Connecting to SailMail via the Internet, using AirMail

If you have an internet connection into your computer (e.g. a Wi-fi or cell-phone connection in port, or an Iridium or Inmarsat satellite connection offshore) then you can use AirMail to directly retrieve your SailMail messages over internet instead of connecting via HF-Radio. This is very handy when you are in a marina where internet access is available, and is useful offshore as an anternative to radio.

Just press the “internet” button on the message index window, which looks like a lightning bolt. In the window that then opens up, press the “connect” button, which looks like a green ball. If your internet access is working you will retrieve and send all of your SailMail messages just as if you had a (very fast) connection via radio.

You need an internet connection of course. If you are connecting via marina WiFi or similar, test your internet connection by opening in your browser. If you open a Google search page you should be able to send and retrieve your SailMail messages. (If not, see “Troubleshooting” below).

If you have any problems here are the details and settings.

For Airmail version 3.5 the internet settings are part of the “stations” update and are designated “Server1”, “Backup1”, etc.  To update those settings, send a (blank) email via Sailmail to: and the reply-message will automatically update the settings. The settings will show in the Internet window settings box (Edit menu), but cannot be changed from there. They are stored in the Sailmail INI-file and updated with an updated “stations” message from Saildocs.

For Airmail ver 3.4 (or earlier) the settings are pre-configured but may need updating manually when there are changes. If you don’t see the yellow “lightning-bolt” button, or “Internet Access” or “Telnet” in the Modules menu, then open Tools menu, Options window, Modules tab, and make sure that the box to the left of “Internet Access” or “Telnet Client” is checked. Click OK.

To check (or add) server settings, first check the list of servers: If the server designation (Remote-ID) is listed below, select it and click “Settings”. Verify Remote-Host and Port, change as needed and click OK. The Port is always 50, timeout 120.

For Server1 the Remote ID is SMSG1, Remote Host is
For Server2 the Remote ID is SMSG2, remote host is
For Backup1 the Remote ID is WQAB964, remote host is
(The current list is always shown here:

Select “Server” and click the “Settings” button (or click “New” if there is no listing for WRD719). Check or enter the following settings:

** Note: For quicker access via Iridium, use Server1 (or WRD719), make sure the port is “50”, and enter the numeric IP-address “” instead of “”– this saves a few seconds. Note that this address may change if we need to shift servers– so if it won’t connect then enter the “” and note the address which is shown when you connect. (Don’t include the quotes shown here).


If you get an error instead of connecting, then double-check your settings and try port 50 instead of 50001, or vice-versa. Also try opening a web page in a browser. If you cannot open a web page, then find out why your internet connection is not working.
If you can open a web page but cannot connect to Sailmail, then it is likely that the internet provider has blocked port 50 and 50001. Ask them to un-block port 50 (or 50001), or read on:

There is one other trick, and that is to use Airmail’s “mail client” window to access Sailmail’s POP3 server. This is unlikely to be blocked for receiving mail, but may be blocked for sending mail. Here’s the skinny:

Connecting to Sailmail via Airmail’s mail-client window:

Open Airmail’s Tools/Options window, click on Modules tab, make sure that “Mail (pop/smtp) Client” is checked (enabled). Click OK to save changes and close.

Now go to Airmail’s Modules menu, Mail-client. If you don’t already have a “Sailmail” tab, then click “New”, enter “Sailmail” as the account-name (without the quotes, for all this), and enter the following settings:

On the right side, under “POP3 connection”, enter the following:
Server address:
Login name: (your Sailmail callsign)
Password: (your Sailmail password, same as for telnet)
Leave mail on server: No check-mark
(no entry for “days” or “KB” box)
Timeout: 60
Port: 110
Tick the box “Include in check-all”.

On the left, under “SMTP connection” enter the following:
Server address:
From Name: (your name or boat name, used only for the return address)
Email address: (your complete Sailmail address–
Authorization: Check the “Login” box
Login: (your Sailmail callsign, same as above)
Password: (your Sailmail password, same as above)
Timeout: 60
Port: 2525
Check the box “Include in check-all”.

Now click OK to save and close, and then click “Check all” on the mail-client window to check your mail.

This uses the standard POP3 connection (port 110), that will certainly not be blocked.
For sending mail, many providers want you to use their own SMTP server. That’s fine, ask them what the server-address and login info is.

If you want Airmail to also dial a telephone connection then check the
“First dial…” box and select the appropriate connection. (Note: earlier
versions of Airmail did not properly disconnect even when the “hang up” box
was selected, always make sure that the phone disconnects).

Note that Iridium has blocked most internet ports, as a result Sailmail
is currently supporting both port 50 and 50001 on both servers- use port-50 for Iridium connections, or if there is any problem connecting to port 5001- it may be a blocked port for the local connection.

More information:
For more details on accessing Sailmail via an Iridium sat-phone, see the FAQ post IridiumPPP

Also, for HAMS, remember that Winlink also supports Telnet but the settings
are different. Check the Airmail help file and the MBO List (View menu) for
settings and server addresses, or contact

Cheers, Jim

(revised 2020-04-18)