In preparation for his trans-Atlantic crossing in November last year, John Williams came to GTC for an Iridium GO! Satellite Wi-Fi Hotspot. Experienced sailor John had used an Iridium phone to cross the Bay of Biscay previously and was ready to research a satellite system of his own.

"We needed weather data and routing data for a trans-Atlantic crossing. We also wanted to be able to send and receive emails and make voice calls if possible."

The Iridium GO! is a satellite Wi-Fi hotspot which allows the user to use their smartphone or tablet to make and receive voice calls, send and receive text messages and access a low-speed data service anywhere in the world. It's GPS functionality also enables it to feature a SOS button which will transmit location in case of emergency as well as automated location tracking.

John took advantage of our rental service to make sure that the Iridium GO! suited his requirements. "I bought a DeLorme inReach Explorer from GTC - just happened to be the cheapest and we got great service. We rented a GO for a few days to really check it was what we needed. PredictWind allowed us access to their Professional version program for about three weeks and this in combination with the rental GO convinced us to buy the device. GTC were very helpful by email and phone and that really helped our decision making process."

Iridium GO! Set-Up

So how did John set-up and use the Iridium GO? "The GO is compact and we just mounted it up on a small camera tripod on the cockpit roof when we used it. It does everything we wanted – we used it with an iPad and a MacBook. We had a daily routine – put up the GO and lock onto a signal. Send and receive email using the iPad. Download PredictWind weather data using the MacBook while people read and answered their emails. Send out emails with iPad then close the GO and put it away. Do further emails later in the the day as needed."

Example screenshots of PredictWind app compatible with Iridium GO!

"The GO is cheap, reliable and compact. It’s not that fast but it more than did all we needed – the Unlimited Data package was a complete winner so we were not fussed about how long data took to download. It was our top bit of “high tech” equipment – “Muggies” were our best “low tech”

In summary John says, "Hugely successful Atlantic crossing - the Iridium GO with PredictWind were just a fantastic pairing and made our route finding very well informed and the ability to use email and when required voice were just the business."

Unsure what system is best for you ? John's top tip is "Rent it, try it and then buy!"

Iridium Go (7 of 7)1

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