How important is good cell service on the water?

Cell service on the water. First of all, I will start by giving you extra credit if you started to hear this tune in your head after reading those words:

But this article isn’t about classic rock, it’s about cell service.

We’ve reached the time of year when most small craft are coming out of drydock, at least in the northern half of the country. That doesn’t mean it’s too late to make some changes, of course. This is a perfect time of the year to think about upgrades.

Think about a cell phone signal boosters

One of the easiest upgrades you can make is the addition of a cell booster. Cellular signal boosters take weak cellular signals and make them stronger inside where you need them to be stronger. Since most cellular communication is really only designed to work from a distance of 2 miles or less, you’ll need something like this in order to get good cell service if you’re going any further.

Most cellular boosters will work just fine on the water but if you really want to get the right part you’ll want an industrial-quality booster. There are a few that are designed to work on the water, but you probably want to work with Solid Signal to get just the right one.

A word about cell service

If you’re out on the water, you should be using a marine radio and GPS to make sure you can find your way even in low visibility, but that doesn’t mean a cell phone isn’t necessary. No one wants to be out of touch even when out enjoying yourself, and if there is some sort of emergency, having a way to call directly could save your life. Just know that your phone isn’t a replacement for the critical electronics your boat needs. It’s more of a supplement. It makes things a little better.

Using a cellular booster, it’s hard to really pin down how far from the towers you can be and still get service. On land you tend to run out of cell service in 2-3 miles even with a cell booster. On the water it’s not impossible to get signals from 10 miles away if you have a clear line of sight. It depends on where the towers are. If they are close to shore, you’ll do well. It’s hard to make promises but since there’s nothing out there to block you, you could do a lot better than you do on land.

Getting away from it all doesn’t mean disconnecting

Of course, cell phones aren’t just for emergencies anymore. No one wants to be away from text, email, social networking and games for very long, and if you choose the right booster, you’ll have strong data as well as voice. That’s increasingly important today.

Picking a cell phone signal booster system for your boat can be tricky. If you want the best advice, give Solid Signal a call at 888-233-7563. Our help desk is staffed with helpful, well-trained folks who are happy to talk about all your options and recommend the right one for you! If it’s after hours, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you, usually within one business day.

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.