Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

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owen_h
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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by owen_h » Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:32 pm

One of the comments above mentioned that you might need to be a member of the RYA to download the app in the UK. That isn't the case now and hasn't been for at least a year. I'm not a current or previous member of the RYA and didn't need to join when I downloaded it ~ a year ago. I do seem to remember I had to register with them to get all the features but there was no charge (and I haven't had any marketing or other contact). This would be so that your and your craft details can be centrally stored.

My speculation (and it is just speculation) is that the RYA provides the server and associated infrastructure that the user & craft details, passage plans etc are stored on and is made accessible by the UK SAR authorities in the event of emergencies.

Personally found the app to be very good and both I and my brother (who has a 21ft sailing cruiser) use it for all of out trips.

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by MikeB » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:01 pm

I don't regard the sport of kayaking (or canoeing) as being "boating".

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:05 pm

A few days ago I was talking to one of the Solway Sector coastguards about SafeTRX.

The coastguards like it as it encourages people to make a float plan and leave it with their shore contact who is the person who will ultimately raise the alarm if the water user is unable to do so themselves. It was developed by an Irish technology company called called DeCare Systems Ireland. It is licensed worldwide and in different countries it is licensed by the official coastguard, voluntary coastguard, voluntary rescue services or boating associations etc. In the UK it is licensed by the RYA who also pay for storage of permanent and transient data on a cloud based server called Rockspace. The RYA probably also pays for the SafeTrx Monitoring Console which is how the coastguard access the system (though my contact was not entirely sure about this). Whatever, in the UK, RYA members fund the SafeTRX system on behalf of all water users whether they are members of the RYA or not.

With regard to who represents water users; as a windsurfer, dinghy sailor, RIBer, former yachtsman, sea fisherman, sea kayaker, SUPer, SOTer, surfskier and canoeist, I have been a member of the RYA since the late '70s and the SCA/BC since the late 90's. My personal opinion is the the RYA has done far more for me than the SCA/BC in respect of maintaining my navigational rights, access to the water, protection from unnecessary legislation, environmental concerns etc. Although the RYA is heavily into supporting competition and especially so the Olympic branches of boating, it is still very supportive of their recreational touring members' needs in a way that I do not see in the SCA/BC.

As an example, a few years ago, a local sea food processor wanted to fix oyster cages over most of the flat sandy bottom of tidal Fleet Bay in the Solway Firth. They argued that local employment opportunities would outweigh any navigational disadvantages for recreational boats because at high tide the cages would be covered by several meters of water. As a windsurfer and kayaker I often navigate across Fleet Bay when there is less than a metre of water over the bottom. My navigation rights would have been severely curtailed by this plan. I contacted the RYA and the SCA. I got an immediate reply from the RYA who already knew about the plan and were planning to object. I was able to fill them in with extra local knowledge. They submitted a formal objection to the plan which was turned down and the sands are free to this day. I never heard back from the SCA.

Personally I think the RYA does a far better job of representing water users and I think that it is kayakers' and canoeists' loss that we are represented by a much weaker organisation.

Douglas

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by pathbrae » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:25 pm

Interesting comments Douglas. I'm also an RYA member - but it had never occurred to me that they would respond to any kayaking issues. I'll bear that in mind if I ever come across any problems in future.

My reservations about the SafeTrx app are due to it's reliance on smart phones. I've used it while sailing but that's not a problem as I can get a bit of shelter to use my phone but I wouldn't consider using it in a kayak. My phone doesn't work if the screen or my hands are wet, there's no way of fixing a tether to it to prevent it getting lost if I drop it (although there was on the previous model of the same phone) and the likelihood of being outwith mobile phone coverage is huge when kayaking.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:02 am

I agree, I do not use SafeTRX when paddling either.

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by Allan Olesen » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:24 am

pathbrae wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:25 pm
My reservations about the SafeTrx app are due to it's reliance on smart phones. I've used it while sailing but that's not a problem as I can get a bit of shelter to use my phone but I wouldn't consider using it in a kayak. My phone doesn't work if the screen or my hands are wet, there's no way of fixing a tether to it to prevent it getting lost if I drop it (although there was on the previous model of the same phone) and the likelihood of being outwith mobile phone coverage is huge when kayaking.
Am I misunderstanding the purpose of this app?

I thought the purposes were:
  • Registration of a planned route before the trip
  • Tracking during the trip
For the first purpose, you need neither phone coverage nor access to your phone during the trip.
For the second purpose, you need phone coverage, but not access to your phone during the trip.

When I am kayaking, I always have a phone stowed away in a hatch, connected to a power bank and running a tracking app. This way my family can always see where I am, as long as I have phone coverage (and they can see where I was when I latest had phone coverage). I don't have to care about wet hands, wet screen or tethering, because ... the phone is stowed away in a hatch.

If SafeTRX was supported where I live, I would probably use that instead for the same purpose.

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by Northern Blue » Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:36 am

Allan Olesen wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:24 am
pathbrae wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:25 pm
My reservations about the SafeTrx app are due to it's reliance on smart phones. I've used it while sailing but that's not a problem as I can get a bit of shelter to use my phone but I wouldn't consider using it in a kayak. My phone doesn't work if the screen or my hands are wet, there's no way of fixing a tether to it to prevent it getting lost if I drop it (although there was on the previous model of the same phone) and the likelihood of being outwith mobile phone coverage is huge when kayaking.
Am I misunderstanding the purpose of this app?

I thought the purposes were:
  • Registration of a planned route before the trip
  • Tracking during the trip
For the first purpose, you need neither phone coverage nor access to your phone during the trip.
For the second purpose, you need phone coverage, but not access to your phone during the trip.

When I am kayaking, I always have a phone stowed away in a hatch, connected to a power bank and running a tracking app. This way my family can always see where I am, as long as I have phone coverage (and they can see where I was when I latest had phone coverage). I don't have to care about wet hands, wet screen or tethering, because ... the phone is stowed away in a hatch.

If SafeTRX was supported where I live, I would probably use that instead for the same purpose.
I use the app every time I go out on the water in exactly that manner, I start it tracking just before setting off and cancel it on reaching my get out. The phone isn’t touched during the paddle and stays in it’s waterproof bag in my drysuit chest pocket.

It sends an alert to my emergency contact if I’m late and they can also follow my progress at any point, should they wish, as well as the Coastguard being able to see my current position, once alerted.

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by gordonbarton » Fri Jan 25, 2019 11:38 pm

One of the reasons HMCG got involved with safetrx was to find a replacement for the CG66 Database. if you were already on the cg66 you would have received an email about the changes. as a database I find safetrx much better than the cg66 as there is a lot of information that can be saved and is useful to the cg and i would urge everyone to use the database. the app on the other hand i’m not fully convinced of its usefulness in a kayak. battery issues are the obvious problems although i used the app the first time a couple of days ago and used up 10% during a 3.5hr paddle so for day trips it’s probably good. I had the intervals set at 30mins. in the ops room if we can get a position in the last 30 minutes that is a good start for us to produce a search plan.
biggest downside which has already been mentioned. if you use the trip plan and lose signal before the end it will then alert em contacts etc. I would tend to use the track only feature which eliminates this problem and make other arrangements with an emergency contact

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by pathbrae » Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:07 pm

Thanks Gordon. That echos my feelings about Safetrx fully.

Good points -
Makes use of technology most of us already have.
Database can store multiple vessels and the profile to suit can be called up from the app.
It's free!
It's fairly easy to use.

It's fine when sailing as it can be used in shelter away from wind and rain and with dry hands.
The phone can be charged for multi day trips
and I'm very unlikely to drop it overboard

The negatives about using it from a kayak...
Most smart phones don't work with cold wet fingers, in heavy rain or spray or when they are wet.
Mine, although waterproof, has no way of tethering it so if I drop it - it's gone!
Battery life might be limited for a longer trip
Phone signals are not reliable
Not the most accurate GPS...

And - generally -- the Emergency button is maybe a bit too easy to press!
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by Allan Olesen » Sat Jan 26, 2019 10:54 pm

pathbrae wrote:
Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:07 pm
The negatives about using it from a kayak...
Most smart phones don't work with cold wet fingers, in heavy rain or spray or when they are wet.
Mine, although waterproof, has no way of tethering it so if I drop it - it's gone!
Battery life might be limited for a longer trip
Phone signals are not reliable
Not the most accurate GPS...
Once again:
If the intent is to use it as a tracker, there is no need for operating the phone, nor for having the phone within reach.

So hook it up with a power bank and store it safely in a hatch. That took care of the first three items on your list.

(You will of course need another communication device on your person. But there is no law against owning two phones.)

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by pathbrae » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:40 pm

Am I misunderstanding the purpose of this app?

I thought the purposes were:
  • Registration of a planned route before the trip
  • Tracking during the trip
For the first purpose, you need neither phone coverage nor access to your phone during the trip.
For the second purpose, you need phone coverage, but not access to your phone during the trip.


If SafeTRX was supported where I live, I would probably use that instead for the same purpose.

Not misunderstanding - just not fully understanding.

One of the Saftrx features is it's ability to call for help - and as long as that's done in combination with DSC / VHF / PLB calls as well then that's fine - but it's not going to be a lot of use in a dry bag in a hatch.
It also pulls in weather information, VHF channels, local information and a host of other useful facts - again, not accessible if the phone isn't available.
So to use it fully - I need to be able to use my phone and my phone needs to be in range of a signal.
Otherwise - I'm as well using my GPS as a track logger and my dumb phone (tethered, waterproof, push-button, battery lasts for weeks...) to report in by text.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by Allan Olesen » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:43 pm

pathbrae wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:40 pm

Not misunderstanding - just not fully understanding.
Seems to me that I am understanding very well.

Calling for help would be done using the device you have on your person. Not the device you have stowed away in a hatch.

As I wrote in my latest post: As far as I know, there is no law against owning two phones. (Or a phone and a VHF, or...)

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by pathbrae » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:41 pm

Allan Olesen wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:43 pm
pathbrae wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:40 pm

Not misunderstanding - just not fully understanding.
Seems to me that I am understanding very well.

Calling for help would be done using the device you have on your person. Not the device you have stowed away in a hatch.

As I wrote in my latest post: As far as I know, there is no law against owning two phones. (Or a phone and a VHF, or...)
SO would your second phone be running Safetrx? Or have you found a way to run it on your VHF?? The question is whether Safetrx is a suitable app for kayaking and relates to the intended use of safetrx - one of the functions of which is to be available to be used as a means for summoning help. If you have to rely on another device to do so then safetrx is obviously not suitable as a stand alone application for safety in a sea kayak.

By all means us it to log your journey - but I have better ways of doing that too - but that is not using it to it's full potential and is not understanding it's intended purpose.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

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Re: Safetrx - New CG and RYA vessel registration and tracking system

Post by Allan Olesen » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:29 am

pathbrae wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:41 pm
Allan Olesen wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:43 pm
pathbrae wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:40 pm

Not misunderstanding - just not fully understanding.
Seems to me that I am understanding very well.

Calling for help would be done using the device you have on your person. Not the device you have stowed away in a hatch.

As I wrote in my latest post: As far as I know, there is no law against owning two phones. (Or a phone and a VHF, or...)
SO would your second phone be running Safetrx?
No. The phone on my person is a push button phone. And my VHF obviously doesn't run SafeTrx.

But I simply don't see your point. Not being able to use ALL functions in SafeTrx from a kayak is of course not a valid reason for dismissing SafeTrx. It should be dismissed or used, based on the functions you CAN use. Which is what I do, and what you don't seem to understand.
Allan Olesen wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:29 am

If you have to rely on another device to do so then safetrx is obviously not suitable as a stand alone application for safety in a sea kayak.
I have never made such a claim.

And dismissing a safety option, just because it can't be used as the only safety option, is also a line of thought I have absolutely no understanding for.

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