Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Online Offshore

You may go out on the water to get away from it all, but sometimes you just need to connect. You know, check your email to stay in touch with clients or employees, search for a restaurant in your next port of call, or maybe even read each day's edition of DailyBoater!

Well, you can't go dragging the phone line across the ocean or lake, let alone out of the harbor, so what's an Internet-addicted boater to do?

Well, we see at least a couple of options.

1) Stick with ports that have Wi-Fi access, so you can at least wirelessly connect while your docked without any messy phone lines or dial-up charges. Visit WiFiMarine.org, an information hub that will provide you with the skinny on ports offering Wi-Fi for free or for a small fee.

2) If you've got a mega-yacht, or if you are looking for solutions for a merchant ship (or a whole fleet), you should consider an onboard solution that will keep you and your crew and guests connected throughout your oceanic voyages:
Boeing's Connexion (Read about it at WiFiSea.com)
Broadband Maritime
Sea Tel
The European Space Agency

3) Lastly, if you are staying close to shore, and want wireless access both on and off the boat but don't want to pay Starbucks for the privilege of their service, consider a Verizon Wireless Broadband Card. It looks like $60/month will let you access a highspeed connection from anywhere they have towers. Check out this real life example of somebody hooking one of these up for the whole family on a recent (current?) vacation on a 43' yacht: (MamaMusings.com).