The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

PredictWind Unlimited With GO! Exec Better Than I Thought

A few weeks ago I wrote a Tip pointing out that the “unlimited” air time package for Iridium GO! exec was not actually unlimited and therefore I recommended staying with the truly unlimited package available on the original Iridium GO!.

I have now dug into this in a series of emails with Craig and Matt at PredictWind.

The result is that, although I was right that the unlimited package does have limits, if we put aside semantics it sounds like a good deal that will enable users to download and analyze the weather, in the way we recommend, for known costs.

This Tip is focused on PredictWind’s capabilities as they relate to the techniques we recommend in the above-linked Online Book. It’s not a review or a recommendation to go with PredictWind or buy an Iridium GO! Exec. That’s up to you.

Here’s what an offshore sailor will need, what it will cost, and the capabilities delivered:

Cost

Hardware (one-time cost)
Iridium GO! Exec with DataHub and external antenna$1,999
SIM Card$10
$2009
Monthly (ongoing costs)
PredictWind “Unlimited” Data Package$170
PredictWind Professional ($499 / Year)$42
PredictMail ($119.95)$10
$222

All in US$. Monthly costs rounded up. The standard PW package at $249/year will do, but if we are going to do this right, we might as well go the whole hog.

Capabilities

  1. Up to 4MB of GRIBs a day (plenty).
  2. Unlimited email, including attachments (to download weather maps and forecasts not offered directly by PredictWind).

Confirming #2 with the folks at PredictWind was the primary reason I wrote this Tip.

Other Benefits

  • The Iridium GO! Exec is much faster than the original GO!, but not really fast enough for true internet access, which Starlink is.
  • GO! Exec can be used to make a phone call without using a linked cellphone, which makes it far better for emergency use, particularly in a liferaft, than the original GO!.

Watch Out

We are only protected from cost overruns with Iridium GO! Exec and the PredictWind “Unlimited Package” as long as we stay within the PredictWind apps listed above.

If we turn the firewall off to get true internet access, we will need to buy added data packages, which we may blow through in minutes.

The unlimited package on the original Iridium GO! is truly unlimited, albeit much slower.

Disclaimer

The above is based on an email exchange with PredictWind. I have not tested any of it.

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