23/04/2018

How to get WiFi on your Boat

Internet or no Internet?Boat WiFi

WiFi is ideal if you want an easy way to get wireless information from your marine equipment, like AIS, GPS, Wind Gauge, Depth Sounder, etc.

Or (if like at home) you would like to use the internet to check the latest news & weather conditions online.

Crucially the way you install WiFi on your boat will depend on what you would like to achieve:

A – If you don’t have (or need) Internet Access

but would like the convenience of being able to check your boat’s information using WiFi there are 2 different way of doing this:

  1. Basic Boat WiFi
  2. Multi Equipment Boat WiFi

 

B – Or if you want internet access

consider

  • Multi Equipment Boat WiFi with internet

 

Taking them in turn…

Option A – Boat WiFi without Internet

This option is ideal if you want to access data (like AIS) anywhere through WiFi on your boat.

Please note that if you want to get WiFi on your boat it will be important to choose an AIS receiver that can connect ‘peer to peer’ to a laptop, tablet or phone. Most WiFi AIS receivers will only work if you also use an additional wireless router. (Many of the Quark-elec’s AIS receivers work  wirelessly without needing an additional router)

There are 2 methods :

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Method 1. Basic Boat WiFi

Basic & Easy Boat WiFi is ideal if you want to access key information on your laptop, tablet or mobile phone without being ‘tied down’ with cables or having to go indoors (or below) to check the info.

You will need:

  • An Aerial (to collect AIS data)
  • AIS WiFi receiver (Like the QK-A023)
  • A laptop, tablet or mobile phone

 

If you just want a simple way to connect your equipment & also get the latest AIS information – then installing the right AIS receiver is quick & easy.

All you need to do is connect the AIS receiver to the end of the antenna and plug it in. (Most of our receivers you can just plug into any USB socket)

basic boat wifi

 

Advantage of the Basic Boat WiFi Mode

This is the simplest (& very secure) way to access your information.

It also requires less power than other methods.

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Method 2. Multi Equipment Boat WiFi

How to get WiFi on your Boat

The next step up is using multi equipment boat WiFi – where you can connect a variety of different items of equipment to an AIS receiver or multiplexer, that transmits the information wirelessly. You can then access all the information (from a distance) using WiFi.

For example you might want to find an easy way to view not only AIS data, but also information like GPS, Depth, Wind, etc..

All you will need is:

  1. An Aerial (to collect AIS data)
  2. A multiplexing AIS receiver (like the QK-A026)
  3. Equipment like GPS, Depth Measurement and/or Wind Gauge that can be connected to the multiplexer.
  4. A laptop, tablet or mobile phone

 

Like option 1 above the Multi Equipment Boat WiFi option is ideal if you want to access key information on your laptop, tablet of mobile phone without being ‘tied down’ with cables or having to go indoors (or below) to check the info.

In addition (like the earlier Basic Boat WiFi) it will be important to choose an AIS receiver that can connect ‘peer to peer’ to a laptop, tablet or phone. Most WiFi AIS receivers will only work if you also use an additonal wireless router. (Many of Quark-elec’s AIS receivers work ‘peer to peer’ without needing an additional router)

You will simply need to connect the AIS receiver to the end of the antenna (and the other equipment you have on board) and plug it in.

multi boat wifi

 

Advantage of the Multi Equipment Boat WiFi option

The right AIS receiver will simply combine all the key information in one place, and then provide this to you in an easy to use WiFi form. So that you don’t have to check the different sources of information and can simply access it anywhere on your boat using your laptop. tablet or phone.

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Option B – Boat WiFi with Internet

Or if you also want to have internet on your boat consider

 

Method 3. Multi Equipment Boat WiFi

The ultimate option is to combine your WiFi on board with accessing the internet.

Yes, if you are close to shore you might still be able to use your mobile phone, but the further out you go the weaker the signal will become.

The best option will be to use a system that combines multi equipment boat WiFi (like above) with an Internet WiFi system.

So, if you want to do this then it is important to realise you will need to use an AIS receiver that can connect to your Internet receiver using WiFi (not all can do that)

The key items you will need are:

  1. An Aerial (to collect AIS data)
  2. Longrange WiFi router
  3. WiFi Antenna
  4. An AIS receiver (like the QK-A026)
  5. Equipment like GPS, Depth Measurement, etc.
  6. A laptop, tablet or mobile phone

 

 

boat wifi with internet

Advantage of the Internet Multi Equipment Boat WiFi

The obvious one is that you will be able to access both all the essential boat information (AIS, GPS, etc.) as well as the internet.

For example you will be able to not only view information from the ‘live AIS & boat information sites‘ but also upload your own boats information. A key advantage will be that you can combine this with the live information from your own AIS receiver, with the sites (which tend to have a 10 minute delay) and then use the WiFi on your boat to have a real upto date knowledge of who is about and when

How to get WiFi on your boat

Hopefully our guide on how to get WiFi on your boat has provided some ideas and inspiration..

Our comparison chart will show you in more detail which AIS receiver and/or multiplexer to use & when – more details.

More information

All the AIS receivers & multiplexers mentioned are available from our

Specialist Marine Products On-line Shop

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