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?
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.
Thank you so much for the information, very helpful!!!
Thanks for the input!!! With the $50 rebate they are offering right now, it seems like a no brainier. I ordered it today.
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.