Holiday Gift Guide | Spot Globalstar Messenger – Emergency Locater

John Konrad
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November 22, 2007

SPOT GPS Locator

Panbo, the marine electronics blog, brings us today’s gCaptain Holiday Gift Suggestion. The unit is the SPOT Satellite Messenger & Emergency Locater and it’s fairly amazing.

First a note. This is not a substitute for the most important safety item aboard ship an EPIRB. If you are looking for the best personal emergency solution we recommend the ACR – ResQFix 406 GPS Personal Locater Beacon (PLB) . (EPIRBS are know as PLB’s when used for personal use and ELT’s in aviation).

So what can the SPOT do? Basically it is a unit that updates your position on a google map which your friends can log into and track your position. It also has extensive emergency locating features at a fraction of the price of a PLB or EPIRB. Panbo tells us;

The just announced Spot is a waterproof Globalstar messenger and GPS combo that will purportedly let you alert the authorities (at least the U.S. ones) [we know it uses GEOS SAR but doesn’t have global coverage) with your position, or ask for help from your friends or just notify them of where you are, or build an online track of your travels. It will be available in November for $149 with an annual service contract ranging from $99 upwards depending on what features you want to use. There’s not much detail on the Spot site yet, except for some pretty extreme fear marketing, but I’d guess that this product will get some real attention, even from some boaters. And I’m glad that, unlike TracMe, Spot is not confusing the market place by using the term Personal Locator Beacon (PLB).

For $149 at Amazon this seems like a bargain to give your family some extra peace of mind and let your kids track your position at sea from your home computer (check with your ISPS DP for your company’s policy).

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