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Old 20-07-2012, 14:42   #1
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We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

Hi All! I just ran across this forum and instantly fell in love with it! I never would of imagined that there were so many awesome people out there living and breathing the same (or close to the same) dream! Kudos to all of you that have broken free of the infinite bonds of city living and proximity restrictions to pursue your dreams!

My wife and I recently decided to sell everything we owned and moved up to the British Columbia area from Dallas, TX. Not knowing what was ahead, we were just certain of the fact that we were not content with the every day grind of city life. We have had many great experiences out here and now find ourselves on Gabriola Island looking out over the Straight of Georgia. After a month of looking out at all of the beautiful boats going by we have decided that's going to be our next adventure. This is a beautiful area to sail and we are going to do it.

We devised an exit strategy that revolved around our ability to make income from any location remotely, as long as we have a reliable internet connection. I am in phone sales, and she does administrative reports/HR work for smaller companies that aren't fully staffed.

We are going to sell our car and buy a decent sailboat in Vancouver and circumnavigate this area for a while before we cruise down the West Coast, through panama canal, and on across to where we plan to relax and take in all the Caribbean Islands have to offer. We both have quite a bit of sailing/boating experience for our age, and are determined to convert to this type of lifestyle (for at least a year or two). If we get too cramped up and sick of living on the boat, our plan is to rent a small apartment in Antigua and keep our boat in a slip at Jolly Harbor for a few months while we recharge our sea legs, so to speak.

We have everything in motion to execute this plan, but are running into one uncertainty. We need reliable internet at sea so we can perform our job functions. We have considered getting a SAT-phone and a wifi hotspot that would enable us to talk to customers while we are at sea and then provide us with the needed connection speed to complete any tasks that require internet at most any marinas. The only problem is that it would bind us to anchoring more than we desire due to our constant need for internet connection. Hey I know what most people are thinking, "screw internet when sailing" but it's not for facebook, it's how we make a living. Are there any suggestions that anyone might have that would provide us with a good internet connection that we could rely on at sea?

We use vonage or skype to make all of our phone calls anyway and all that requires is an internet connection, so it would make more sense for us to spend the money getting internet than just a phone.

If there are multiple options, I'm not even against ordering 2 different ones and testing them out for a month to see what suits our needs the best. We are willing to do whatever needs to be done to make this work, since it is the only foreseeable road block that we have remaining before we shove off.

Once again, great website! We look forward to future discussions and sharing our experiences!
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Old 20-07-2012, 15:14   #2
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Re: We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

Do a few searches on long distance WiFi, and Satellite internet and you will find several very long and informative threads. There is one going on now on Satellite internet. That's probably better than rehashing it all again.


Oh, and welcome!
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Old 20-07-2012, 15:49   #3
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Re: We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

will do. I read through a few of them and people posted a lot of helpful sites, but I'm curious if anyone has any field reviews. I'll search harder through this forum though, thanks for your help!
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Old 20-07-2012, 16:12   #4
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Re: We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

Near shore you'll find two options; long distance WiFi and 3G/4G, both of which work very well. Out to sea your only option will be satellite, but it's god-awful expensive (think $5k and up per month for active use) and has very restrictive speed and data usage. Satellite seems to only be practical for the fabulously wealthy, cruise ships where they just resell it to passengers, or business endevours that can absorb the cost. For the rest of us, smoke signals and carrier pigeons are probably still better solutions.
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Old 20-07-2012, 16:36   #5
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The big problem with Internet at sea is outside land based wifi or good 3G/4G it's megabucks if you need any sort of speed or even medium amounts of data.

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Old 20-07-2012, 16:40   #6
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Re: We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

Phone is the big one for us I suppose. You can always control when you send out emails and log into your pc remotely. Calling people and being available is 90% of most sales
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Old 20-07-2012, 16:45   #7
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Re: We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

I split my time between Gabriola, Victoria and sailing; my boat is at Degnan. You will find that sailing around here cellular coverage is spotty. I used to pay for a stick so I could keep my laptop connected but found so many places I anchored there was no signal. Where I moor at Degnan there's no signal!

If you can work offline and connect when in an area with a signal it works better.
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Old 20-07-2012, 16:50   #8
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Re: We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlippyFloppies View Post
Hi All! I just ran across this forum and instantly fell in love with it! I never would of imagined that there were so many awesome people out there living and breathing the same (or close to the same) dream! Kudos to all of you that have broken free of the infinite bonds of city living and proximity restrictions to pursue your dreams!

My wife and I recently decided to sell everything we owned and moved up to the British Columbia area from Dallas, TX. Not knowing what was ahead, we were just certain of the fact that we were not content with the every day grind of city life. We have had many great experiences out here and now find ourselves on Gabriola Island looking out over the Straight of Georgia. After a month of looking out at all of the beautiful boats going by we have decided that's going to be our next adventure. This is a beautiful area to sail and we are going to do it.

We devised an exit strategy that revolved around our ability to make income from any location remotely, as long as we have a reliable internet connection. I am in phone sales, and she does administrative reports/HR work for smaller companies that aren't fully staffed.

We are going to sell our car and buy a decent sailboat in Vancouver and circumnavigate this area for a while before we cruise down the West Coast, through panama canal, and on across to where we plan to relax and take in all the Caribbean Islands have to offer. We both have quite a bit of sailing/boating experience for our age, and are determined to convert to this type of lifestyle (for at least a year or two). If we get too cramped up and sick of living on the boat, our plan is to rent a small apartment in Antigua and keep our boat in a slip at Jolly Harbor for a few months while we recharge our sea legs, so to speak.

We have everything in motion to execute this plan, but are running into one uncertainty. We need reliable internet at sea so we can perform our job functions. We have considered getting a SAT-phone and a wifi hotspot that would enable us to talk to customers while we are at sea and then provide us with the needed connection speed to complete any tasks that require internet at most any marinas. The only problem is that it would bind us to anchoring more than we desire due to our constant need for internet connection. Hey I know what most people are thinking, "screw internet when sailing" but it's not for facebook, it's how we make a living. Are there any suggestions that anyone might have that would provide us with a good internet connection that we could rely on at sea?

We use vonage or skype to make all of our phone calls anyway and all that requires is an internet connection, so it would make more sense for us to spend the money getting internet than just a phone.

If there are multiple options, I'm not even against ordering 2 different ones and testing them out for a month to see what suits our needs the best. We are willing to do whatever needs to be done to make this work, since it is the only foreseeable road block that we have remaining before we shove off.

Once again, great website! We look forward to future discussions and sharing our experiences!

If you are US citizens, consider buying in the Seattle area and hanging out long enough to establish residency.

You will have to pay duty on any boat not manufactured in the US if you try to bring it back to the US. Even if you are just passing thru on the way to Mexico or the S.Pacific you will have a rough road convincing Customs you are not importing it.

Washington residence is nice because of no income tax.
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Old 20-07-2012, 17:33   #9
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Re: We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

Internet Via Satellite and Phone Service for Boats from TracPhone

http://www.kvh.com/Leisure/Marine-Sy...cPhone-V7.aspx


Try this maybe.
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Old 20-07-2012, 17:55   #10
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Re: We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

It's a big blue watery road.... I hope you find a way to stay connected!
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Old 20-07-2012, 18:56   #11
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Re: We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

in usa i use sprint 3g card for my puter, out of country i use wifi. at sea i sail.
no puter use during passage unless is in usa and territorial waters and close to cell towers.
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Old 20-07-2012, 21:56   #12
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Great advice on the purchase location Adelie!! I have a virtual mailbox based there, so hopefully that would make residency easy.

I'm thinking with wifi technology and cell signal, I'll be able to find enough places for us to connect for work. Then we will rely on a sat phone for the in betweens.. get your towels ready, it's about to go down!!
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Old 20-07-2012, 22:23   #13
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Re: We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

We very seldom use the puter for online! mostly to run Connies Nav Program. We do use wifi when available. but like zee not at sea ! just to many other things to do to be on line anyway ! at least when coastal sailing with all the traffic these days !! and on blue water cruise, we are way to far from any signal for us to be online anyway ! just our 2 cents
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Old 20-07-2012, 22:53   #14
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Re: We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

We set out with the same questions and have come to realise that when cruising between islands one will always find a hotel or resort broadcasting Wifi... you mention Antigua and Jolly Harbour as a place to slip the boat ... we got the fastest and most reliable internet connection right around the corner in Five Island Harbour, Hermitage Bay. The hotel makes it freely available over the bay. Here in the BVI's we have found some good spots such as Deadmans Bay - Peter Island who also make internet feely available over the bay.
We use Iridium Sat Ph for emailing text messages when doing ocean crossings, Local 4G cards for banking which we purchase on the various islands and mostly surf, post pics etc. using our Ubiquity Bullet to pick up free hotspots.
Personally I think its just a matter of time before the technology will be AFFORDABLY available to be 'wired' from the boat viz satellite or other
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Old 20-07-2012, 23:02   #15
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Re: We're on a boat!! Cept we need internet!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlippyFloppies View Post
Great advice on the purchase location Adelie!! I have a virtual mailbox based there, so hopefully that would make residency easy.

I'm thinking with wifi technology and cell signal, I'll be able to find enough places for us to connect for work. Then we will rely on a sat phone for the in betweens.. AWWE **** get your towels ready, it's about to go down!!

Did you not look at my link? Technology is moving forward in this area like most others, it is now much more affordable for quality broadband-like internet by satellite at sea. Coverage is already most of the world. Check out the link, you don't need to rely on sat phone and cell. And I have all of the above. Get Tracphone V-7 for the latest solution. 2 Mbps ain't bad for internet anywhere. Beats the hell out of Iridium's 10-20 Kbps.
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