I'm going on a long sailing trip in Netherlands. I would like my family to be able to contact me in case of an emergency, but we'll be outside of mobile network range most of the time.

Along the German coast, the DP07 network can send out your messages on VHF against a fee, but does something similar exist in Netherlands? It seems that Scheveningen Radio used to be a thing, but I can't find any information on other private VHF stations.

Edit: I went there and it had solid 3G coverage at all times, including along the western Northern Sea coast

  • Not that I have any experinece with them, but you could rent a satellite phone. airporttelecom.nl/en/sat-phone – renesis May 30 '18 at 21:04
  • How long is "long"? For 3 weeks renting is certainly the cheapest option, if "long" means 3–6 months you will probably want to buy. – gerrit May 31 '18 at 10:58
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    Thanks for the update! That's good to know. I hope you had a great time! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Oct 25 '18 at 19:01

I looked up the GSM coverage map from KPN - the former state telephone company - and virtually all of the IJsselmeer is covered according to that on 4G. Can't tell from experience though but I'd gather you'd be in range on nights anyway. The IJsselmeer is large but not huge.

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  • If most is covered by 4G, you should be able to get an SMS in or out almost everywhere. Most phones will allow you to press send then actually send it when there's a signal, which may be at night or by getting a little higher – Chris H Jun 1 '18 at 10:59
  • Wow, that means my information was totally outdated! If there's as much as 2G available, sending texts would be easy – Eugene Pankov Jun 1 '18 at 13:19

What you are probably looking for is a satellite two way messenger like an inReach or to rent a satellite phone. The two way messenger will allow you to send both text messages and coordinates, and the inReach at least can be set to send up a message with your position every so often, and then your family will be able to track your route online.

You don't want a PLB as they are only good in an emergency and from a purchasing standpoint, a satellite phone will be much more expensive. Depending on how often you plan to do this would be the deciding factor in purchasing a two way messenger or renting a sat phone.

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    That is overkill in case of the IJsselmeer. Even when a normal phone does not do its job, there is a series of radio options which the boat and its shore office can use to contact each other in need. – Willeke Jun 1 '18 at 18:43
  • A sat phone is useful in the remotest of places; it is definitely over the top in Holland - I always tell folks we're the beach of Germany ;-) a sliver of land packed with 18 million people. – AliceD Nov 6 '18 at 12:31

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