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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    UK when not sailing
    Posts
    3,874

    Default NAVTEX - is its time up - at last?

    USCG has issued this warning - https://www.regulations.gov/document...2019-0702-0001

    The assumption must be that all vessels operating within NAVTEX range ie up to about 200 miles out are able to get GMDSS MSI reliably from other sources. That is probably true for the majority using the internet and marine VHF. But, what about those beyond VHF and internet range? How many carry satellite communications?

    When will the U.K. and/or Europe follow suit? NAVTEX, like Radiofax and RTTY, is 1950s technology. As users know, it has many problems. Does anybody know if there is a son of NAVTEX on the way? Should there be? Or are we all going to have to be able to receive internet services wherever we are using satellite telephony?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Gone cruising
    Posts
    2,396

    Default Re: NAVTEX - is its time up - at last?

    A comment I left on Noonsite about this:

    While that might work for ships, which already have a GMDSS satellite terminal fitted anyways, it's very bad news for us yachties.

    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global..._Safety_System

    "As of April 2018 the only provider of GMDSS satellite services is INMARSAT"
    "The types of Inmarsat ship earth station terminals recognized by the GMDSS are: Inmarsat C and F77"
    "Unfortunately Fleet 77 [F77] has an end of life scheduled for 1st of December 2020. No definite alternatives are currently defined."

    That means the only way to receive this information once the MF Navtex is shut down is an Inmarsat C terminal, which is neither small nor cheap compared to current Navtex receivers. Example unit: https://www.bluesat.com/sailor-6110-...ss-system.html (over €4000 with tax).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere warm
    Posts
    9,653

    Default Re: NAVTEX - is its time up - at last?

    Quote Originally Posted by franksingleton View Post
    Does anybody know if there is a son of NAVTEX on the way? Should there be?
    "Should" is a tricky one with no black and white answer. Personally it's nice to have on a passage of more than a day or 2, not for weather but for all the nav data of buoy lights out, firing range times, survey vessels etc. Would be a shame to see it go.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Boat (now back in) the Clyde
    Posts
    5,655

    Default Re: NAVTEX - is its time up - at last?

    I had Navtext on previous boat, but used rarely. Didn’t bother to fit on current boat and never once missed it.
    Cruising U.K. wide, Baltic, Atlantic France etc Internet and occasionally VHF used, and never wanted Navtext.
    Trans-Atlantic again devices like InReach and Yellow-brick are pretty much standard these days, and again never wished for Navtext.
    Like RDF and Decca its day has passed IMHO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Scarborough
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: NAVTEX - is its time up - at last?

    Navtex is free and authoritative, and very useful. I hope they don't get rid of it.
    "Now shall the gentleman haul and draw with the mariner"
    John Hawkins

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    UK when not sailing
    Posts
    3,874

    Default Re: NAVTEX - is its time up - at last?

    Whether individuals do or do not find NAVTEX useful depends on their kind of sailing. The fact remains that losing NAVTEX and, eventually, RTTY and Radiofax is contrary to the stated aims of SOLAS/GMDSS. It will deprive some people of safety information. As GHA notes, this is not just weather. I find it worrying, surprising at least, that there seems to be no thought being given to the needs of the many small vessels that cannot install Inmarsat systems and/or who would find satellite telephony prohibitively expensive.

    What can or should be done by sailors? This goes far beyond just the U.K. or Europe. Where is the son of NAVTEX? Where is the robust, free to the end user with affordable equipment? For those beyond VHF and internet cell range there is only satellite telephone access to the internet. Further, does VHF have a future? The other terrestrial GMDSS systems are 1950s technology. VHF is 1960s!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: NAVTEX - is its time up - at last?

    Sailing outside coastal VHF range or even anchoring(!!) in dead zones leaves the yachtie practically without forecast. Satellite is a serious investment, besides, what about redundancy if there is a hiccup with the satellite constellation?? (political conflict, stronger than average solar flare, whatever).

    Being a solo sailor, I also find it very useful to receive a written forecast I can read whenever convenient even if sailing in the VHF-covered area.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    38,325

    Default Re: NAVTEX - is its time up - at last?

    You can in theory at least get data over amateur band HF.
    Not sure how Navtex range compares to satellite broadcast coverage for e.g. Europe?

    The price of satellite comms will probably come down, as more users = more people to share the cost fof the satellite?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Hopefully somewhere warm
    Posts
    9,653

    Default Re: NAVTEX - is its time up - at last?

    Quote Originally Posted by franksingleton View Post
    The fact remains that losing NAVTEX and, eventually, RTTY and Radiofax is contrary to the stated aims of SOLAS/GMDSS.
    Losing navtex wouldn't really be that big a deal, losing weatherfax would be a disaster many of those heading across and ocean , and without over egging it too much potentially life threatening. Think that's maybe on the cards? If so then shouting loud now might be a wise thing to do.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Scotland.
    Posts
    14,393

    Default Re: NAVTEX - is its time up - at last?

    I would miss it but it is not essential for the type of sailing I am doing, coastal. I do like the fact that it receives and records data so I can look back. Looking at satellite technology, it is not that expensive now and could be the way to go.
    "'...contradictions .... are deliberate exercises in doublethink." Orwell from 1984

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