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Robert Cart

For $250/month when far offshore anywhere and only $120mo when fixed for unlimited high speed internet, Starlink is just too amazing to even consider Iridium go at all. Can’t take starlink into the raft? The DIY people are building kits for even that. For me, I’ll take my iPhone with a solar charger into the raft. That way I get GPS and free global emergency satellite messaging. RIP Iridium.

Robert Cart

Thanks for the reply. While I too wouldn’t take a Starlink into a raft, the compact portable waterproof kits people are making do make this possible. IridiumGo at $170/month is way too expensive on top of Starlink and I’d never choose it first. I’m thrilled at being able to conduct global emergency text messaging from my iPhone (with a good case and solar charger) from anywhere in the world.

Tom Stokes

The original iridiumGo used to have a “standby” mode for around $10/mo which could be used in the off-season, but this is no longer available. There seems to be an option to turn off completely and buy a new SIM card after each off-season, but I have asked the vendor Ocens for info, and they seem as confused as I am about this option. I wonder how the Off-season options compare with Iridium Exec?

Neil McCubbin

Agreed that the GO Extreme is a poor buy for cruising sailors
After five years of being pleased with the original GO, paying for the unlimited date every month we were sailing, we see it a now outdated.
We head back to Milvina in Hiva Oa this week, with a Starlink kit and a Garmin Messenger, the smallest and cheapest of the Garmin inReach gadgets.
We expect to use Starlink for 99% of communications, but see the Garmin as a back-up and usable in a life raft
The Garmin has text capability, but not voice. It also tracks us every ten minutes, so will replace our GO tracking for friends.
The Garmin Messenger costs $45 Cdn (say $30US) per month for unlimited tracking, SOS service like the GO, and 40 texts. Additional texts cost a little

Robert Cart mentioned the iPhone for emergency satellite communication. I understand that it uses the GlobalStar satellites, which cover only part of the world. Also, I think Apple currently offers service in the US only.

Paul Browning

I am one who is paying the $150 or $170 a month for Iridium AND another $200 a month for Starlink, but trying to get my head around it all does my head in. I also have a Cell Fi Go to increase my cell phone coverage which works brilliantly as well as VHF and HF. For someone trying to get away from it all that’s a lot of comms!

The only reason I keep Iridium Go is to enable the PredictWind Tracker, which my family and friends like, but it’s a big cost ($265 AUD) that I shake my head at every time it comes out of the bank account and this article now gives me added impetus to find a much cheaper alternative tracker. I have always found Iridium such a ridiculously poor service that I can scarce believe people, including me, continue to pay for it. And how John managed to conduct a business with it is a complete mystery to me. It takes me 10-15 minutes to download 300 – 400 Kb (ie not 3-4 Mb) of Predict Wind weather data, something my phone does in about a nanosecond. It’s seriously like expecting people to step out of their Mercedes back to a Model T Ford!

I’ve never been persuaded by the argument that you can take your Iridium Go into the liferaft with you. That’s why I have several EPIRBS and a waterproof VHF to take with me in the raft if ever the need arises. And usually the first thing anywhere near the liferaft will be an aircraft which will communicate via open channel VHF, rendering a satphone of any description completely useless. The notion you would take your Starlink into the raft is too ridiculous for further contemplation. Are you also going to take a 12v battery and inverter to power it!

But my main question is what’s the best tracker for the family to keep tabs on us at the most sensible price?

Peter Sweitzer

Hi Paul, you might find the free app No Foreign Land useful for your tracking and blog.

Andrew Armstrong

One other Exec con is you have to use a different external antennae than the original GO!. I have a steel boat so external antennae is important.