You now can have fast, reliable internet service to your yacht, thanks to Starlink, a new service from SpaceX. With download speeds up to 350 Mbps, it’s very fast. Right now it’s transatlantic, but it plans to offer full global coverage next year.
Starlink now has 3,177 satellites in the sky, thanks to its SpaceX connection, and they fly on a scheduled pattern, meaning that some parts of the Earth are less visited than others. Since it started its launch operations in 2019, Starlink has completed 66 launches, and the company says it plans to continue launching “at an ambitious pace” to increase its coverage. It now provides internet service to about 40 countries around the world.
Starlink satellites work on Low Earth Orbit, about 340 miles above the earth. The company says that satellites in the LEO network fly faster than those in higher orbits and their relative proximity to Earth provides faster connections. Starlink says its system will work in “extreme cold, heat, hail, sleet, heavy rain and gale-force winds.”
Fast, reliable internet service is increasingly mandatory for larger yachts, where owners often want to conduct business on board, and their children (and grandchildren) want to have the same service on the water that they enjoy at home. The ability to offer fast internet service is also a major plus in the competitive charter market.
Starlink offers four plans. Its official Maritime plan costs $5,000 a month and comes with two Starlink dish terminals for an upfront cost of $10,000. But some blue-water cruisers are now using the Mobile RV plan that costs just $135 a month plus $700 for the antenna.
Unlike some other internet providers, Starlink does not lease its equipment; you buy it instead.
Mounting seems easy and uses minimal above-deck space. The dish comes with a mount, and it just needs an unobstructed view of the sky. Read more: