Westsail Owners Alliance - Thread: "Wi-Fi"
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Thread: "Wi-Fi"

12,268 posts on 2,444 threads   •   From Mar 07, 2004 - Jan 08, 2012


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Does any one know how prevelent Wi-Fi is for internet access in marinas down the east coast?


It's becoming increasingly common. I can often pick up a wi-fi signal from the boat (sometimes for a fee). Another option that I've had great success with is a product called SnapDialer from a company called FutureDial. It's special software and a cable that allows you to connect your cellphone to your laptop and log on to the internet. I use a sprint phone with a nationwide plan which also includes puerto rico and the us virgin islands and I can connect anywhere there is a digital signal without incurring extra charges or using up any of my minutes. It's almost as fast as a 56k modem and if your only doing email/general internet stuff then it is more than adequate. Hope this helps.


did sent this message via wfi in Deltaville
Marine being at anchor. It is free and works perfect.
Willem de Jong on s.v. Elven


We are also interested in using WiFi for our cruising needs. We take cottage reservations for summer rentals during the winter months. Since we hope to be sailing the eastern seaboard, having good email access is critical to responding to potential clients. Would an external antenna boost wifi signal? I found a website for RadioLabs.com which sells an antenna plus a card to connect to your labtop. I guess the RV market has endorsed this product and their advertising suggest boats as well.


Since posting my original question over two years ago, I found Wi-Fi access availability limited due to its short range. When available, there was nothing like the broadband experience. However, in remote areas, our only solution was cellular.

At the time, we went with Sprint PCS and a USB cable to attach the phone to my Mac iBook. We subscribed to their Vision plan, which gave us unlimited internet access for $15 a month. I know all the internet plans from cellular companys have changed drastically since our cruise, so you'd want to shop around.

Cellular wasn't real fast, although I believe it to be faster than dial-up. I found it more than sufficient to upload pages to my web site, check and send emails, and monitor NOAA weather sites. I would wait until I found some Wi-Fi for real heavy web surfing.

Regarding extending the range of Wi-Fi, I do know the USB Wi-Fi antenna's can double the range of the signal, but in the middle of no where, that still won't be far enough. However, cellular is almost everywhere except some places in Georga or the Great Lakes.

If you have a need to stay in touch via email daily, or at least regularly, I'd recommend finding a cellular provider (bluetooth would be a wireless-wireless service, saving the cable) w/ a montly flat rate and no restrictions to keep you in touch with the non-cruising world. For everything else, there's the VHF.


Guiseppie's in Niceville Fl has WiFi, I put in the wireless router in mid 2008 while I was going to EOD school. The network was open access at the time, and the signal was week at the end of the dock.
Most USB external antenna's on a 16' powered USB cable flung out of a hatch onto the cabin roof could make a connection.
Check out this site: http://www.wififreespot.com/
Also, I heard rumor of WiFi in the Marina area near destin pass/crab island
I've forgotten the name of the new hotel there, but it's across the street from Dewy Destin Marina.


If you're crusing the East coast, yes you can get wifi but when you get to crowded areas or way away the best is an Air Card. I'm in the middle of Back Creek in Annapolis and the wifi is a PITA if you're not in a Marina. Think of every mast as an Antenna!

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