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Old 26-06-2015, 18:15   #1
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Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

Just wondering if my ideas are worth pursuing. I want to live on the hook while still being within range of 4G internet connections. I make my living "online" and need 4G (not satalite) internet to make it happen. I have looked at coverage maps and it seems as if I can find many places along the intracoastal waterway to drop an anchor and still be connected.

I like the idea of a catamaran due to living space and the ability to sail rather than use engines if I decide to go up to the great lakes or down to the Caribbean for a while. I also think having the additional "footprint" of a cat would allow me to mount more solar panels on deck for power.

My crazy idea is to find areas where I get a good 4G signal and drop anchor for a week or two while I purse my business. I am comfortable with being isolated, I do not need to have access to fine dining or social interaction. I do not have to have constant internet access; I can travel out of range without any problems.

Is my idea realistic? Anything that I should consider? My main goal is to have the option of traveling to different areas while still being "connected" at times so I can make money.

I have looked at pricing on used cats and I can swing it. My monthly income is variable but I believe I would be comfortable income wise.
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Old 26-06-2015, 19:55   #2
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

Great idea. Go for it
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Old 26-06-2015, 20:31   #3
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

Let us know how it goes.
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Old 27-06-2015, 00:12   #4
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

This is exactly what we have done. There are a few dead zones but not many.

As long as the boat is fully paid for, you can really exercise a lot of control over your spending.

It's always getting better but really look at your data usage. We suplement with wifi in marinas when available otherwise we have to buy extra gigs of data to get by. This will of course depend on how data intensive your work it.
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Old 27-06-2015, 04:23   #5
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, wartrace.
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Old 27-06-2015, 05:47   #6
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
This is exactly what we have done. There are a few dead zones but not many.

As long as the boat is fully paid for, you can really exercise a lot of control over your spending.

It's always getting better but really look at your data usage. We suplement with wifi in marinas when available otherwise we have to buy extra gigs of data to get by. This will of course depend on how data intensive your work it.
I suppose I would have to get multiple accounts to have the ability depending on the area I'm in. I plan on paying cash for the boat.
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Old 27-06-2015, 05:48   #7
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, wartrace.

I've been lurking for a while; lots of great information.
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Old 27-06-2015, 06:41   #8
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

Along the Atlantic ICW, the only place you will not have coverage will be along the Alligator River. On the Gulf coast, you will not have coverage south of about Everglade City until you reach the Keys. HOWEVER, you will not have 4G coverage all the time. 3G coverage is quite common along the coastal waters. Chuck
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Old 27-06-2015, 07:29   #9
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

My main concern is cruising on a catamaran. Is the boat going to be too wide for the ICW or would a cat be OK?
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Old 27-06-2015, 07:39   #10
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

There are some very large vessels cruising the ICW including small, shallow draft cruise ships. A catamaran will be no problem as long as the mast does not exceed 64 feet. The only issue, albeit slight, is that some marinas will not have a slip wide enough. Most will put catamarans on an end tie. Chuck
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Old 27-06-2015, 08:05   #11
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

That's good advice regarding mast height. Look into it and try pick a cat with under 64' mast. A lagoon 380 is under but a lagoon 400 is over. A lot of larger performance cats will have similar height masts to the L380 so size doesn't necessarily equate to height.
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Old 27-06-2015, 09:24   #12
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

This might help you with your decision: Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: Coastal Marine WiFi, a winner!
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Old 27-06-2015, 09:54   #13
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

I liveaboard and have Brevard Wireless ( Melbourne,FL area) @ $30/month. It is FINE for email but the connectivity even with an antennae extender i.e Islandtime, Wave rogue) I cannot stream anything even a YouTube video. It may it may not make a difference to you. Even email can get spotty at times but by and large that is fine. Lengthy downloads (I also work on line) forget it they rarely come through. Russ
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Old 27-06-2015, 10:02   #14
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

Live aboard 40ft cat in the Palm Beaches and have worked from here all the way down to Key West using cell phone as my source for a couple years now. In nearly all locations, I had access to LTE or at least 4G using my cell phone hotspot. The exception was in the middle of Biscayne Bay near the Featherbeds where I only had about 1-2 bars of 4G that would sometimes drop. A couple hours north or south and there is good coverage. I have ATT and I have had much better coverage in our area than others on Verizon. I am a heavy data user and keep a plan of 30gb or better. Definitely can be done here in south Florida!
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Old 27-06-2015, 11:03   #15
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Re: Live aboard a cat on the intracoastal waterway?

"I have ATT and I have had much better coverage in our area than others on Verizon. I am a heavy data user and keep a plan of 30gb or better. Definitely can be done here in south Florida!"

We do the AT&T 4GLTE thing here in San Diego (liveaboard in a marina) and pay $150/month for 10Gb which includes one iPhone, an old Motorola flip phone, and an ATT Unite mobile hot spot.

AT&T tells me that 30Gb would cost me $288 per month with the same three devices.

Is that similar to what you are paying?

We do have very good coverage with Ookla speed test showing an average 20+Mbps download speed whenever I test it. My cell phone coverage map shows our boat is typically within one mile of at least three 4GLTE towers.

I am curious about your 30Gb monthly usage. I use 12 - 15 GB every month and never stream a single movie and very few Youtube of Vemo video. I do a lot of online research and reading. Does your 30Gb allow you to watch any real movies, e.g. NetFlix?
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