Improving Wi-Fi and Internet Access Options on Boats at Marinas

Boaters can improve their boat Internet access docked at marinas or underway using wireless antennas, hot spots or satellite Internet options that boost Wi-Fi signals & connectivity on boats

These days many full service marinas are now offering free Wi-Fi access to slip holders and transient boaters. Internet access has become a welcomed amenity for boaters that need to occasionally work remotely (at their “office” on the water) or simply want the ability to get online while on their boat.

But the signal strength with Wi-Fi access at marinas can vary depending on where your boat is situated at a dock – especially at larger marinas. Luckily there are several options for improving Wi-Fi and Internet access points at marinas that can boost low signal strength at on your boat or give you better mobile Internet access.

Boosting Wi-Fi Network and Wireless Signals to Boat Docks at Marinas

The Wi-Fi signal at our marina always seems to be low – with one or 2 bars at best. This was mainly due to the fact that our boat dock is located pretty far from the Wi-Fi access point at the marina office. It simply couldn’t deliver a strong Wi-Fi signal to our boat - or INSIDE our boat - so we could have basic Internet access that was reliable or fast.

So after trying a few different options, we found that we got the best result so far using a Wi-Fi Range Extender that boosts the signal from our marina router so we can actually get online with our marina’s Wi-Fi.

This Wi-Fi range extender by TP Link is a game changer! If you are struggling with getting a strong Wi-Fi signal to your boat and inside your boat cabin, this extends & boosts the router signal from your marina’s Wi-Fi for more reliable signal strength to stream movies, work from the boat or use your cell phone.

Wi-Fi Mobile Hotspot Options for Boats at Marinas

Another problem with Wi-Fi access at marinas is the availability of open IP addresses. Even if the wireless signal strength is good, your marina may have a limited number of IP addresses available. In other words, you’ll see the Wi-Fi signal but won’t be able to connect your smart TV or laptop. This is particularly a problem in busy marinas with a large number of people using phones, TVs and laptops to access the Internet on their boat.

So to solve the problem of Internet availability on your boat at your marina, you may have to invest in a Wi-Fi hotspot Internet device. However, if your cell phone service isn't that good with your carrier where you keep your boat (or take your boat) even a hotspot isn't always reliable.

Starlink High-Speed Internet

If you really need to have the ultimate in reliable Internet service then investing in your own dedicated high-speed internet device with a Starlink system is the way to go! Engineered by SpaceX, Starlink is one of the most advanced systems you can get and have become the go-to internet service device for boaters & RVers that need service in remote areas or on the go.

Starlink makes 2 kit options - one for boaters that need high-speed internet at the dock or anchored out (Standard Kit) and one for boaters that are cruising & need high-speed internet while underway (Flat High Performance Kit In-Motion).

Special thanks to our resident technology expert/boat captain for input on this article!

Diane Seltzer

View posts by Diane Seltzer
Diane is the founder of as well as the boating lifestyle site for kids Active in the boating industry, Diane has also led the marketing for multiple recreational boating businesses and startups.


  1. It has always been a challenge accessing Internet below deck, but we’ve found work-arounds. Even the marina we lived at for 2 years had it’s issues. Providing free wireless connection, it still couldn’t solve the problem below deck. With a MiFi and/or cellphone hotspot we stay as connected as possible.

    1. Diane SeltzerFebruary 10, 2015

      Agree Captain Frank! The biggest problem is that most marinas don’t have sufficient equipment for today’s use with smartphones, etc. Its a frustrating issue for boaters that they could definitely try to solve (or at least make better!)

  2. AnonymousApril 10, 2012


  3. Janice ClementsNovember 11, 2011

    It’s hard to get a signal or internet access in a boat. People tend to look for other options to connect on the internet. I think that these devices can help in a lot of ways.

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