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Anyone have an opinion on the new SPOT tracker system? It is much less expensive than an EPIRB and seems to offer adequate locating capability. The cost is about $170.00 for the unit plus $99.00 per year for access to the satellite system.
 

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Hard to have an opinion on something so new...

The several ads, articles and company site don't provide many details (but I may have missed some)...

I wouldn't bet my life on it yet...not at sea at least...;)

My land survival skills are pretty good so I might trust it for adventure trips into the wilderness but not out in the big blue....

In a year or two of 95 percent rescue success (what 406 EPIRBs are) then I might consider it...but even the hardware looks better suited for bikers and hikers..not me floating around in a PFD!!!!:eek: :D :D

Looks like it may provide some cool other features though...the future may be bright for it....:)
 

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Im getting one for this season - but NOT to replace an EPIRB. I am getting it for backup (to the EPIRB) and for the message capabilities. I like being able to hit a button and let everyone know we are running late - or whatever message we decide on!
 

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I have not done much in the way of looking onto this but, from what I understand, it's a satalite text message machine with a GPS built in... right?

Does not sound like a rescue system to me..
 

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fmTuna said:
I have not done much in the way of looking onto this but, from what I understand, it's a satalite text message machine with a GPS built in... right?

Does not sound like a rescue system to me..

NO - you should look into it more. It is basically a PLB with text message capabilities. The text capabilities are limited - it will send a "prechosen" message to cell phones or emails.

Ex - "honey, we'll be home by 7pm, if you dont hear from us by 7:30 - call the coast guard"

at 6pm you hook into a MONSTER and stay to fight it. you can send a preprogrammed message to her that says " Im running late - but everthings fine"

after fighting your monster - you realise the boat is going down (god forbid) - set off you EPIRB and as a back-up, set off the rescue buttom on the SPOT.

IT iS a rescue system - but I'm using it as a backup - and as a way to get a message home.

How It Works:

Once activated, SPOT will acquire its exact coordinates from the GPS network, and send that location along with a distress message to a GEOS International Emergency Response Center every five minutes until cancelled. The Emergency Response Center notifies the appropriate emergency responders based on your location and personal information – which may include local police, highway patrol, the Coast Guard, our country’s embassy or consulate, or other emergency response or search and rescue teams – as well as notifying your emergency contact person(s) about the receipt of a distress signal.
 

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It is good if you are a coastal cruiser, like running a boat to FL and back, frequently outside cell phone range. It lets people follow your progress without Sat phone minutes cost as well as an emergency function. Definately better than nothing.
 

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figure the total cost for 5 years. More expensive than an epirb, and after 5 years you change the battery in the epirb and you are back in business.
 

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Capt Steve said:
figure the total cost for 5 years. More expensive than an epirb, and after 5 years you change the battery in the epirb and you are back in business.

Thats why Im using it as a backup to the EPIRB I already have. Plus with the messaging capabilities - its worth the annual cost.
 
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