I do! I like ours. We have the first generation one with basic service.We carry it with us when we're going offshore. Peace of mind. Let's our ppl back on the Hill know where we are, if we changed float plan whatever. Last year I made a shared page and posted the link so anyone with that link could follow us,not just the ppl on our list. Anyway, i like it.
I have a 1st generation one as well. I have heard that the 2nd Generation ones are much better, but do not have 1st hand knowledge of that.
As far as texting, If you don't already know this, you can not receive text message's just send them. And, you only get 2 pre-determined text messages. Well 3 actually, but if you hit the "911" button, that goes to the SPOT messenger operator, who will dispatch help to you.
My preset messages are...
"still fishing all is well...no worries"
and "Need help, broke down, send Sea Tow"
I always file a "float plan" with my wife and an estimated time we are to be back. I don'town a boat, so I ask whom ever we are fishing with where we are going that day, and phone that into the wife as we depart. Sometimes, if the fishing is too good, we stay longer, so the "still fishing, all is well...no worries" works. I also don't have a sea tow membership, but I figured the money is well spent to have them come get us, than wait for it to be a true emergency and having the coast guard come get us. Most people I fish with also have continecy plans, EPIRBS, SPOT messenger, Sat Phones ETC...but I figured more is better when it comes to trouble at sea !!
I got one recently and have used it a few times. It works as described and gives my wife a little peace of mind. I have the first generation one as well. I got it for $50. Compared to the newer one which is a bit more expensive. But the newer one is supposed to have a more sensitive GPS reciever. Some people were complaining that the unit could not lock on the satellite in some conditions. But 99.9% of those complaints came from people using it in the woods. Not on the water. On the water, there are no trees or mountains to block the signal. So no issues there.
My only complaint is the simple LED status indicators. It's hard to tell whether the message went through or not. It lets you know the status of the unit with different types of blinking lights. So if you do not remember the different light combinations, it's hard to know what's going on with the unit. But it's just a preference thing. Not a deal breaker at all.
I have one and love it. I not only use it while fishing, but also on road trips and while hiking, skiing, hunting, riding the 4 wheeler etc. My wife likes the peace of mind and my kids love pulling up the map and watching me move around...to the point where one time my little girl called me when I was cruising home and I had stopped and turned around to go back to a nice mark I had just ran over and she calls and asked why I turned around because she was excited I was on my way home. Anyway they are a nice affordable safety addition that can get you some help when an epirb is not warranted. Let me know and I will bring mine to work and you can check it out.
I picked a SPOT II the other day. Best money I've spent in a while. Tried it yesterday while cruising the Sound..sent messages home and friends. Wife can track my location from her pc or phone (uses google map) as I move along... all in real time...(it sends a location coordinate every ten minutes i think, creating a path)...and with 'custom message button' I can set it up to like: "fish on" and watch the exact location later at home using a google map.
Piece of mind for the wife fer sure. Highly recomended, specially for kayakers/boaters venturing offshore. I just hope never have to use he SOS button tho.
I did a lot of research on them, and I guess it depends on where you want to use them ? I go out west Elk hunting every year, and the reviews on them in the mountains are very bad, and then there is the yearly activation fee too. $100.00 + a year.
Most people seem to think that the ACR is a better way to go, and there is no activation fee. JMO