If you wish to download and print a copy of the following information, click here. 

All boats participating in the Salty Dawg Caribbean Rally or the East Coast Rally are required to have the ability to send and receive email while offshore.

After you register for either the Caribbean Rally or the East Coast Rally, our Communications and Tracking Coordinator ([email protected]will contact you to review your communication equipment.

The most effective and consistent way for both the Rally Management Team and the "at sea" rally boats to communicate is by email.  Offshore email communication technology has progressed to a point where it is convenient, reliable and cost effective.  If you do not have offshore email capability on board now and do not wish to purchase the equipment, rental programs are available for the rally through  and other communications equipment suppliers.

Email, communication between boats in the fleet and the Rally Management Team is critical to enable transmission of:

  • safety information
  • weather forecasts and routing recommendations
  • daily fleet position reports
  • assistance with boat repairs and emergency situations
  • responses to concerns from family and friends ashore.

Redundancy is important offshore. If your primary communications device fails, a second device will help ensure reliable, continuous, communications between your boat and the Rally Management Team.

For these reasons, we require that each participating vessel have at least two offshore communications devices:

  • The first device must be capable of receiving and sending email.  Qualifying devices include a satellite phone with email capability, an Iridium GO, SkyMate, SSB with email capability, and similar devices.

Satellite phone using SMS messaging and tracking devices such as the InReach do not satisfy this requirement because the messages are very limited in length.

  • Your second device does not have to be email-capable.  The second device must have the capability to send and receive short text messages or SMS messages.  If you have 2 email-capable devices, you meet both the requirement for email offshore and our recommendation for a second device that has two-way communications.  Recommended backup communications devices are a Satellite Phone capable of SMS messaging or a tracker, such as an InReach, that has two-way text messaging capability or other devices capable of two-way messaging.  SPOT devices are not on the recommended list as the second communications device because of reported problems with transmission and reception in certain areas on the route to the Caribbean.  Please check the service area section on the SPOT web site.   

Each position will be shown on the PredictWind Tracking Map for family and friends to follow your progress and to be used in case of emergency.  The US Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center Norfolk, VA, monitors our tracking site to be better prepared to assist, if needed. 


Iridium Go and SkyMate devices can be set to automatically send a position report at least every 4 hours and should be set to this configuration.

InReach devices

If you are using an InReach device, you will need to set this device up as the primary tracking device even if you have two to devices choices.  The automatic tracking feature on InReach devices sends positions to your InReach tracking page and cannot be reset to send directly to our tracking map. We have a method to pick up this information and place it on the Salty Dawg PredictWind Tracking Map. If the other device fails, we cannot set up your InReach account with the ability to transfer positions to the Salty Dawg PredictWind Tracking Map once you are underway offshore.

Special considerations for SPOT devices such as SPOT Gen 3 and SPOT X. 

SPOT Gen 3 and SPOT x devices have some areas of weak coverage along our route for the Caribbean and Eastcoast Rallies.  But, with reports attempted at one per hour (the longest interval possible when in Automatic/Tracking mode for these devices, we will receive enough reports in an hour to have a good handle on your location.  You should let family and friends know that your position reports will most often be at 1-hour intervals, but may at times be 2 or 3 hours apart.

If you are using a SPOT Gen 3 device, you will need to set this device up as the primary tracking device even if you have two to devices choices. The reason for this procedure is that if the other device fails, we cannot set up your SPOT account with the ability to transfer positions to the Salty Dawg PredictWind Tracking Map once you are underway offshore.


For those boats with SSB radios, two radio nets are scheduled each day: at 0730 and 2000 hrs. Atlantic Standard Time (AST).  These nets serve as an opportunity to pass on emergency, safety, weather and other information as well as a social network while offshore for those in the fleet with SSB radios.