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Communications Equipment & WiFi

Berthon can supply and fit many of the leading names in marine communications including; ICOM, KVH and Sailor.


VHF remains a staple for day to day yachting. Whilst the technology hasn’t changed significantly, small improvements have been made with some brands incorporating built in GPS, which simplifies installations. There are more brands offering dual station options allowing you to position your handsets where you need them.

HF or SSB Radio

Although satellite technology is becoming the mainstream for ocean-going sailors, the choice for many is still the HF radio. This means of long-distance communication allows the operator to communicate with far way stations, receive weather forecasts and send basic emails with very low running costs. The M8O2 has been the staple for over a decade, however, ICOM has announced a new HF radio to be released in 2018 so watch this space.


Sat Comms

Sat Comms vary greatly in price depending on the data speeds required. The entry level devices provide around 4-8kbps, which is around a tenth of the old dial up modem internet speeds! Data speeds available increase the systems we usually fit for ocean going crusing boats provide up to 284kbps which, whilst around 4 times the speed of dial up, is still nowhere near the speeds enjoyed in most non rural homes. The cost of both the hardware and data plans can be frightening for some.

Wifi Including 4G Satellite Communications

There are an array of WiFi boosters on the market which take a known WIFI source such as the marina WiFi and keep the same signal strength for distances of up to 4 miles. Whilst we have not seen the manufacturer’s full specs in action, we have been aboard a boat approaching Yarmouth and still picking up the Berthon WIFI! Whilst one must be cautious to note that if the source of the WIFI is poor, the booster will not improve this. For areas with poor wifi signal or none at all, the 4G booster has become popular. This used the cell phone networks by boosting the signal, allowing WIFI to be used at greater distance. These products require a SIM card and a data plan, exactly like your mobile phone. The key is to pick whichever service provider supplies the best service in your sailing area e.g. 3, Orange, EE or Vodafone?