The Equipment Rules mandate that your VHF be of a minimum wattage (25W) and that the connection to your masthead antenna not lose more than a stated amount of that wattage due to cable loss, dirty connectors, or other factors.
SSB? Satphone? Go? SailMail?
How to stay connected offshore has challenged sailors for years. While the advance of technology has created many powerful and overlapping options, sorting through them can be a chore.
Marine electronics veteran Eric Steinberg of Farallon Electronics sorts it out for you. Ultimately, the decision will come down to what you want to spend your time and money on, but armed with the information in Eric's attached article, you'll be better equipped to make your choices.
Updated Satphone Tricks With a bit of planning before the race, you can use your Iridium satphone to get all of the data and weather information during the race that you could get using a broad(er)band Inmarsat Fleet Broadband terminal, e.g. Furuno FleetBroadband Satellite terminal or a KVH VSAT TracPhone. You can get the same data quickly and at much less expense without the weight, cost and power consumption of the broad(er) band equipment.
Aboard Cayenne, which has raced in four Pac Cups – and placed in two, we have a simple slogan that represents our hierarchy of values: “Safety, Friendship, Performance.” As it turns out, when we are in or near first place, we are willing to swap the last two, but safety is always first.
The marine SSB we have on board is not only a race requirement, it fits into all three of these values.
By Shea Weston, addendum to Jim and Sue Corenman’s Communication Article
For an ocean racer’s communications needs there are basically two choices; a SSB radio or a satellite phone. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages and the well equipped yacht should consider carrying both for redundancy.
The following material on communication has been taken from a 2006 update to the Pacific Cup Handbook by Jim and Sue Corenman; editorial comments by Steve Chamberlin.
Editor's Note: Most of the inline images were not included in this document to speed up internet load times. Follow the links to see the approriate drawings.]
So you're sailing to Hawaii AND you want to be able to call home while on the way. But most of all you want to be heard if you call for help from the middle of nowhere.