Voyage of Egret Forums

Chris, Palm Coast, FL USA asks:
I am a neophyte to this( however it was a goal 15 years ago) but have great intensity and am looking into retiring and trying this for a few years. I am interested in the ability and costs (although I realize if I have to ask the question...)to connect to the internet and email without SSB. I am a Ham but figure Iridium is more reliable. Will you be at the Nordhavn area during the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show?I would like to pick your brain on the +/-'s of a 46,47,57,62. I am jealous of your ability to "just do it" and you are an inspiration to those of us still in the toils of work a day life. Respectfully yours, Chris

Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Chris, lots of information but we'll give it a shot. Internet reception and e-mail are two entirely different agendas. It is all about where you plan to cruise. Most US long distance cruisers start off coastal cruising in the US where you may use your cell phone to get internet connections or by using a modem inserted into your laptop. I believe internet at sea is quite expensive. This particular area is something we aren't versed in having never done it so we would rather not give information that is not exactly accurate.

If you are a ham you can get free SSB e-mail using winlink and a Pactor modem. At you know SSB reception is all about propagation. We used our SSB, with a Pactor modem and Sailmail for 4 years with mixed results. Sailmail costs $250/year. Since switching to an Iridium phone and Ocens (www.ocens.com) e-mail and weather software we get through every time, whenever we wish. (acool@explorersatellite.com can give you those initial costs for Iridium and Ocens). Iridium initial costs are less than an SSB set up. Operating costs are about twice as much but in the overall budget it is negligible plus you have the voice communication back up an SSB may or may not give. This said, many sailboaters love their SSBs. Bottom line: if we were to build a new boat it wouldn't have an SSB.

There is no right or wrong about an N46, N47, N57 or N62. They are all great boats and will take you safely and comfortably anywhere you wish. You should buy a boat that fits what you want to do, with whom, and where. We LOVE our N46. Very knowledgeable friends just built their dreamboat, an N47 (Bluewater). In a recent e-mail from friends we first met while liveaboards and still working six years ago told us "how much they still love their N57 and its a perfect boat for them" (Long Ranger). Friends we met first in the Bahamas, later in Nantucket, Chesapeake and eventually sailed on the NAR together just completed a major refit after 8 years because they love the 'Pearl' so much. (N62, Grey Pearl) So, whose right? All four.

We all have to toil and pay our dues saving boat coupons ($). Your day will come. Stay focused but enjoy every day until its Your Time. By the way..."trying this for a few years"...a few years isn't enough. You'll see.

In the small world department; Just Do It is the name of a lovely German couple's sailboat we met in Mar del Plata, Argentina on Egret's way to the Deep South. It took them two years and three attempts to round Cape Horn. In the end they did it the same day as Egret. They were VERY happy. Perhaps they should rename their boat 'Just Did It'. Ciao.


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