With the '22 MLC guidelines pushing for connectivity onboard ships, what type of access do you have onboard your vessel? Speed? Cost to the mariner? What 'cha got? (and what type of vessel?)
None. I was downloading too much porn, and they took our access away.
Considering the US is not a signatory to the MLC unless the office deems it necessary for operations not going to happen. So the majority of tugs will never get anything.
OSVs most have something on board for operations and the office will allow the crew to use it as long as it doesn’t affect operations. There have been times when I pull the access points because I can’t do my work.
Our Wi-Fi is poor, when it works at all.
The crew is not putting up with that anymore.
Life today revolves around good internet access. Everyone we do business with expects prompt responses on good connectivity. It’s not just the kids. Even the old guys expect to Facebook and swap photos with their grandchildren.
It’s does not matter if good internet is expensive. The owner better provide it if they expect to keep crew onboard for months, and then get them to come back again.
A dick move most of the time. If the office wants data to flow more quickly they can upgrade the bandwidth.
Dunno if this price is correct, but the sparky on my ship said $1800 gets us unlimited data limit of whatever the satellite can provide (I guess around 100-200mbit). It’s decent as long as a lot of other ships aren’t around…
Prices have really come down. For tugs and people close enough to shore to get cell data, they can get even cheaper rates.
I have worked and offshore wind farms in the past and they are brilliant because every wind farm has 4G mobile network.
Wind farm operators us 4G mobile networks to communicate with wind turbines, but it also means people working there have access to lightening fast mobile internet.
It is hard to go back to working on ships with slow WiFi when you get used to ones that have lightening fast internet.
It’s been a while but if you’re up north, say beyond 50 Deg. North it isn’t good and you can lose it when the ship even makes a turn or the seas are bad.
There isn’t much can be done about that but a few of us like it up there! Don’t know why.
Starlink RV service is $500 for the equipment and $135 a month. That’s dirt cheap. It works very well at the dock or when it’s calm and holding a steady course. Every boat operating within Starlink coverage should have it.
Starlink Maritime Service is something like $30,000 for equipment and $5000 a month. It’s marketed toward ships and super yachts. Eventually, there will be lower cost coverage for smaller vessels.
No Starlink coverage in Alaska yet, maybe later this year.
The time is coming when virtually any vessel can have good internet at reasonable cost. Most will have it.
How far offshore are you getting service with starlink?
Starlink has had Alaska coverage for awhile now.
Used to be you’d lose it 3 miles from shore and through Canada but I didn’t lose service at all coming down in the fall.
Long term durability is still to be determined.
Side note, Vessels engaging in foreign trade will need to be MLC compliant, so this isn’t 100% the case.
If I were in the Coastwise trade, sailing with a company that didn’t want to spend money on crew wifi, I would be very tempted to throw together a Starlink “Go box” in a pelican hard case. I think I can put together a carryon sized box that can give me wifi nearly anywhere for about $700 in parts, and then $130/month for service that I can stop and start at any time. Starlink keeps threatening to fence their RV system closer to shore, so I’m not certain it’s worth it for the ships going overseas, though I’m seeing plenty of people report decent speeds on Atlantic crossings. No brainer if I was on a tug.
True about MLC but for most tugs and OSV that will never happen.
I’ve been on the fence about trying to get starlink for the gulf but can’t get any confirmation how far out they work even though starlinks constellation covers the whole US GOM. I figure in a year or two starlink will have worked things out and everything working in the oil field will have switched over anyway.
With cell service getting better in the gulf I just spent the money of a cell repeater system and a hotspot. Get service in about 99% of the GOM.
We have, very good access. It costs the company ~$3k month, and is critical for our work (research vessel). Access is ship wide, save a few dead spots, and regulated lightly. No streaming, porn, etc, and social media blocked since it is a high bandwidth consumer, but otherwise you can email/shop/read the news or whatever to your hearts content. The hardest part to manage has been software’s ability to download updates in the background, which compounded over many devices can kill our generous data allotment. Technically updates are harder to block than you would think, it’s like whack-a-mole.
I have no doubt that we have retained good personnel longer due to internet access. I think I also would have found myself seeking a shore position. There is just so much you can get done remotely and you can still participate in family/friends life to a degree, it is much less isolating.
We are exploring starlink as a backup/side by side type system. I believe our IT folks said starlinkplans to have ocean wide coverage in a year or two?
No Wifi, only text email on my tug. More and more of the crew are getting their own Garmin-type texting gadgets to stay in touch with family. It’s still pretty low tech in my sliver of the industry.