The YB3i from PredictWind is a standalone device designed to provide an affordable, continuous global GPS tracking solution.
The DataHub has many great features, including GPS tracking. The DataHub cannot connect independently to the Internet; it requires either a cellular, high-speed Wi-Fi or a satellite Internet connection to transmit your tracking data.
The YB3i offers similar GPS tracking capability as the DataHub; however, it is streamlined solely for this purpose and transmits independently via Iridium Short Burst Data. To track your GPS data, you do not require any other satellite communications device or access to the Internet.
A Standard or Professional PredictWind forecast subscription is required to use its GPS tracking feature. Pricing for PredictWind forecast subscriptions can be found here.
The YB3i has a small form factor and can be covertly mounted on your boat's exterior. It runs on 9-30V DC and includes a backup internal battery which will last 3-4 weeks.
If you do not have an NMEA2000 or N2K network and do not want the other great features of the DataHub, such as PredictMail, then the YB3i is a great option for only GPS tracking. You can buy a PredictWind YB3i here.
Offshore and coastal sailing with the DataHub and Iridium GO! or GO exec
A good reason to buy a DataHub instead of a YB3i is if you plan to sail offshore and later do coastal cruising. Offshore you need a satellite device like the Iridium GO! or GO exec as a safety communication device, to download weather routing, GRIB files and have GPS tracking, but once you are inshore, you can turn that device off to save money.
Then, the Datahub can take over and continue updating your tracking page using the cellular data that you have around the coast via your mobile phone connected via USB tethering or a Wi-Fi hotspot or connect using local high-speed marina Wi-Fi.
The DataHub will continue to collect and store position reports every 15 minutes or hourly and then send that data to PredictWind to update your tracking page as soon as you regain cellular coverage again.
A really great feature of the DataHub is that it can share your mobile or satellite Internet over DataHub Wi-Fi and act as a hotspot for all the devices on your boat to connect with. While many cellular data plans only allow one device to hotspot, the DataHub can share this one connection with many.
The DataHub is full of powerful additional features that will make your offshore tracking, data and communications easier than ever. It can be used to generate boat AI polars to ensure the most accurate weather routing possible. You can access the N2K data on your boat using the N2K interface connector on the DataHub and broadcast this over DataHub Wi-Fi or Ethernet LAN to all connected devices. This enables all your devices and Apps, such as Aquamaps, to access and show you all the AIS boats around you if you have an AIS instrument on the boat.