Time to start planning for your winter marine upgrades

Sadly, the sunshine can’t last forever. It’s been a great summer out on the water but as we move away from the “dog days” into “Indian summer,” it’s time to start thinking about drydock for your summer obsession. In the next month or so, a lot of people will be putting their vessels away, planning for another summer in the distant future. You’re probably one of them.

Don’t just repair, upgrade

This is the time to be planning for winter upgrades. You should be inspecting every inch of your boat, looking for little bits that need replacing, checking the electrical system, polishing the brass, whatever needs to happen. But instead of just making sure that the boat’s in tip-top shape, maybe it’s time to upgrade some of your systems!

Big upgrade: satellite TV or internet

If you spend evenings out on the water, you’ve probably always wanted satellite TV. It’s true that no one goes out on the ocean just to watch TV. Still, after a day of relaxation, it’s nice to cool down in the cabin with something on the screen. Unless you’ve already put in some equipment, cell service is probably nonexistent where you are, and it’s certainly not strong enough for streaming. You need to think differently.

Marine satellite TV

Satellite TV on boats is an established reality. Heavy-duty, computerized dishes balance out the motion of the ocean to give you a perfect picture. Some of the dishes are pretty big, but believe it or not they can also be small enough for pretty much any cabin cruiser. It’s a great upgrade for you and will definitely help you enjoy your time on the water.

Marine internet

More and more people want to stream instead of watching live TV. If you’re one of them, I hear you. Unfortunately cell towers are really only designed to work from about 1.5 miles away, and it’s easy to get out of cell range when you’re sailing. Luckily some of the same types of equipment that are used for satellite TV can also be used for satellite internet. Satellite internet is a great choice for people on the water. It’s very reliable and fast enough for streaming. Best of all, it’s available pretty much everywhere on the planet. With an internet connection you can also Skype, WhatsApp, or use whatever communications app you want.

Medium upgrade: TV antenna or cell booster

You don’t need to be completely cut off when you’re out on the sea and you don’t need to spend a ton of money either. With a TV antenna or cell booster you can get a lot of the same entertainment that’s available onshore and it doesn’t cost as much as a satellite system.

Marine TV

You can use practically any TV antenna when you’re on the water, although I personally prefer the ones with white radomes like this Televes Diginova. Not only does it match the other stuff on your vessel but it’s more protected from oxidation and salt spray.

With a TV antenna you can generally get live, free HDTV from up to 70 miles away. That’s plenty of distance for you to get far away from the rat race. As long as the boat’s going slower than about 15 knots, you’ll get great picture and sound.

Marine cellular boosters

A lot of people are opting for cellular signal boosters on their boats. A booster can give you stronger signal, sometimes strong enough to stream, and give you the ability to be up to 5 miles from shore before losing voice signal. This can help in an emergency and it’s also going to help you feel more connected to the outside world. You won’t miss a text or notification and no one likes that feeling of missing out

Small upgrade: Marine accessories

Most people don’t realize it but Solid Signal offers tens of thousands of marine parts and accessories. You’ll find everything from anodes to fish finders to fuel gauges. Still it’s not enough to just find the replacement for a broken part. Browse the great selection now to find all sorts of worthy upgrades at very reasonable prices.


You have a friend in the business

The best way to find out about all your options is to contact your friends at Signal Connect, the commercial and marine arm of Solid Signal. You’ll find professionals there who can help you with every upgrade you can think of, and you’ll get personal service to guide you every step of the way! It only takes one call to 888-233-7563!

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 9,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.