Satcom for the sailor

Ocean Navigator|July/August 2020

Satcom for the sailor
When long-range cruising, it’s nice to get away from it all — but some of us still must remain connected. We are spoiled on land with Internet access at speeds of 300 Mbps for prices as low as $50 a month. The same speed at sea may cost you $50,000. Therein lies the challenge: How can we surf the Internet at sea without blowing the entire communications budget?
DAVE BRENGELMANN

The fishing and shipping industries use VSAT broadband services today, but these systems start at $25,000, may run $1,000 or more for airtime, and are too large for most users. Future services sound fantastic — like SpaceX’s Starlink or Amazon’s Project Kuiper — but are not ready for prime time yet. This means your best option is still L-band services from Iridium or Inmarsat.

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July/August 2020