The best cellular antenna for your boat

Admit it. The sand and sea air aren’t enough when you’re out there on your boat. You don’t want to leave anything behind. Sure, you want to get away from it all but does that really mean disconnecting from everything? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. You want options. You want it all, and that’s why you chose the marine lifestyle.

Cell service on the water

You’ve probably noticed that you get great cell service on the water, except when you don’t. If there’s a cell tower near shore, you probably get good reception even 3 miles out. That’s because there’s nothing between you and the tower. Nothing blocks that signal and it means it can travel faster. In the cool air of the early evening, when everything is still, you might even get better reception. But you’ve probably noticed that you can’t count on good reception when you need it.

You’ve probably also noticed that cell service in the cabin is generally nonexistent. The wiring in the walls, combined with varnished hardwoods and metal accents, do an incredibly good job of blocking signals. That’s not good for you. At home and in the office, we would recommend a cell phone signal booster for you. Cell phone signal boosters take weak signal outdoors and massively amplify it. Then it’s rebroadcast inside, giving you the best possible results. But what about a cell phone signal booster for marine?

The untapped marine market

weBoost has cell phone signal boosters for home, vehicle, and small office that cover every size space from 50 square feet to 50,000 square feet. The company doesn’t sell a booster specifically for the marine market, though. So what can you do?

The weBoost 4G Omnidirectional Antenna

Check out this weBoost 4G Omnidirectional antenna. It’s got everything the marine customer would want. It’s specifically designed to work on boats with a mount point on the bottom that should fit your boat’s rigging. Because it’s an omni antenna, it will work no matter which way the boat is pointing. That’s much more important for something in motion, obviously. Most boosters designed for home or office use highly directional antennas for the best possible performance. With omni antennas you trade a little bit of performance for the ability to point any way you want.

This antenna’s specifically designed to work with weBoost’s Drive 4G-X cell booster. That booster will give you good results on a smaller vessel, as it’s designed for something about the size of an RV. However, you can use it with any 50-ohm cell booster system. I generally recommend getting a booster that’s a little more powerful than you’d normally want, because of the challenges of marine cabins. The weBoost Office 100 is a good choice in general, and it will work using an SMA to N adapter. Depending on how you choose to wire it, you may need a male or female adapter. You can get both at Solid Signal.

Great cell service on the water

With a cell booster in place, it’s possible to get service even up to 10 miles offshore in some cases. That’s plenty of room for you to get as private as you want. If you want service even further out, you can contact our Signal Connect division at 888-233-7563 and they’ll tell you about the best options.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.