Can yachts have internet? Yes, boats and yachts can obtain internet services via satellite; however, not all services are created equal. Starlink, a SpaceX company, has recently launched its premier internet service, Starlink Maritime, specifically developed for use at sea. Now, merchant ships, oil rigs, boaters, and yacht owners can access fast and reliable internet from the most remote waters worldwide.
Starlink Maritime taps into SpaceX’s satellite network that orbits earth via two high-performance terminals that mount on your yacht. These terminals are rugged enough to withstand extreme elements such as cold, heat, heavy rain, force winds, and more. For example, Starlink Maritime is currently used to get a high-quality video of SpaceX rocket landings at sea, providing continuous coverage in the face of engines capable of generating up to 190,000 lbs of force.
The SpaceX internet solution for yachts allows high-speed, low-latency internet with up to 350 Mbps download while on the water. It is worth mentioning that coverage is limited, mainly available in coastal areas now. However, the company already has plans to introduce new areas of coverage for Q4 of 2022 and Q1 of 2023, eventually covering the entire globe. View the coverage map and future coverage plans for Starlink Maritime.
The hardware for yachts is easy to install and demands little deck space and a small footprint. The only requirement is an unobstructed view of the sky. Yacht owners can download the Starlink app to check for blockage zones and determine the best location to install the equipment on their boat.
Starlink Maritime services are $5,000 a month, billed in one-month increments, and a one-time hardware cost of $10,000. Boat owners also have the choice to pay as you go, with the ability to pause and un-pause service at any time based on their needs.
While this price point is a bit steep, a SpaceX case study showed savings of up to 70% compared to traditional geostationary satellite internet service (VSAT) for its recovery fleet of 10 ocean-going vessels. Before Starlink internet, the company was spending over $165k per month for 25 Mb/s downloads by 25 Mb/s upload of pre-paid bandwidth; satellite internet was one of the top operating costs for its recovery fleet.
Starlink Maritime uses end-to-end encryption to protect owner data and the confidentiality of user traffic. In addition, business owners can remotely monitor and manage their Starlink fleet from a single portal.
SpaceX’s Starlink services include internet options for residential, business, and RV travel. Future services are presumed to include internet access for airline flights.
Thinking of upgrading your yacht before making any technology improvements? Contact our team of yachting experts to help determine if purchasing a new yacht or a late-model used yacht would benefit you and your boating lifestyle. Market trends still show that it is a seller’s market, so now is the perfect time to sell! Contact us today or learn more about listing your yacht for sale.