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St. John, USVI
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Starlink Maritime: #306158
09/13/2023 02:14 PM
09/13/2023 02:14 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 65
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fletchccc Offline OP
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fletchccc  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 65
Good afternoon fellow sailors. We have our boat out of the BVI but obviously send it down to Grenada for hurricane season. This year, myself and 3 buddies are sailing it north for a 2 week sail from Grenada back to SXM where our captain will take it from there back to the BVI.
My question is regarding cell service as we all still work and need to have email and calls periodically throughout the day and long sails. As such, we are contemplating buying a Starlink Maritime package.

My concerns are:
If we have ATT cell service and are leisurely sailing and sticking close to shore, will we have cell coverage throughout? If not, is Starlink the way to go? My concern is where to mount the thing as it needs unobstructed views of the satellites. With our boat being a 56 foot Bali Catamaran, there are obviously booms, masts and sails all over the place. I don't want to spend $2500 on the materials and $250 a month if the thing isn't going to work.
Directly on top of the mast would be a good spot I would guess but not sure we will have the time to have it professionally installed up there upon our arrival as we would be bringing it down with us and setting sail immediately.
Any advice is appreciated. I may post this as well in the Southern Caribbean thread but that is less traveled.
Thank you!

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Re: Starlink Maritime: [Re: fletchccc] #306164
09/13/2023 02:52 PM
09/13/2023 02:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 168
18°44'42"N 64°24'09"W
D
duckfat Offline
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duckfat  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 168
18°44'42"N 64°24'09"W
I don't think you want the antenna on top of your rig, as it has a fair amount of windage - not good up high. You might be able to get by with the simple stand that comes with it. Starlink in the Caribbean seems to always wind up pointing north. You can locate it where it has a clear view to the north and put it away when not in use.

Re: Starlink Maritime: [Re: fletchccc] #306165
09/13/2023 02:53 PM
09/13/2023 02:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,535
Grenada
Zanshin Offline
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Zanshin  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,535
Grenada
You don't need Starlink maritime. Get a normal "pizza box" Starlink for a lot less less. That is what I have, and sail from the BVI down to Grenada with it - getting fast and reliable internet along the way.

I have it mounted just above the bimini. The only times the 150+ Mb/s is deteriorated is when I'm close to cruise ships - they suck up all the bandwidth. The antenna wants to point roughly north and 20 degrees above the horizon, although horizontal works as well. So plan on the boat pointing into the trades and place the dish so that roughly north is as free from metallic obstructions as possible. There's no need, and only disadvantages, to putting the dish at the top of the mast. Nobody uses that, everyone just finds a location on the port side or far aft.


[Linked Image]
Re: Starlink Maritime: [Re: fletchccc] #306180
09/13/2023 07:32 PM
09/13/2023 07:32 PM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 65
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fletchccc Offline OP
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fletchccc  Offline OP
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 65
Great intel, thanks. Was considering using the old GoogleFi device as a hotspot but may spring for the Starlink. Or use both for when the throttle us down on speed..
After looking at the device and thinking of the boat itself, I was thinking on the aft of the flybridge by the solar panels, but if it always seems to want to point north, maybe I need to be Able to move it and in that case, I'd need the Pole mount accessory and have a mount for said pole on the Bow and Stern depending on route of sail. Just don't want to drill the thing into the hard deck if when we turn a direction it would be blocked by the boom....
I kinda figured if it was solid and pointed in a certain direction at a slight angle, it would find a satellite put here somewhere.

Edited to consider the issue of me trying to move the thing around the boat... That wouldn't work as the starlink cable would be installed professionally and not able to be run around boat.
I'd have to pick a spot, install it and hope it finds a satellite in the direction it's pointed? Aft of fly bridge seems to be the clearest shot, slight angle pointed outside of boat......?

Last edited by fletchccc; 09/13/2023 07:34 PM.
Re: Starlink Maritime: [Re: fletchccc] #306186
09/13/2023 09:58 PM
09/13/2023 09:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 939
Georgia & South Carolina
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Deepcut Offline
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Deepcut  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 939
Georgia & South Carolina
s/v Absolutely used Starling all the way from France to BVI. I believe mounted to rail near the stern. He had great connection the entire trip.(I believe the "Pizza box" model.


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (2022 Lagoon 46)
www.BareBoatBVI.com

Re: Starlink Maritime: [Re: fletchccc] #306188
09/14/2023 12:24 AM
09/14/2023 12:24 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 482
7
706jim Offline
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706jim  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 482
We used the pizza box version while travelling on Lake Superior. It worked fine when moored and even when at anchor when the boat heading obviously changed with the wind. No need to mount it way up high from what we experienced.

Re: Starlink Maritime: [Re: fletchccc] #306193
09/14/2023 07:50 AM
09/14/2023 07:50 AM
Joined: Jul 2022
Posts: 21
BVI
SV Absolutely Offline
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SV Absolutely  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2022
Posts: 21
BVI
You don't need the Maritime dish or the $250/month subscription - just get the Standard Dish and use the Mobile Regional subscription for $150/mon. If you're too far from the coast of an island, you can toggle on/off Mobile Priority for $2/GB as needed.

On our Atlantic crossing we used a standard dish with Mobile Global subscription ($200/month) - unlimited data when within 12-20 miles of shore (France, Spain, Portugal, Canary Islands and St Martin). Offshore, we toggled on Mobile Priority as needed. I swapped the subscription back to Mobile Regional once we were in the BVI. And "Paused" the service once we were done cruising the BVI.

No need to mount it. I set it on the sky bridge seating area off to the side on some cushions or the floor from La Rochelle to Arrecife, where I MacGyver'd a fishing rod holder that worked well until TS Cindy. After the crossing and for the 3 weeks we cruised the BVI, I just left it up In the Sky Bridge.

There is a Facebook group called Starlink on Boats which has lots of great info.

Attached Files IMG_7330.jpeg

SV Absolutely
Re: Starlink Maritime: [Re: fletchccc] #306243
09/15/2023 10:40 AM
09/15/2023 10:40 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,953
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,953
St. John, USVI
I work during the week, so Internet access is key. We have SXM Digicel 240Mbps hot spot on an iphone, AT&T international roaming, and Starlink Roam with the standard antenna. Digicel is great, until it is not. AT&T with international roaming is quite reliable at $10 per day. We use Starlink when we are on anchor. This approach worked from SXM to Grenada. Digicel was poor at Deshaies Guadeloupe and St. Pierre Martineque, while Starlink was good. On land, we used AT&T international roaming if the Digicel hotspot was not good.

Grenada to SXM, I would get a Digicel or Flow sim for a phone hotspot. Starlink Roam with the standard antenna is good enough. The eastern Caribbean is considered North America. One thing to watch out for, Grenada customs may want to charge you duty. You can avoid duty as yacht in transit if you use a broker, give them the invoice, and get your C-14. The Grenada Cruisers Information facebook group has information on this in their files section. Life will be simpler if you have a copy of the cruising permit for the vessel, so you do not have to document your ticket for exit of the country.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Beneteau 423
Grenada

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