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Can you hear me? Can you hear me now?

Published on December 8th, 2022

If the idea of cutting cords is too much when dropping docklines, affordable solutions may be within reach according to this report by George Day in the Cruising Compass:

I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes during a Salty Dawg Caribbean Rally weather briefing Zoom meeting in early November. One of the skippers in the Bahamas-bound fleet of 30 boats, which had left a couple of days earlier, joined the meeting while still 150 miles north east of the Abacoes.

The video image came through clearly, the sound was perfect, and in the background was the boat’s stern surfing nicely along in fairly big seas, all live and via the internet supplied by the skipper’s Starlink satellite connection. Using Starlink while securely moored or anchored has become more and more common but actual active and practical use at sea is quite a revolution in offshore communications.

Starlink Maritime is a commercial service that costs $5,000 a month and $10,000 to install. But crafty cruisers have discovered that Starlink Mobile, designed for the RV crowd, works on boats too, and costs $135 a month and requires the in-motion antenna which is about $2,500. There were approximately 10 boats in this fall’s Salty Dawg fleet with Starlink units.

As more satellites are deployed and software for antenna-satellite-connections improve, I’ll bet we will see Starlink units replacing sat-phones and keeping our cruising community linked to the internet all the time. If you have experience using Starlink on a boat, please share your knowledge and experiences by emailing me:

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