How to Connect to WIFI on Your Boat

Nowadays, relaxing on the boat includes a laptop or phone nearby. But how are you supposed to scroll through social media or browse Netflix without wifi?

Here are some great ways to stay connected while out on the water.

Boater with phone picture


   1. Dock at a marina with quality wifi

A good marina will be equipped with wifi that’s accessible to its boaters from anywhere at their facility. Before you sign a year-long contract or tie up for the night, check their wifi quality.

To be a marina with reliable wifi, you’ll need to get set-up with some hardware: a router that's wired to antennas placed strategically throughout your docks. Using reputable hardware can make big difference on your connection strength.

A good connection can increase the amount of time boaters spend at the marina, driving up foot traffic.

   2. Reach wifi that’s nearby with a booster antenna

Adding a wifi booster antenna to your boat allows you to increase the strength of your connection with nearby wifi.

The further away you are from the wifi source, the weaker your connection is. And sometimes the signal isn’t very strong to begin with.

To guarantee yourself a stronger connection, mount a wifi-boosting antenna aboard your boat. Consider the best place to mount the antenna, how you’ll connect it to power, and which kind of antenna to purchase.

   3. Set-up wifi on your boat

Create your very own wifi hotspot on your boat. This can be done through a device that accesses a cellular or satellite network.

One cheap fix is to create a hotspot with your phone. Most modern smartphones can create a small zone around your boat that devices using wifi can access. So long as your phone has a signal, wifi can be sent out around it. However, this can eat up a good chunk of your phone’s data.

The most expensive option is to connect to satellites for wifi. Even if there is no cellular service, a satellite connection can give you access to the internet. You can expect to pay around $30,000 for a set-up that guarantees a fast internet speed and reliable connection. Cheaper set-ups can be incredibly slow.

Whether you’re using an internet connection for video streaming, emails, gaming, or interacting with your marina’s services, having a good connection to the internet can enable you to spend more time on your boat.

Andrew Trudel