The Panbo Forum

Return to Panbo Forum main page »

Ben E

WiFi and cellular in Maine

Vote 0 Votes

Via email from Gary & Sharon

"I have been an avid follower of Panbo since near your inception and thoroughly enjoy your blog. After cruising in the eastern Mediterranean for the past nines years, last summer we shipped our boat back to the Chesapeake. This next summer we are planning on a three month cruise from the Chesapeake to Maine, and parts in between.

What would you recommend as a cruising guide(s) for the New England waters? I use Nobeltec Time Zero as my navigation software and it incorporates Active Captain comments, etc. We are familiar with the various publications which list marinas, moorings, activities, etc., but seek your advice as to which might be more accurate or informative than others. We will no doubt get several as the Admiral likes to have multiple sources.

In addition, what type of wireless service works best in the coastal waters. Specifically, can we get by with just a wifi booster, or is a cellular 4 g broadband booster needed to get updated weather, emails, etc.? I have read all your excellent blog entries on thIs subject but am seeking "local knowledge" if you will. In Turkey and Greece, a small mifi kit with a longish usb cable was sufficient because all cell antennas were mounted on the coastal mountain tops with plenty of range and data was cheap."

3 Replies

  • Thanks!

    I definitely recommend the excellent guidebook Cruising the Maine Coast. ActiveCaptain is quite good in these parts, but not a substitute in my opinion. More here:

    Where I live in Camden is on the edge of the cellular frontier. If you cruise east of here you'll really appreciate a good booster and antenna system. Wi-Fi boosters also useful but I find that true most everywhere I cruise.

  • I'd recommend Rindlaub and Taft's A cruising guide to the maine coast. Its a little dated - approaching 10 years in print for the fifth edition, but easily the best I have seen in 15 years cruising in Maine. They hhave a web site

    +1 on east of camden being the cellular frontier. I've used T-mobile, ATT and Verizon in Maine. Verizon is best, but my experience with the others is dated. Once east of casco Bay, US cellular seems to dominate, although i have no experience with them.

    Active captain is very good, especially to fill in the guide's dated information. They also have wireless ratings for many of the anchorages.


  • In Maine the book Ben wrote about, is tops, and Active Captain was valuable as well.

    On the coast from Liberty Island, New Jersey to Boston, I found Active Captain to be far superior than our two guide books, and have since used Active Captain exclusively in those areas

    If you have Verizon or AT&T, no boosters needed from From NYC to Cape Cod, 3G and 4G cell reception is between ok and great almost everywhere. Even in Cuttyhunk, MA which was a deadzone until recently.