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Internet options onboard a yacht

Discussion in 'Electronics' started by Bill Abbott, Sep 1, 2015.

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  1. Bill Abbott

    Bill Abbott New Member

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    I hope this is the right place to post this question, but speaking of living aboard your boat (which is my retirement plan - it's even wife-approved!), I'm a syndicated cartoonist and have to transmit my work via the internet. What do most people do for internet service? I was looking at portable hotspots and the like, but have no idea how reliable they are. I know our local marinas provide free internet, but if I'm at an anchorage or underway, are there solutions for internet service?

    Many Thanks,
    Bill Abbott
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    There are many solutions and they are as good as your willingness to pay. You can spend $1500 a month or $5000. Here are a couple of links for you just to get an idea of the equipment. Then there's the service on top of it.

    http://www.kvh.com/Leisure/Marine-Systems/Phone-and-Internet.aspx

    http://www.cobham.com/about-cobham/...y/about-us/satcom/product-range/maritime.aspx

    Maintaining good connectivity is very important to us. Now most marinas do have decent Wifi, although in some it's very sketchy. If you're close to the US you will have some range on your cell providers.
  3. Bill Abbott

    Bill Abbott New Member

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    Thank you - didn't realize it would be that expensive. The plan for us is to remain along the east and southern coast of the US for the most part, so maybe cell service and mobile hot spots would get us through between marinas. By the way I'm glad I found this forum - I'm looking forward to participating.

    Also, as living aboard boats goes, we're looking at a Meridian 490 - does anyone have any experience with this boat or feedback from other owners?

    Cheers,
    Bill
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    For your purposes it could be a very good boat. It's roomy, relatively inexpensive to operate. It's a decent production boat with few complaints by owners. Now haven't been nearly as many sold as in the days of it's predecessor, Bayliner. But the Bayliners have held up very well.

    Now the question is more about you than the boat. What experience do you have? What training are you planning? How did you arrive at this boat. One avenue I regularly recommend before pulling the trigger on a boat is to charter similar to what you're thinking.
  5. Bill Abbott

    Bill Abbott New Member

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    My background is with the Navy's Special Boat Teams (SWCC) where I've had the opportunity to operate a number of platforms, mostly jet boats. I'm familiar with the engines on the 490's (Cummins diesels) and have used all the navigation systems. I also attended the Chapman course on yacht systems, although I'd certainly benefit from a refresher, particularly tracing out the various systems (elect., water, fuel, etc.) for trouble-shooting when the inevitable occurs. I've been away from the water for too long and can't wait to get back.
  6. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Hi Bill,

    Welcome to YF. The posts above have been split from another thread because they were not related to the subject. It's important to stay on course with topics. Equally, we ask that avatars are marine related. Short of that, it opens Pandora's box. Next time you log on, please upload a suitable maritime character. I bet you do a good popeye!
  7. German Yachting

    German Yachting Senior Member

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    If you go to another country, just buy another sim for that country assuming they are using the same bands.
  8. Bill Abbott

    Bill Abbott New Member

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    Will do - I'll change avatars ASAP - thank you for the direction.

    Cheers,
    Bill
  9. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Were not Hy-tech but have used Clear-Wire for many years. Luved it but didn't make the new owners (Sprint) enough money and getting turned off in 2 months.
    From unlimited (movies, shows, data) 3G for $26 a month that worked on our boat all over the state (proved on our last vacation), to 6gig, 3/4G for over $50 a month . Other major limitations with our on-board LAN also.
    For comparisons, we tried the Sprint HotSpot thing in the keys. Good coverage, 3 movies at up a months plan.

    Back to the OP,
    There was some cheap options.
    ,rc
  10. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    If you're in the U.S. and within 5-10 miles of land, the 4G hotspots work great and can even use them underway, the plans are reasonable and they're fast. Most marina's wifi will drive you bonkers.
  11. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    ???
    Define reasonable please.
    The OP will be exchanging graphics, with lots of text and instructions. I can Imagine 15 to 20gig a month easy.
    If he wants high speed all thru the month (usually throttled down after the first 6 gig) even more is charged.
    Compared with hardwired that was reasonable.

    I can see starting $400usd easy. Reasonable, heck no.
    Why is Technology getting more expensive?

    When Bill does make a decision, I would like to hear from him.
    ,rc
  12. German Yachting

    German Yachting Senior Member

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    20GB a month at AT&T is $150 I think. If you go T-Mobile, it will be cheaper and their expanding presence has made their service a lot better than it was a couple years ago.
  13. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    My Boys T-Mobile is where I learned about the throttle down issue. He does have an interesting unlimited package for his over sized phone (not pad). But you can not use the unlimited phone as a computer modem and can't watch movies later in his billing cycle (slow speed after 6 gig).
    At&t @ $150 for a phone or a real computer wireless?
  14. German Yachting

    German Yachting Senior Member

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    They throttle the teathering component after 7GB if you have a phone on an unlimited plan. There's some apps you can use that can get you around that if you don't abuse it too much (there was a recent article about people using 2TB a month on it with a workaround and it's now being cracked down on for heavy users). They still have other data only plans which are fairly cheap.

    The $150 at AT&T is just for 20GB of data. Meaning, you can get a Mifi and use that to consume the data. If you spent $400 a month, that's 50GB of data including unlimited talk/text if you wanted.
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    If it's to be able to operate a business then $400 is easy and reasonable if it fulfills your needs.

    Technology gets cheaper all the time. We just want more of it and that's where the increased cost comes in. But cell phone time prices have continued to drop.

    Each cell phone plan works differently. Sprint has unlimited that don't throttle. Verizon is by the limit you purchase but not throttled. ATT offers non throttled, charge by usage.

    It wasn't that long ago that conducting business from a boat was extremely difficult and very expensive for mediocre service. Now, it can be like working from your home or office.
  16. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Been running (very small) bushiness from our boat for over 10 years. Unplugged all hard wires over 6 years ago. I'm not a economist but communications (not internet) Has doubled in the last 2 years for us and Internet access will more than quad in November (see#9 above).

    Maybe that ISP service was a freak of business, that many many people took advantage of and reality is finally giving us a slap.

    Were just a nickel & dime operation now. Every nickel and dime counts.
  17. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    If you're on the 20 GB plan you're at 4G the entire time. The unlimited plans are the ones they throttle down. I feel $150 is a reasonable fee. I used to have the 10GB plan and did not stream movies, but it was my sole source of internet for my home and business, I only exceeded 10 GB once in 3 years.
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Unless you go satelite (which is very expensive) cell coverage is pretty good in most areas along the east coast. Get's a little scatter-shot in the Carolinas though. With you being in western NY though let me give you a caution that you've probably run into with your cell phone already. In many areas up there you can find yourself bouncing off Canadian towers, and the resulting bill can cause a bit of heartburn.
  19. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You think that's bad, the worst spot is travelling up the Detroit river that's 1/2 a mile wide with Canada on 1 side and US on the other. I called Verizon and told them I was not in Canada and they took the charges off.
  20. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I thought there was a menu option that would not let your phone roam.