Yellowbrick 3, the Iridium 9602 strikes again

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

14 Responses

  1. Boatie says:

    Ben, The inReach plan has no fee for upgrading but a $25 fee for a downgrade according to this article:

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Thanks, Boatie. I think a $25 downgrade fee would be OK with lots of customers, but I’m quite dubious about the subscription prices quoted on that blog. I very much doubt that inReach will include unlimited tracking. The draft I’ve seen specified 40 text messages and 200 track points for the $25/month “Recreation” plan.
    (I understand that subscription “units” will be interchangeable on a 5-to-1 ratio; in other words, those 40 monthly messages could be used instead as another 200 track points, or the track points used as 40 more messages. Similarly, overage fees for Recreational subscribers will be 50 cents per text and 10 cents per track point. The $50 Pro subscription gets you 1,500 units with overage of 5 cents a unit. Mind you that DeLorme characterized this as tentative subscription rates, not definite.)

  3. Boatie says:

    As a recreational boatie, I would baulk at paying even $25 per month if I was only doing serious boating, out of cell phone range, for a month every year. A flexible plan based on usage would remove that barrier. It will be interesting to watch this play out in the market place over the next year or so.

  4. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Boatie, as I understand it the minimum annual DeLorme inReach plan with be $10/month, which gets you 75 units, which means either 15 messages or 75 track points or some mix thereof. Extra texts are 95 cents, and extra tracking points 10 cents. If the blog you referenced is correct a user can upgrade to Recreation or Pro plans without a fee but it will cost another $25 to downgrade back to the Safety plan.

  5. Korpijaakko says:

    I come from outdoors, not boating background, but these devices are also very interesting for outdoors hobbyist.
    Just to update the info about Yellowbrick: “There is no minimum contract, simply pay per month when you need to use the Yellowbrick.” (from their page
    This might make it interesting for those needing it only for a month or two a year.

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Pleased to report that I will soon be testing a Yellowbrick3, as I am the inReach now:
    I’ve also been testing a beta version of the BriarTek Cerberus system and will be getting the production model soon. Cerberus will be available soon for sale or weekly rental:

  7. Emma says:

    I’ve recently used the Yellowbrick 3 while sailing North of New Zealand, It’s a great little piece of kit and well worth the money.
    According to the Australian distributor: , it works with Android and Iphone/Ipad. I haven’t tried those features yet, but next time I’ll be tweeting from the Tasman!

  8. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    What a great day to start a Bermuda Race! I believe all 20+ classes are equipped with Yellowbrick 3 tracker/messengers and you already see them in action:
    There will be a six hour delay for the first 36 hours of the race, but after that the tracks should be near real time. I believe that many boats will be tweeting too.

  9. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    The Bermuda Race officials have rescinded the tracking delay early because this particular race isn’t really tactical and the lead boats are going so fast new records may get set. The Yellowbrick online tracking is great, but do note that you have to pay $3 for this race if you use their apps.

  10. Labozza says:

    Never seen anything like this. The combination of the perfect wind speed and angle, Gulfstream direction, and benign weather is making this a one of a kind race. The majority of the boats are crossing the Gulfstream as we speak, and these racers are literally cutting the Atlantic in two. I’m using Nobeltec Trident with their unreleased beta module with the race feed overlaid on the GRIBs, very cool stuff. It may not have the coverage of the Volvo Race or the AC, but it’s still about as exciting as a Mets game.
    These boats are flying! Keep an eye on Bacchanal, a J133 that is my sleeper for this race.

  11. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Sorry for the lack of entries, but that will change soon.
    I did just move Gizmo 345 miles from Annapolis to Essex in less than five days, including the entire New Jersey ICW. And I’ve got a Yellowbrick track to show it:
    Actually Yellowbrick is now YB Tracking and the model I’m testing is the fixed YB3i:
    I can change the track interval with an iOS or Android app (or via Web), which shows on our track. The YB3i can also do messaging and seems very solid.

  12. Nice track, Ben – though it makes it obvious it would be even better if it could automatically change track interval for the “interesting” parts..:-) For example, a short interval for your transit of the East River, but longer for the passage up LI Sound. Maybe you need a helm placard “Check track interval”.
    Then someone could do an ap that tells you the “dollars per mile” at your current setting..;-)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Any updates on this? What about North American vendors?

  14. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I did test the YB3i in 2015:
    The “Yellowbrick” name is gone, and while YBtracking does not seem to have dedicated North American distribution, it does sell (and work) globally:

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