Mailport April 2013 Issue

Mailport: April 2013

DeLorme Field Notes

I recently completed two cruises where the skipper had a DeLorme InReach (PS, March 2013) on board. They worked flawlessly, and I thought I might replace my original SPOT with one.

In researching it, I realized that the standard model comes with no clip or mount and that the lithium battery life was only three days, although, at least now, they claim five days. On our trip, the batteries lasted only three days with sending track points every two hours; the unit was purchased in the late summer of 2012.

I called DeLorme, and the company does have a bracket for the unit, as well as an adapter so users can eliminate batteries and plug the unit into a 12-volt socket instead. This makes the unit an excellent choice, so long as you donít expect to need to grab it and jump into a life raft. Unfortunately, you canít

use the bracket and the 12-volt adapter simultaneously, and I suspect that the 12-volt adapter eliminates the unitís waterproofness.

I also suggest that users consider whether it is really necessary to send a track point every 10 minutes. At 6 knots, thatís a point every 1 nautical mile, and it becomes a horrible-looking mass of dots on DeLormeís online map. I suggest sending a point every two hours or doing what I do with my SPOT: I turn it on when I want to send a message to friends as to where I am. These show up on the map as single points, not a track, but using this method you can send more than 1,000 on a set of batteries.

As for my original SPOT, it has worked flawlessly though their website is slow when you want to change your profileís data.

Marcus Libkind
Tradewinds Sailing Club
Richmond, Calif

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