Re: [Amel] Re: HF Radio


Chris Smither <yachtakwaaba@...>
 

Conn,
       On our Santorin we have both SSB/Sailmail and Inmarsat C, both were useful, but once we decided to stay in Thailand, I cancelled both Sailmail and Satcom. We can still get the local SSB nets and that is fine for us. I agree with Bill, the satcom was essential in the long pacific leg, particularly when we had to go to the help of another yacht. If Sailmail has a transmitter in the Marquesas, then it might be OK for the leg from the Galapagos to Nuka Hiva. Also the "ocean nets" are very good as they give you actual weather from yachts ahead of you - most of the other forecasts are area forecasts, and can be, at times, dramatically wrong.

   However, I would add one warning, do NOT rely on the 2182 "emergency" channel on SSB to summon assistance....ther just are not many wireless operators out there listening any more. So you must have some other means of putting out a "MAYDAY" with some assurance that it will be heard.....transmission does not always mean reception.
   EPIRB's are very efficient.  In the one case where we were personally involved, by the time I had sent a satcom fax to UK, telling of an abandonment in mid Pacific, as the fax was running off the printer, the UKMRCC was on the phone saying that an EPIRB had been activated at xx Lat and yy Long and the NZMRCC had the call and it was registered in UK to this address and phone number.
   That was within 30 minutes of activation. The crew had been calling on 2182 for nearly an hour, including in the "silonce" period.
   Don't know about satphones, but I guess they will have some form of emergency system.

MIke & Chris
SN 027 Akwaaba



________________________________
From: Conn Williamson <connwilliamson@...>
To: amelyachtowners@...
Sent: Thursday, May 26, 2011 4:30 AM
Subject: Re: [Amel] Re: HF Radio


 
Thanks again for that info Tom / Bill. That's pretty much what I thought. Is HF the same SSB?. I think we ozzies call it HF.I had an old cb radio years ago with upper & lower side band which we called ssb.
 My rigger who is extremly well known in Brisbane for being the best around, suggested doing away with the antenna system, which is still installed on our boat, because of the extra expense involved in the rigging, when he replaces the tridadic and back stays. We don't have an HF unit in the boat at the minute.
 
Bill, we follow you on facebook
 
Thanks again
Conn
--- On Wed, 25/5/11, Judy and Bill aboard SV BeBe <yahoogroups@...> wrote:

From: Judy and Bill aboard SV BeBe <yahoogroups@...>
Subject: [Amel] Re: HF Radio
To: amelyachtowners@...
Received: Wednesday, 25 May, 2011, 9:28 AM

 

Conn,

OUR EXPERIENCE:
We are 2/3rds or more away around beginning in the Caribbean and currently in Marmaris. We have HF, a Pator3 modem, winlink and sailmail. Hen not near civilization we used the HF for email communication and downloaded weather information. When near civilization we used WiFi and/or 3G modem. We seem to be using the 3G modem about 60% of the time recently.

When crossing the Pacific from Galapagos to French Polynesia we found a large hole in sailmail stations until we got closer to the Marquesas where sailmail has installed a new station at Manahi.

However, while making passages around the world, some of our best information came from informal Nets that included cruisers ahead of us as well as some behind us. You cannot duplicate these daily meetings on sat phones for lots of reasons, but one is that sat phone to sat phone calls can be very expensive. I have seen some as high as $14/min.

We have a sat phone for emergencies and only pay for airtime when used. I do not believe you can write a contract like that anymore. We did not use it for 2 years, but when crossing the Bay of Bengal, we encountered an un-forecasted LO which was fairly violent. We were unable to get weather information (grib files) that recorded this LO, but we were being hit with 45kt winds...we used the sat phone to call Commander's Weather who was able to give us the position of the LO, allowing us to plot a course out of it.

MY COMMENTS/ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION:
Your rigger is absolutely correct if you only analyze the situation from his perspective...the additional cost of the rigging could buy you lots of minutes for your sat phone...does he also sell sat phones?

If you currently have HF, you may want to look at an HF halyard antenna to replace your rigging antenna...it will not be as good, but will probably suffice.

If you do not have HF and you do not want 2-way communication with fellow cruisers on passages, then your rigger is probably correct. With the money you will save from not purchasing and rigging HF, you can buy a lot of sat phone minutes.

BTW, out of 20 yachts crossing from Galapagos to French Polynesia with us in 2008, only one did not have a HF transceiver, and he had a HF receiver.

Best,

Bill
BeBe, SM2k, #387
Currently Marmaris, Turkey

--- In amelyachtowners@..., "Conn" <connwilliamson@...> wrote:

I am going to get some standing rigging replaced on our Mongo. We are intending to cruise the Pacific in the next few years. My Rigger suggested to do away with the HF aerial system on the tridadic and back stays, saying that HF is outdated. What do Amel owners that are cruising full time think of this. HF or Sat phone?.

Cheers to all...Conn.. Jasmyn #28
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