Stay Connected Far Offshore With The Mazu App

By Rich Armstrong

Blue-water cruisers face the challenge (or is it a blessing?) of operating outside communication and connectivity range, short of an expensive satellite set-up.

SkyMate and mazu app

SkyMate, the marine hardware/software manufacturer focused on delivering email, weather forecasts, and graphical vessel-tracking services, has introduced a new app, named mazu, which delivers a more affordable solution for offshore cruisers.

Now an iPad (no PC tablets), long out of range of Wi-Fi or cellular coverage, can deliver email, texts, weather forecasts, location tracking, SOS notification, and basic navigation data. You can download NOAA charts, but given their size, they need to be downloaded while connected to the Internet.

The Iridium satellite-based app system, which requires a $995 mSeries hardware component DIY installation, can also remotely monitor the boat's water alarm and loss of power. Simply download the mazu app and register. The only running cost from there is a monthly service fee. SkyMate provides its SOS system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days every year, monitored and coordinated by GEOS, an International Emergency Response Coordination Center.

Long-range cruisers are the target market for SkyMate. To that end, mindful that the latest forecast before departure can quickly become obsolete, mazu delivers (by request) a variety of live up-to-date forecasts for offshore passages, including forecasting for intended destination points along the way.

The mazu app also provides the ability to send and receive emails and SMS texts anywhere in the world, which allows for repair instructions and even schematics to be received on board while out at sea, or first-aid tips to help an injured crew member can be emailed to the vessel.

SkyMate's connection plans start as low as $39.99 per month and the DryDock plan holds the program at only $9.99 per month when the vessel does not require active service. 

— Published: April 2017

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