I believe my issue is different from all that I've read. I live on a boat in a marina. The marina has towers (transmitters) placed around in various spots. The internet provider is Beacon wi-fi. A big wi-fi provider for marinas around USA, Canada and Bahamas.

So I get my password from the marina and log in. I use a MacBook Pro laptop which has an internal wi-fi antenna. So there is no router or modem on board my boat. My problem is the connection is extremely poor. When I finally get connected the reception is weak. Streaming a hockey or football game is almost impossible. Loading a page of text can be fast as times but usually takes 15 to 90 seconds to load when it's at it's best. A 2 minute utube video can take 30 minutes.

My boat is about 200 feet from the closest tower of transmitters or whatever they might be called. There are several to chose from on my drop down list. I have to constantly keep selecting a different one to get reconnected. The PHY Mode is 802.11G The RSSI: is sometimes as good as -59 but usually around -80 when I'm actually getting as good a reception as possible.

I've tried this trick. I bought an external wi-fi (looks like a memory stick) and a USB extension cord plugged into one of my ports. I then got a large kitchen strainer and poked a hole in it at the bottom and fastened the wi-fi gizmo to it. Then pointed it towards the transmitters on the poles on the wharfs. It did make an improvement but it was minimal and not consistent plus it cost $100 so I returned the USB extension cord and the external wi-fi. Anybody want a free strainer with a hole in it?

I contacted Beacon wi-fi in Dallas and they say everything is good at their end. I've contacted the marina and they say everything is good at their end. Does anyone have any tricks other than what I've tried to improve my internet?

2 Answers 2


I'd try one of these:


If you are not moving around, and can lock on to one of the towers visually, you could point this antenna at it and try to maximize the weak signal. Kind of like a shotgun microphone or a telephoto lens.


I would recommend searching Amazon (or wherever) for a wifi range extender and finding one that would work on your boat. There's even one that is specifically for boats and comes with a 5M usb cable.

  • Any range extenders I've come across on line are designed to extend the range from a router or modem. As in getting reception in your attic if the router or modem is in the living room. As you read, my situation is different and the retailers don't think it will make any difference since it won't be hard wired to any incoming internet service. I'm not sure why there would be range extenders designed for sailboats? Perhaps I should mention that I'm on a large power boat with 110 outlets throughout the boat and I'm plugged into shore power.
    – gunkholer
    Apr 5, 2014 at 15:25
  • sorry, for boats, not sailboats in particular
    – dwightk
    Apr 5, 2014 at 16:09
  • I appreciate your input and I'll ask my marine supplier if they have anything. I may have overlooked the obvious source. Thanks
    – gunkholer
    Apr 5, 2014 at 17:01

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