How to Choose the Right Satellite Internet Antenna and Service for Your Vessel

Internet connection while sailing is a crucial need and a matter of importance for everyone who spends time on a boat and seeks excitement and adventures in deep blue waters. With the advancement of satellite technologies, the innovative solutions of the industry are getting closer to the end user with more affordable and applicable equipment and service plans. Still, is difficult to decide what a good fit for your boat would look like. This article covers some of the options to help boat owners chose the best one for their vessel.

Weekend Cruisers, Coastal Trips, Boats to 30’

If you go for coastal cruising near to shore but still out of cellular network coverage, more than 5 miles in the ocean, own a vessel like Cabin Cruiser, Center console, MULTI-HULL, Sailing, Sports fishing, or Walkaround boat and rarely spend more than couple of weeks in the year sailing, you might have to consider the following information before you buy a satellite antenna.

1. Space

Depending on the design of your vessel, you should make sure it has enough space and proper area to mount the antenna and place the cables. Among the smallest antennas in size, which can support Satellite connectivity onboard of a vessel about 30’, are Inmarsat Fleet One and Intellian v45C.

Intellian’s innovative new Antenna brings VSAT to smaller vessels at affordable price. It is a compact and light-weight 45cm, 23kg, with maritime Ku band Terminal.

The terminal delivers a cost-effective connectivity to those customers who have been unable to install a VSAT in the past, due to space considerations or performance constrains.

Another solution which is a good fit for small boats is Fleet One Terminal by Inmarsat. Crafted for seasonal sailing with boat owners cruising around the coastal regions or globally, Inmarsat’s service allows you to stay connected, to make calls as if you are at home. Along with the equipment, boat owners can take advantage of the flexibility to pause the usage of their sim card during the off-season.

2. Purpose of Internet Use

The higher level of satisfaction with user’s internet connectivity is strongly related to the degree in which the service covers the needs and the expectations of the user. Smaller vessels, come with smaller equipment which can be used both for providing basic safety connectivity and also let the user enjoy different applications like: fishing and weather reports, sending and receiving emails and opening attachments, using Satellite Phone, Apple iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Wechat and Whatsapp, entertainment and distant learning, downloading large files.

3. Service Plans and Budget

The service plan and your internet budget should be an integrated part of your internet solution and should be aligned with the equipment and the purpose of use. At the present diversified Satellite connectivity market boat owners have variety of options with service plans that apply best to their customer behavior and purpose of use. Subscription plans or prepaid options, coastal or regional plans the best advice is to consult with your satellite provider and discuss all pros and cons.

Power, Adventure and Comfort in 50’ Vessels