Large yachts have been able to fit and house satcom systems for many years, letting their owners enjoy satellite-driven communications and entertainment at sea or at the dock. The only problem was that many of these systems were too large (and too expensive) for most cruising powerboats. Now that has changed.
Many of the leading satcom companies now have internet, phone and data systems that are appropriate for smaller boats. Here, Marine Electronics Journal takes a look at the best on the market now:
INTERNET, PHONE & DATA
The Intellian FB 150, FB 250 and FB 500 terminals were the first to receive ATC and Extended L-Band (XL) type approval from Inmarsat
, establishing them as a very cost-effective way to communicate via phone, Internet, or fax. The Intellian FB 250 sits in the middle of the company’s highly regarded FleetBroadband
portfolio, making it suitable for diverse vessels from sailing and motoryachts to coastal workboats and ships. Installing an FB 250 is easy, and high RF performance ensures a strong link to the FleetBroadand network globally. With painless integration to multi-band networks, including Fleet Xpress
, a dedicated handset with backlit color LCD for intuitive operation, built-in WiFi, an SOS function and Power over Ethernet, the FB 250 delivers the features needed to stay safe and connected at all times.
KVH’s TracPhone V3-HTS shows that mini truly is mighty. This 37 cm marine system outperforms the leading competing 60-85 cm Ku-band antennas and sets a new standard in marine satellite communications. Ultra-compact, lightweight, and packed with power, the TracPhone V3-HTS makes it easy for onboard guests to stream HD content, connect with the office, get weather information, browse the Internet, check emails, and more. This end-to-end satcom solution provides: data speeds as fast as 5 Mbps/2 Mbps (down/up), more than double the download speed and more than 15 times the upload speed of KVH’s TracPhone V3-IP; affordable metered airtime plans; and worldwide coverage from KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband HTS network using next-generation high-throughput satellites (HTS).
Weighing less than 22 kg (48 pounds), the s6HD is the lightest, most compact and lowest cost all-in-one system for accessing DirecTV’s HD service when operating in the US. As with all Intellian s-Series marine satellite TV systems, the s6HD enables simultaneous reception from all three DirecTV satellites, providing HD quality TV, DVR compatibility and DirecTV’s program guide for a “just like home” experience. The system incorporates Intellian’s proprietary iQ² Technology, which guarantees fast signal acquisition and rock-solid TV reception in all sea conditions. Up to 32 people on board can watch different channels on multiple receivers at the same time (16 out of the box), while an advanced WiFi-enabled ACU, built in GPS and a dedicated cellphone app enable simple installation and easy operation. Read more: