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For the term "spot messenger".
SPOT share pages, in beta 0

SPOT share pages, in beta

Spot_sharing_example_cPanbo

The SPOT satellite messenger is about to get more attractive to many boaters. Originally it wasn’t all that easy to share your tracking with friends and family; in fact, to do so you had to share your entire Spot account user name and password. But now Spot is beta testing a pretty sophisticated feature that enables Web sharing of both tracks and messages…

Spot, another tracker/beacon 8

Spot, another tracker/beacon

Globalstar Spot

Interesting! The just announced Spot is a waterproof Globalstar messenger and GPS combo that will purportedly let you alert the authorities (at least the U.S. ones) with your position, or ask for help from your friends or just notify them of where you are, or build an online track of your travels…

Iridium 9602 & Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro, oh boy! 8

Iridium 9602 & Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro, oh boy!

Iridium_9602_with_Card.JPG

The smaller, cheaper Iridium short-burst data (SBD) modem I heard about at Fort Lauderdale is now official and, wow, doesn’t it look able to “disappear into as many marine devices as possible!” It even has a GPS input/output ports so that it and the modem can easily share a dual-mode antenna.  Hardware and service costs aren’t specified but Iridium is claiming that the 9602 will have “the highest value in the industry.”  I, for one, can’t wait to see devices like the Spot Messenger that are global and bi-directional, and what the MFD and marine security/tracking developers might do with the 9602.  And I’m glad for Iridium that it’s got this and OpenPort going on, because it sure looks like Inmarsat is about to attack its dominance in the satellite phone department…

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Garmin buys GEOS, good or bad for SEND distress services?

SEND is not a commonly used acronym, but it’s especially worth understanding because Garmin just acquired GEOS Worldwide, the company that runs “the only global Search and Rescue Coordination Center for Satellite Emergency Notification Devices (S.E.N.D.).” If you own a Garmin inReach this is almost undoubtedly good news, but what about boaters who use other SEND distress, tracking, and messaging systems like Globalstar Spot, Iridium GO, Inmarsat IsatPhone, Zoleo, Skymate Mazu, and others?…

Rally season: trackers, goggles, and a weather router issue 8

Rally season: trackers, goggles, and a weather router issue

Charlie_Doane_anti_seasickness_glasses.JPG

Of course I admire another boating writer willing to put weird things on his head for the sake of research and a little levity. But consider me dubious regarding the anti-seasickness goggles Charlie Doane modeled aboard a yacht he almost crewed aboard for the Carib 1500 rally. The rally — which runs from Hampton, Virginia, to the Virgin Islands — got delayed by what became tropical storm Sean, and Charlie had to bail, but he still came up with an interesting story about the rally organizers and weather routers who try to help passage makers in this difficult season…

Racing capsizes, did satellite beacons help? 9

Racing capsizes, did satellite beacons help?

Rambler_100_capsized_courtesy_Phaedo.jpg

Man, can you imagine how many scary moments preceded this photo? The remarkable thing is that all 21 crew members of Rambler 100 survived her capsize in rough and foggy conditions just after rounding Fastnet Rock on Monday evening. The yacht — which I gawked at as Speedboat in Newport last fall — purportedly turned turtle just 30 seconds after her keel snapped off, leaving several crew caught inside and upside down. EPIRBs and PLBs had something to do with the 100% successful rescue, though it’s hard tell which and how…