SKIPPER 150 FleetBroadband changes the way business is done for one company in the Argentina fisheries


“Voice calls, they are clear, and always with good signal.  This is the most important thing, just pick up phone and call. It is amazing!” commented Captain Jorge Hernandez on the B/P Estreito De Rande.  The B/P Estreito De Rande is a 1,885dwt Freezer Trawler fishing off of the coast of Argentina and is owned by the well established fishing and seafood processing company Luis Solimeno e Hijos S.A., in Mar del Plata, Argentina.

Electronica Naval S.A., marine electronics dealer and technical services provider also in Mar del Plata, installed the Addvalue’s Wideye SKIPPER™ 150 FleetBroadband FB150 system on the B/P Estreito De Rande several months ago.  The vessel is now on its second 40 to 50 day voyage using the SKIPPER™ 150 and each voyage has been a different experience and learning opportunity.   Electrical Engineer Martin Espelosin said the following about the initial experience of using FleetBroadband on the vessel after previously having had both an Inmarsat Mini-M and a Globalstar phone onboard:

“The vessel’s primary data uses are for email, they use the Vizada SkyFile message software to keep in touch with other boats, the company headquarters and also with family.  They download a lot of weather data and grib files.  Weather data is crucial, and the ability to access different types of weather models is so important.”

“The Captain is now very happy with the system, but initially he was worried about the data costs.  I originally set up the system using LaunchPad, for security reasons, so that the data connection [and internet access] was not open to everyone onboard – only the Captain could control the web access.   The Captain was so skeptical that he wanted to use only prepaid web browsing, it was his decision.  I told him about all the reasons against his decision but he wanted to test it that way, and for that reason it was very unuseful for the type of operation that the vessel needed.  For an example, many times he had to download data [weather files] bigger than the credit limit for the prepaid card”.

“Because of this, on the second voyage the Captain allowed me to change the configuration settings and he is now happy using post paid service.  He found it very easy to operate, to make calls, and to use the web browsing.  The crew (about 50 crewmembers) have also all found it very useful, they make calls using Universal Cards from Vizada for about one hour per trip. The benefits are bigger than using their previous systems.”

“Luis Solimeno e Hijos S.A. is also seeing an increase in efficiency and productivity now, because for example, the Captain is using MSN messenger to chat with the Production Office Manager to talk about the partial catch of different species, and the owner knows in real time what is happening with his fishing boat.”

This is the first installation of the SKIPPER™ 150 and of FleetBroadband systems for the fleet and is working well enough that it has replaced both of the previous systems onboard the B/P Estreito De Rande.  Luis Solimeno e Hijos S.A. has been well established since 1976 and operates 17 fishing and processing vessels and four onshore processing plants.

Electronica Naval has been providing marine navigation and communications systems and technical support services to the Argentine fishing fleet from its locations in Mar del Plata, Comodoro Rivadavia, Madryn, Deseado and Rawson for 35 years. 

Electronica Naval also has contracts with the Argentina government fisheries management offices to provide them with vessel position reporting information from all fishing vessels in Argentina.  Martin Espelosin has been with the company for eight years and is responsible for all satellite communications equipment and software management.