SkyMate Mazu/mSeries all-in-one Iridium sat comms & Si-Tex NavStar Android MFD

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

5 Responses

  1. Richard C says:

    Would love to see comparison chart for the new, old inReach and SkyMate Mazurka/m-series. When does it make sense to jump to the SkyMate from inReach Explorer for a cruising sailor taking into consideration the cost of service for what each offers? I have a feeling there are others with the same question. No one wants to over-buy features but if we can get an added capability for slightly more money it may be worth it. I like my inReach Explorer, however, the weather capability SkyMate offers is an attractive benefit.

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Richard, but a thorough comparison chart will be hard to put together with one system fixed to the boat and the other portable. I can’t think of a system directly comparable to Mazu, especially with the Sentry option. In terms of hardware, GoFree Track with its Iridium SBD option might be closest, but so far it’s focused on deep monitoring with Iridium just a fill-in when higher definition logging, tracking, etc. is not possible over cellular or WiFi. GoFree could add messaging and weather, but haven’t mentioned it yet.
    In terms of benefits for cruising beyond cellular, Mazu sort of falls between inReach and higher bandwidth tools like Iridium Go and Globalstar Sat-Fi, at least in cost. But the latter support real phone calls and PredictWind level forecasting and weather routing, or Weather4D…
    …while Mazu is notable just for easy text-to-voice or fax. Meanwhile offshore fishermen will likely be more interested in the Sea Surface Temperature data you can see available on the NavStar SkyMate screen, which could come to Mazu I think.
    It’s complicated!

  3. Craig says:

    To make it simple, I would start with my view that the monthly service costs for mazu will be less than any alternative. It is a combination of a stubborn focus on packing as much value as we can into a service plan and a deep relationship to the cruising community. In addition to very reasonable plans, month to month flexibility, and our drydock option, check out what is stuffed into plans.
    They are tailored to the needs of the offshore cruiser.
    The design of the system allows you to manage your costs. For instance, you select as much radar weather as you need … by geography and resolution. Less radar on a nice day, more in sketchy weather. The UI provides feedback on how much data you have used to help you manage it. Finally, the app and the iPad allow you to move between shore based internet and offshore satellite communications. You only use the satellite when you need to.
    As for function comparisons, I am not aware of any functions supported by InReach not provided by mazu & the m2500 … and there are many additions. Route planning & charts, position reporting, navigation and full featured weather, email that works like email, weather alerts for where and when you are cruising.
    See for yourselves by downloading the mazu iPad app free at the iTunes store.
    Craig from mazu

  4. John says:

    Those plans look pretty good. I’m assuming that any Nexrad images over Iridium would use up the “additional bytes” – do you have any estimates of how many bytes are used per image request?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thank you John, and you are right, Nexrad images are usage of additional bytes. How many bytes is a function of what you decide you need and of course how active the weather is. While offshore you decide how often you get an image, and the area of the image, and the resolution. It is a cost management feature SkyMate customers have enjoyed for years. Generally the image is well under 1,000 bytes. If requesting Nexrad with an internet connection you will receive the full US at its highest resolution.
    Craig from mazu

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