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SPOT Trace??

I am looking at getting a SPOT Trace for my upcoming trip to the Islands so family and friends can track our progress, but to also have some added protection on boat theft in the islands. I have seen a number of threads with stolen boats that have these here on the forum and just thought I'd ask some other users what their experiences are with this item.

I would more than likely get the annual service to keep an eye on the boat at my place while here, but upgrade to the premium service for the Bahamas trip. Any thoughts?


  • JIMinPBJIMinPB Posts: 1,875 Captain
    I've used the little square orange/black Spot Trackers when doing offshore boat deliveries. The unit was set up to let a few friends know what my progress was. The friends had to log into the Spot Track website via a link that I sent them, in order to see where I was. The little unit generally worked well as long as the batteries were good, but it would shut itself off if you didn't move much for an hour or two. Battery life varied depending on the length of the interval between position updates. I don't remember if I had it update every 10 minutes or every half hour. The batteries lasted a few days, but not a full week.

    I don't know if your Spot Trace is different from a Spot Tracker or not.

    Delorme came out with an improved competition for the Spot Tracker a year or two ago. I don't remember all the details, but I ended up not getting one after I looked into them. I had a hard time getting good information on it's capabilities. 3 different people at 2 different West Marine stores gave me 3 different answers when I asked about it. I think that the Delorme unit would let you send a few real messages if you needed to. The Spot Tracker only let you send a couple of predetermined messages that were already entered into the unit before you left shore. Those messages were generally something like "all is well", "made it to my second port of call" or "send help".

    I hope that this helps.

  • ShoelessShoeless Posts: 2,110 Captain

    Thank you so much for the information, very helpful!!!

  • Kevinwwings2Kevinwwings2 Posts: 1,279 Officer
    I have a spot trace, and have to say some friends and family have enjoyed the peace of mind keeping an eye in my trips. It is also nice to go back after the trip and see exactly where you were on a Google Earth map. Amazing what you can see on no larger scale picture vs on the boat on the fish finder.
  • ShoelessShoeless Posts: 2,110 Captain
    Hey Kevin,

    Thanks for the input!!! With the $50 rebate they are offering right now, it seems like a no brainier. I ordered it today.

    Thanks again,
  • PaulBoatPaulBoat Posts: 4,389 Officer
    Sean - the Trace is nice. It gives you a bit of peace of mind - although the thieves are smart - once they hop on they use signal jammers so the device's transmissions are blocked (remember the PBFCo yellowfin that was stolen had a Spot on it and the last message received was from the day before the incident - not sure if Larry ever reported if the unit was ripped out or what)... At least when you're on the other side or boating in general, it's another tool to locate the boat in case of an emergency, provided you've shared the "link" with someone.

    It is a no-brainer given how inexpensive... I suggest you get the hardwired battery cable too so you never have to worry about AAA batteries - just worry about your boat battery 😁

    Here's a shot from this morning status notification on my phone app. It shows the boat on the lift (green dot) overlayed on a Google map image taken when the boat was in the water tied to the dock...


    I also have a Delorme inReach SE which I really like - although I do not use the tracking features. I think it was under $300 and the cheapest monthly plan is no more than $15. They do have month-to-month plans if you don't have year-round use for it.

    What is included in the cheapest monthly plan - from memory:

    - unlimited preset text messages. You can have 3 preset. For example I have 1) checking in - all OK 2) Got fish - coming home 3) make dinner reservations - skunked. Of course I've never used #3 😂

    Also included is unlimited SOS / SAR text messages. You can also program your BoatUS membership info in there...

    Also included are 10 monthly messages (whatever you want to say). Anything above that gets charged at a nominal fee (can't remember how much... 10-20-30 cents each)

    So it is a different peace of mind that you get out of that. When you're fishing 20 miles off the Abacos somewhere and there is absolutely no one in sight and you know there ain't no BoatUS or SeaTow around and your VHF has zero chatter and no one is responding, you can fire that puppy up and fire away.

    The text messages you send will automatically include your GPS coordinates.

    If you ever get one of those, I recommend setting up your address book in advance to fire email and text messages to your "loved ones"...

    BTW SPOT and Delorme use different satellite systems... Globalstar for Spot and Iridium for Delorme.
  • dpdashdpdash Posts: 5,359 Admiral
    Great info Paul
  • johnalkijohnalki Posts: 514 Officer
    goggle sat phone and the rental fee for ten days is pretty cheap
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