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Internet connectivity

Hi, I'm new in this lab. My wife and I ordered a Excess 11 in the Netherlands. Delivery June 2024.

Question from my side. As we are preparing to start living and working remote from our catamaran while sailing the world I'm really interested in what internet connectivity you all use. Up to today I use MIFI on board our Beneteau monohull boat-office.

Anyone already installed StarLink on the catamaran? And if so what would be a preferred location for the antenna and the router? How clean can you make the install?

Bi the way I can go creasy on this topic. Because just imagine what it would mean to have a always online connected boat? Then it suddenly becomes a IOT (Internet of things) sailing catamaran.

So, I'm curious on what you think about this. And if you already have some experience using internet connectivity technologies on the Excess. What works and what doesn't. Did you integrate for instance your whole NMEA 2000 network?

For the people that do not know MIFI. It is a router/excess point with 3 or 4G connectivity.

Regards,

Nanno.

13 comments
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N
Nova Yachting
January 14, 2023
1 answer
Hello Nanno,

Welcome to the EXCESS LAB. Great topic and I'm sure many blue water sailors are keen to learn more about these topics. Since you'll be at BOOT in Düsseldorf as well I guess you want to wander around in the halls full of electronics. Regarding a connected boat we're able to offer Seanapps (A Beneteau Group company) https://www.seanapps.fr/en/seanapps-app/. Great tool with many more features to come. Furthermore I have ordered a Starlink set to test on several boats and several positions (mast/spreaders/aft etc) here in the Netherlands. We have a high demand for high speed internet onboard and we'd want to be sure we can offer "full proof", good working systems. I'll keep you posted regarding the outcome and results. Cu next week in Germany.
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nannoo
January 19, 2023
Nice. Good to know. I have been working in IT for 24 years and now have my own company. So if I can help you out with the setup just let me know. Lot of technical knowledge. See you next Saturday.
Bruno
Bruno
January 13, 2023
1 answer
’For offshore light communication the best tool remains Iridium GO, for offshore data communication a Sat system is necessary. VSAT TracNet H30 seems to be the most clever solution since it carries an automatic switch from WiFi, 4/5G and Sat communication. There are several Data rates that can be adjusted to fit the needs. Starlink seems promissing but since they offer a ship offer at a huge price we wonder how long they will let domestic system work at sea.
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nannoo
January 19, 2023
Thanks. BDW. There is a Facebook group for starling on sailing yachts. Most of the people get the version that is also suitable for RV’s. Much better price. Some even build a dome for it.
A
atheo
January 13, 2023
2 answers
In Istion we had a charterer who came with his starlink hardware to test it and here is the article with his impression:
https://www.teslarati.com/rebelroam-cofounder-tests-starlink-on-a-yacht-said-service-was-surprisingly-good/
M
Michael H
January 13, 2023
3 answers
Hi Nanno, and welcome to this lab! My wife and I have ordered an Excess 14 for delivery in France in April 2023. We have decided to use Starlink for most of our Internet connectivity. It is available in France now, and the price is extremely competitive with any other service: €450 for the hardware and €50/month for service. Download speeds are 50 - 200 Mbps. We of course have not installed the unit on the boat yet, but have tested it here at home in the U. S. and we are getting those speeds.

Out current plan for installation on the boat is quite simple: to use an adapter and a fishing pole mount clamped somewhere on the stern. Here in the U.S. these installations are very common.

There are some issues with using Starlink. One is that it only works in coastal areas. When you are crossing an ocean it may or may not work in the middle. We plan to use Iridium GO for our trans-Atlantic crossing, but will hopefully be able to use Starlink everywhere else. Another issue is that the terms of service are not clear as far as traveling from country to country. Right now Starlink is apparently allowing freely moving from country to country, but moving between continents requires updating the service address.

There are a few unknowns, but we still that that Starlink is the best cruising option for Internet now.
N
nannoo
January 19, 2023
Thanks. Nice info. So you are getting the RV version? And it’s just as like with my Tesla. The joys of being early adapters. It’s all very new. But for remote work technology we are getting there. I think.
M
Michael H
January 19, 2023
Yes, I ordered the RV version about a month ago. It arrived in about 10 days and I tested it for two weeks at home here in California. It never dropped out and download speeds were between 50 - 200 Mbps. Of course, I am curios to see how it works when I put in on our 14 in France in April or May.
N
nannoo
January 19, 2023
Let us know. 👌
S
Sail Tahiti
January 12, 2023
1 answer
Hello Nanno, these are very interesting and important questions for anyone who wishes to work from their boat. In my experience (sailed twice from France to Tahiti, once with my family, doing home schooling for 2 years, once to deliver Excess 11 Te Ava) the answers really depend on what you want to do. If you want to connect to the internet while you re offshore Starlink might become the best option but for now it isn't. It's very expensive and your ability to use it depends on each country regulation etc. If you want to finance Elon you can prepay for your Starlink dish and hope to get it - some not my sailing friends have been waiting for more than 2 years now and still have no idea when they will get it... For weather routing, safety, family messages etc the Iridium Go with an unlimited subscription from Predictwind works really well. Of course you can't do any proper office work with it. If you want to send large files you can do like the professional racing teams and super yacht owners do : buy a 50 000 euros satellite dish with a subscription costing several thousand euros per month. But then that raises the question : do you really want to work when you are crossing the ocean? Wasn't the purpose to get away from it all ? :-)
Then there is internet connection when you are at anchor and want to combine the island life and work. The Digital Yacht 4G Stream is a 4G router that sends wifi throughout the boat, can be linked to the NMEA network and can also connect to the wifi signal from the closest beach bar and relay it to your boat. It costs about 3000 euros with the installation. The other solution, a little bit more hippy like but by far the most cost effective is to turn on personal hotspot on your smartphone, put itin a waterproof bag, tie it up to the spinnaker halyard, hoist it on top of the mast. from the top of an Excess 11 you can catch the signal of a 4G antenna located 5-10 nautical miles away from your anchorage. There is one thing to remember though : tie a rope to your waterproof bag and attach it to the deck : the weight of your cellphone is not enough to make it go down by itself once you've finished working and want to stop the connection (real life experience of having to go up the mast to fetch it with everyone around in the anchorage laughing at us)
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nannoo
January 19, 2023
A lot of knowledge from first hand experience. Thanks. 👍