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SIM cards - Can there be only one??

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Oh the Joy Of Sim Cards, Dual sim Phones, Pay as you go here, Pay as you go there, Contract Iphone, Blackberry and android.

I am sure every yacht crew out there at one stage or another has thought to buy a sim card in the country they were staying to save money and probably every yacht of any size has a stash of chargers for a variety of phones from Nokia's to Iphones.

I started this blog today because I was just about to sign off $100 bucks to a Telestial an American Company that owns the sim card that I bought at Gatwick just before I flew out to Lanzarote to take on a delivery to the BVI, Because I had a newly unloced smart phone and wanted not to be stumped with a big bill in the UK every month.

I have had Sim cards in the past and if I open up my "electrical bag" I can see my stash of little sim cards ranging from AT&T in the USA, Wind in Greece, Movistar for Spain, Orange/Vodafone/Three in the UK, Digicel for the Caribbean, Three again for Hong Kong, Oh would you believe it their is one for Vietnam in there too (6 years old now). As well as all the Sim cards I have had to buy the phones to go with the Sim's on default no choice in the matter. Their is a Nokia in there, a Sony Ericsson, an old Samsung and a bunch of chargers Oh and my current unblocked Galaxy S is sat to my left.

I wonder what do you use? Of Course if you have an Iphone or any top rate phone you will most likely be on contract especially if you are new to the industry. Others who have been around for too long will have as mentioned before a cheap Pay as you go phone from the local phone shop in Palma or where ever you might be. I just bought this International Sim card in hope that all calls will come to this phone While I am abroad - The quest for a Dual Sim phone continues and although I had a dual sim phone in 2002 my belovered Nokia 8210 died oout many moons ago but for the time being I carry around two phones. Only because Although it might be a little expensive after a while the great thing I have with my carrier (three) in the UK is that they bunny hop like they are on steroids on all other networks never once having a problem with signal anywhere.

So help, shall I put on the credit with this International Sim that does not cost me a penny to receive a call anywhere in the world (pretty much) or shall I buy into local sim cards, or just make do with the UK sim card. Ok it might bite a little every month but so what one sim one phone right?

I guess I/you have to answer the question. Is this phone going to be calling local numbers all the time or will It be more of a standby phone just in case. If it is the latter then International Sim it is and the odd call is cheaper than chips and without contract.

I guess I will carry on as I am, I will pay the $100 and forget about it. The only down side is that it does not have the 3g network which means my all singing all dancing Galaxy S becomes a cheap phone and a wifi Handheld computer with sketchy GPS.

Hopefully one day us Yachties will have a "Superyacht 3G/4G/5G SIM" that will sort us out anywhere a bit like the Kindle service for books.

Thats me out! Just spent the $50 bucks instead.




Hello Jimbo,

I live in the US but I carry a Canadian phone contract (US and Canada all-inclusive rate) because it is less expensive than any of the US services. I also have a Blackberry phone with a dual simm card setup including data. When I am in France (six months of the year) I load up a 'pay-as-you-go' simm card from SFR and click it into the Blackeberry on top of the Telus card. The number remains the same year after year because the number is retained by SFR for six months after the last month the phone is used. An easy 5 euro addition to the phone card after five months keeps me going if I am delayed in my return to France. Hope this helps.
Posted by: Captain Bandana at 28/01/2011 20:24

Like you I suffer from having too many sim cards. I've found its the cheapest option, combined with an account from, which makes calls almost as cheap as skype without being strapped to the computer with headphones and a dodgy wifi connection. But something new is coming, once its rolled out beyond a few core countries: checkout One SIM, local rates for everywhere, no borders. Once it's ready, every decker scrubber and his mother will be happy chappies.
Posted by: Andy at 28/01/2011 21:35

THE BEST OPTION: I have two skype numbers a US and a French number and divert them to wherever I am in the world. When in Europe I pay the 14c per minute to receive a call diverted to my local number when in the US calls are diverted for free as I have a €12 all inclusive to 40 countries landline and mobiles to certain counties. Whenever I change countries I simply take a new sim and have calls diverted. 90% of calls I receive are calls from my crew on my local number and the other 10% I pay the diversion rate. If I am online the call comes into my skype free of charge and I can call most countries landlines int the world for free. Another option is to combine that with a GYMSIM and you have a reliable international roaming and low cost solution wherever you go. GYMSIM just changed their model and now you don't need to add a # to the end of the number. I still use two phones one with a collection of local numbers and another with my GYMSIM.Looking forward to trying the solution described by the user above.
Posted by: Tony at 29/01/2011 01:13

Hey Jimbo!

I have not yet checked out Skype, which has been receiving rave reviews with increasing I cannot comment there, but would say it could prove a resourceful route...

I think the problem for me broke down into 4 steps:
WHO was I calling?
WHO needs to call me?
How much money was I actually spending?
Was I making MY life easier?

I started with a local SIM card for each country I visited: I have now got 10, including Turkey & Morocco! But honestly - which local numbers are you calling in Turkey??

The people you need to call, and who need to call you, are mostly in France, the Carribean, and back home, maybe SA, Oz or NZ, right? THAT'S what's affecting your CASH-FLOW.

And when you are in THOSE countries maybe a contract is better - if you have a valid address for FICA and don't leave the country after: then you are back to the same problem, and roaming can be expensive on traditional networks.

Crew agents will call you on any number, as long as they can reach you, so they aren't fussy. But if you are always changing digits, you make it confusing for everyone else: family, friends and crew: Pay-as-you-go is a Pain-in-the-ass.

When you are ON HOLD? Too often 1) my local credit ran out and/or 2) my phone would cut off because there was no talking - I kid you not, and don't ask how or why. So I would have to spend MORE money starting from square one. UGH.

And what about when you are at sea or in a limited service area, and no chance to escape to a tabac for credit?

Forget calling home either, never mind calling friends! Email and skype always won there...but on a boat with stingy internet priveledges, or no time to call at a reasonable hour???

So I chose GymSIM. No, they are not perfect, but they made my life easier. Automatic top-up and ONE number for emergencies with my business and my bank accounts back home. I can call family and friends at a VERY reasonable rate, at any time. I actually spend less money and I have more time to relax with a drink when I hit land!

I have not looked back since.

Good luck!
Posted by: KJ at 29/01/2011 10:02

Hi All,

Thank you for the indepth replies. I think Andy is on a great deal from the sounds of things - I just went on Operator one and it tells me that calls are close to that of Skype - I had figure of $0.25 and was surprised about the cost being only $0.04 for Spain to UK. (currency converted).

I am sure Truphone will be the rave because of the demand on data. If it does take off then I do not think I will ever need a Contract "within" a country ever again.

Anyway cheers for the advice. I have the Interntaional Sim card from Telestial for the time being. I will look at OOne when in the Caribbean.

Cheers Jimbo
Posted by: Visit ) at 30/01/2011 00:35

I'm stuck out here in the Central Pacific and am ignorant of the decriptor "OZ" Thinking Ft lauderdale but some one please enlighten
Aloha from K-Bay
Posted by: erepair( Visit ) at 31/01/2011 18:18

"OZ" = Australia ;o))
Posted by: Rod Steel at 31/01/2011 21:45

Thanks Rod So close yet so ignorant!
Posted by: erepair at 05/02/2011 01:39

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