Does you Boat have Wifi internet?

Who doesn’t have wifi internet on their ships and boats these days? All of crowley tugs and ships have unlimited or near unlimited crew wifi. Many of the other deep sea companies have internet. Does Chouest have internet? I’m making a list of companies that have crew wifi and companies that do not. Shout out if you know a company has or doesn’t have crew internet, please and thank you.

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ECO only provides internet on boats with client on board. I’d say maybe 30 percent of the fleet carries client.


Coastal Transportation Inc. has crew Wi-Fi.

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Harvey really slow sat access, but they are testing starlink out on a few boats.

If your vessel stays in the Gulf you have cell phone service just about everywhere that’s faster then satellite.

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Up in the Great Lakes I know Am. Steamship and Central Marine have Starlink, not sure about Interlake, Great Lakes Fleet and VTB. Its definitely becoming the norm rather than the outlier

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Internet became a thing when I was in middle school. Dial-up, chatrooms, and MySpace were my 5G, Twitter, and Instagram. I’m one of the last generations who can actually remember life without connectivity, and boats without internet. I never minded not having internet aboard (though I don’t have kids), and welcomed going “black” for the duration of my hitch. I read more books, worked out, and actually had conversations with my shipmates. Nowadays you can bet that at least two or three people on any boat will be spending the majority of their time staring into the void. In my personal opinion, what we’ve lost socially and productivity-wise is much more than what we’ve gained by having near-instant access to more information than the Library of Alexandria. Which is sad, and says something about mankind.

Getting off my soapbox, I currently work for Hurtigruten, and they have Skynet (Starlink), but for some reason they can’t seem to make it work reliably. We’ve had a few voyages where WhatsApp was the only connectivity we had, and even that was spotty. The guests were pissed. Rightly so, considering that the ship is “paperless” and all itineraries, activity sign-ups, etc. are online. Point is, don’t half-ass things. Either get good, reliable internet service, or don’t get it at all.


How does it work re: the amount of data you get?

(Some Starlink plans have a data cap. I think I remember seeing 1TB per month, and if you use that no more service for the month. True, anyone?

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Yes, with the starlink internet there is a data plan. I’ve had boats where one or two folks didnt know how to manage their data and used up the crews data rations. The rest of the crew was pissed but the month ended and the data reset. This doesn’t
seem to be a problem on the ships. They must be on much larger data plans. …Somone told me Reinauer has good crew wifi.

I’ve been digging into the crew wi-fi/internet question the last month and have been struck by how complex it is.

Example: I’ve been told the following;

  1. The Starlink Mobile Global plan is for unlimited shore internet use. However, it doesn’t work if the station (vessel) is travelling at a speed of more than 10 mph, or more than 10 miles off shore. So not an option for faster vessels that work over the horizon from land.
  2. There is an 'ocean roaming service" for ocean-going routes. 1-TB /month for $1,000, or 5-TB for $5,000. If you have one Starlink unit/plan per boat then the crew has to share that data. For a four-man crew that’s 250MB/man/month for the 1-TB plan. For a 100-man crew that’s 1MB/man/month. ETC.

Anyone know if this is true?

That’s right. We are on the 1Tb plan. It’s 1k/month. Service has been fast. Last few days has been 150-180mb/sec speeds. By the gig $2.00 after the 1Tb. It’s a good bit of data for a month. Long as everyone isn’t constantly streaming to burn up the usage it’s fine. KVH is still astronomically high.

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Can’t say I disagree. We have starlink on board and it’s very nice to be able to FaceTime with my kids but I deleted all my social media because I truly feel it’s rotting people. Being an “influencer” is not a job and I don’t want to contribute to them.

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What sized crew?

Someone recently told me that the boats at his company have 1 TB plans. The five man boats don’t go over the limit, but the six man boats do.

He said that Tik Tok and Instagram are the biggest data hogs. He expects that the company will come up with a way to block access to those sites.

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One thing I have learned about Wi-FI usage.

Your phone (iphone is the worst) is ALWAYS using data if it’s on, as long as you have SM and other apps. As much as 500 MB per day without you even looking at it.

SM apps, as well as Amazon, etc. are constantly pinging the internet, even if the phone isn’t in your hand. Airplane mode doesn’t help. With SM apps the only time they are not collecting data is when the phone is off.

If you turn the phone off to save data that’s great. But remember when it reboots after turning it back on it can use as much as 500 MB of data to do so.

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My fleet have Starlink. The 1TB data plan is what we split between the crew. The smart vessels purchased hardware such as the “Dream Machine” to help manage the system. My last ship had 3 decks of routers plus the Engine Control Room. The hardware allows the administrator to create data vouchers that include speed. Data split between 30-40 crew and contractors. Starlink has been a game changer and the vouchers help keep the data use down


How much data does each person get per month?


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That’s the key. Monitor the heavy social users and restrict them. Keeps everyone happier

In my experience, you can effectively fine-tune unwanted data usage on your iPhone by

(1) going to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and disable as many individual apps as you can without hobbling functionality. The problem is that most apps have it enabled by default on install.

(2) Furthermore you should restrict automatic updates by going to Settings > AppStore > Automatic Downloads.

(3) Last but not least disable unprompted download of the massive iOS updates by going to Settings > General > Softwareupdate.

Surely a bit of a hassle, but massively reduces bandwidth when underway.


HOS has unlimited crew wifi, although slow.