The ARC and ARC+ fleets, totalling almost 300 yachts, are preparing to set sail this month with the compact, innovative YB3 boat tracking and satellite communication system on board.
Having provided YB3 to the ARC for boat tracking duties since 2009, YB Tracking is extending its support for the 2015 edition by enabling low-cost email and SMS messaging functionality on YB3 for the entire fleet. In addition it is providing free Facebook posts and sending of Tweets.
Though all ARC yachts are still required by the organisers to have a traditional satcom email system on board, YB3 provides an easy and private way for crew to send and receive short messages whilst at sea.
ARC crews will benefit from the latest development for the YB3 system – free Facebook posting and sending of Tweets over the Iridium network. Starting this October all YB3 handheld systems and YB3i fixed installation systems offer free Facebook and Twitter posting using the YB-Connect app, which is available for Apple and Android devices. For crew members wanting to send and receive standard emails or text messages on the app, the cost is as little as 4p per message.
YB3’s messaging functionality will prove particularly useful for charter yachts participating in the rally this year, since it allows individual crew members to use their own smartphones or tablets with their personal YB-Connect account. According to Sharon Hayward at charter company Sailing Logic:
“Messaging on YB3 will make a big difference to morale on board. For our crews the ARC is a huge adventure – often sailing with people they haven’t previously met, with friends and family having to wait until the end of the trip to hear all the details. Sailing Logic has always tried hard to provide updates and messages to and from the boat via blogs and our Facebook page – however this isn’t always easy, as the skipper has to prioritise using the limited amount of data for weather forecasts.
“With this new development, everyone will be able to share their own stories throughout the race bringing the whole experience to life for families, friends and those of us left behind in the office, who will now be able to share the highs, lows and special moments with the boat crews.”
As in previous years, all boats in this year’s edition of the ARC and ARC+ will be reliably tracked using the YB3 handheld tracking and satellite communications device, ensuring that the location of the entire fleet is known throughout the duration of the rally. YB3 will deliver accurate, GPS data using the Iridium satellite network on a four-hourly basis back to the rally management team, providing all the data required for them to track the yachts and allow family and friends to follow progress on the ARC website – http://www.worldcruising.com/arc
“We’re pleased to offer something extra for the seventh consecutive year that YB3 has been on all ARC yachts,” said Nick Farrell, Director, YB Tracking. “Staying in touch with friends and family at sea is vital for morale but it can prove costly. With YB3 and YB3i, we’re giving people a very low-cost way to send messages, and in the case of Facebook and Twitter, providing an update from the oceans is now completely free of charge.”