are mixed feelings on an EPIRB....

Oh ya I remember the wind, howling or not at all. I currently have a whisker pole. Will that be adequate or should I look around for a spinnaker pole? If the whisker is adequate, I'd prefer to put my money towards other expenses.

Izzy:

You mentioned no need for Iridium (I understand not NEEDED, a nice luxury I guess), do you use SSB or some other? Would that be a more well rounded piece of equipment? I like the idea of 1 time up front cost vs. things that you have to buy then pay monthly subscriptions for.

For water maker I'm looking at seawaterpro.com, they are coming out with a portable Litium Ion powered unit. I talked with the owner/ designer, seems interesting and more compact than the Rainmaker system, no gas to boot. With Lithium technology creeping into everything I like the idea of not having systems on my house bank if possible. I have a cooler that operates on Lithium battery and its really nice, can even make ice cubes...


Dave
 

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We use an iridiumGo only whilst making off-shore passages on the monthly unlimited plan for $139 via bluecosmo that we can cancel when finished. We also use an iridium sat phone on the basic plan as a backup for about $59, then cancel following the passage. The rest of the time we use local unlimited data cards or TMobile unlimited until we get cut off after 3 months of international roaming, which can be cured by switching between two US sim cards. InReach can be used for texting.

The SSB radios haven’t been turned on and used in over 12 years; unless you’re part of some kind of old folks rally, you won’t find anyone on the receiving end of your broadcast. SSB is totally useless these days, a waste of money. If you have an emergency, nothing beats a Sat phone with a basic plan on an iridium 9555 phone, just pick it up and dial for help anywhere, no worries if some geezer happens to be on the other end of an SSB waiting for your broadcast. Iridium 9555 calls direct to who ever you wish for about $1 per minute when seconds count.

Try to buy a used Spectra watermaker on ebay or surplus marine store, then rebuild it for short money. Spectra units will work off D/C powered by solar. Friends have reported good success with the Rainman watermakers powered by Honda portable generators.

We stay away from lithium anything, expensive to replace when they go bad (and they do) and difficult or impossible to find in remote locations. We stick with tried and true flooded lead acid which can be had for short money at any next stop anywhere in the world. Just replace and keep going. With proper care, lead acid will last ten years.

People always love lithium batteries just after they spend a small fortune on them, then the enthusiasm drops off quickly when things go south with them. Just try to get something like that fixed in Baja or any remote location. Impossible at best. Lead acid flooded on the other hand, any local mechanic anywhere in the world will have you moving again within a couple of hours.
 

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The SSB radios haven’t been turned on and used in over 12 years; unless you’re part of some kind of old folks rally, you won’t find anyone on the receiving end of your broadcast. SSB is totally useless these days, a waste of money. If you have an emergency, nothing beats a Sat phone with a basic plan on an iridium 9555 phone, just pick it up and dial for help anywhere,
😂 🤣 😂 🤣 😂

All the grace of a brick wall... But Izzy is right.
In April this year I was mid-Atlantic doing a trip from Cherbourg, France to the Caribbean when the Auotpilot conked out.

With Iridium Go I was able to have a friend in Portugal fault check it with me with instant SMS, straight through to anyone with a phone number world wide. Instantly. He did some great research on the net and hassled Raymarine Tech support in the UK, and finally we needed a phone call while I was down in the lazarette with the quadrant and the errant Autopilot on a normal mobile phone (cell phone) using its wifi, just like a normal phone call.

Emails via SSB do not stand up to the speed of email on Iridium Go, nor SMS text messaging or re-time phone calls.

SSB will set you back more than US$4,000 with the unit, tuner, plate, antenna and the wiring.
Iridium Go is
Icom SSB:
ICOM–150 Watt HF Marine Single Side Band Radio (SSB)
ICOM 150 Watt HF Marine Single Side Band Radio (SSB) | West Marine
$3,850.99


PredictWind Iridium GO! Marine Package
US$ 999
Iridium GO! - PredictWind

And thats the full marine package including the external antenna that you can easily install yourself.

Starlink will wipe Iridium Go off the planet in the same way Iridium wiped SSB off the planet a decade ago.
To go with obsolete $4,000 payout compared to $999 when 2 people who are actively cruising/ocean passage-making now, suggest otherwise... and no active cruiser on this thread has recommended SSB over Satellite... means you need to reassess the information available. (I don't know if @GeorgeB is actively ocean passage-making)


Sorry to sound blunt in my posts. I just don't want to see anyone blow $4k and then have to blow another $1k while they wait for Starlink. Wasting the $1,000 was bad enough for me. I just bought my Iridium Go at the beginning of this year (after my Iridium 9555 needed upgrading) and I consider it to be without value the day Starlink arrives.

:)


Mark
 

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what prompted my rant is the use of the word "obsolete"
Just reacted to a petulant "opinion", need to control my reactions, did not contribute to the discussion.
"fogetaboutit"
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Well, i certainly will not being spending $4k on a dinosaur. And I'll wait till the bitter end as per MarkofSealife so that maybe starlink will be available by then. Glad I got out of the crossfire. I was confused by Izzy's first post about not needing any of those (Iridium and Sat Phone) but upon further clarification and simple math I see what his point was now. Back to my Iridium plan....

How about bilge pumps on the port and starboard sides as to be effective while heeled over?
 

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People always love lithium batteries just after they spend a small fortune on them, then the enthusiasm drops off quickly when things go south with them
Yes, they are breathtaking expensive, but I've had mine for one year and absolutely love them. The massive capacity, the ability to draw massive loads and recharge at the equivalent of 12v 400 amps per hour (they'd take more if I had it), no more constant 100SOC stress and we love them.

We did not want a home brew DIY setup, as I'm not experienced with them and your point about lack of support stands. However, we have a Mastervolt system and had one issue recently. You can download a diagnostic file and email it to technical support at Mastervolt, who responded immediately. Turned out to be a simple issue, I just wasn't familiar enough to note, but won't miss is again. With internet access and a computer hooked up to the Mastervolt controller (via simple USB cable), tech support can sign right on to your system and do all the work from afar.

Love them. Zero enthusiasm drop. If anything, I'm blown away by the global support.
 

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To clarify, an Iridium 9555 is simply a portable handheld SAT phone. The IridiumGo is a portable internet SAT receiver that works along with your smartphone or tablet (at extremely slow speeds) to enable SAT phone calls, texts, emails and small data files. The only issue we’ve encountered with either device is people on the receiving end of a SAT call, is them screening the calls thinking they were spam. The person receiving the call views a strange incoming number, then when and if they decide to answer, there’s a slight delay when speaking, so they hang up. Many times I first need to send them a warning text regarding the incoming call.
 

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Yes, they are breathtaking expensive, but I've had mine for one year and absolutely love them. The massive capacity, the ability to draw massive loads and recharge at the equivalent of 12v 400 amps per hour (they'd take more if I had it), no more constant 100SOC stress and we love them.

We did not want a home brew DIY setup, as I'm not experienced with them and your point about lack of support stands. However, we have a Mastervolt system and had one issue recently. You can download a diagnostic file and email it to technical support at Mastervolt, who responded immediately. Turned out to be a simple issue, I just wasn't familiar enough to note, but won't miss is again. With internet access and a computer hooked up to the Mastervolt controller (via simple USB cable), tech support can sign right on to your system and do all the work from afar.

Love them. Zero enthusiasm drop. If anything, I'm blown away by the global support.
I take it from your post that you have not yet traveled by boat very far from your home port. Your quick fix probably won’t work out so peachy and your enthusiasm will wane quickly when things busticate in remote spots with only the local marine or auto mechanic available to sort it out and you find yourself stuck waiting for weeks for parts to arrive.

We have two complete Mastervolt systems which I’ve found to be outstanding. However, Mastervolt does not support their products or repair them after five years, as the company considers them obsolete. There are no service centers for Mastervolt in the US.

Our goal has always been to keep going, not to keep stopping whilst cruising.
 

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Starlink will wipe Iridium Go off the planet in the same way Iridium wiped SSB off the planet a decade ago.
While grossly inferior tech, ironically, SSB has not been wiped of the planet. I think you can still buy them new and, as far as I know, the Oyster Rally leaving in Jan still requires one aboard.

Still, I would not have one, unless I needed it for something like that.

Starlink is far from proven it will deliver as promised. What tech company ever does?
 

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I take it from your post that you have not yet traveled by boat very far from your home port.
Please cut out the snottiness. This is the second time in as many days you've suggested as much. I've sailed everywhere from the Caribbean to the Bahamas to Maine and much between. If I disagree with you, it's not cause for puffing your chest out and displaying your feathers.

Every lithium owner I know absolutely loves them. Get over it. You're entitled to your opinion and to have lead acid, if you prefer.

Your quick fix won’t work out so well and your enthusiasm will wane quickly when things busticate in remote spots
My recent issue required no replacement parts to correct. Could have been done absolutely anywhere with internet access, via satellite or cell phone. They can also download and update software, for every individual system, from afar. I also have a stock of spare parts aboard. My charging is done by two redundant chargers in parallel, which work through the Mastervolt software. If one were to have a problem, it can be shut off and the other still works. Same with the four batteries. You can shut off and isolate any single battery, with a simple turn of a switch, and the rest works fine. I've never seen a lead acid setup that can so easily be put back online with a single battery fault.
 
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How about bilge pumps on the port and starboard sides as to be effective while heeled over?
What boat are we talking about and is there a low bilge? I would think this shouldn't be an issue on a modern engineered ocean rated hull. (not that those ocean ratings are all they're cracked up to be)
 

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Lanealoha,

The primary point I’ve been trying to make, it that my wife and I have been cruising extensively in the Med, Caribbean and US for over twelve years using the mindset that we utilize systems onboard that can be readily and quickly repaired by us onboard (my wife and I work together on repairs) rather than depending on shipyards, remote technicians or specialists. We keep our systems basic (off the shelf at any chandlery) so nearly anything can be repaired at the next port anywhere in the world or by us using our extensive collection of spare parts and tools.

We’ve watched well over a hundred fellow cruisers give up the dream in frustration over the years when they discover the high costs of services and downtime when repairs can’t be made in a timely or cost effective manner. It appears to me that you’re taking the same preventative approach as us.

Keep up the good work, you’ll be successful at cruising.
 
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