First of all, while this may appear like a slightly shameless plug for Clear internet or maybe even Apple computer - it's not. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't argue with either of them for throwing us some freebies (I'll take a Macbook Air for starters) but they haven't.
When we first moved aboard Kingsley last May we were excited to take our existing Clear internet right onto the boat. If you live in a Clear city (like Seattle...and most major US cities) you've got one of the fastest ways to install home internet - just sign-up with Clear and choose a modem, bring it home, open it, plug it in, and bam...internet. No cables, phone & TV bundles, boom - done.
Now, the speeds aren't as fast as cable internet through Comcast or wherever, but you can blog, stream netflix, watch youtube, and surf the web easily without too much of the dreaded 'buffering'. Our first Clear modem is pictured below (on the right). We plug it into the wall and then into an Apple router (left) (which also plugs into the wall) so wifi can be spread to all of our little gadgets.
So, this was one of the easiest moves when we left land for the boat life. Unplug, move to boat, plug in. Here's where the story takes a little turn...
Amber and I had looked at so many boats when shopping for this one, a lot of them very similar. When we finally settled on Kingsley we discovered that some of the things we thought she had, well, she didn't. We had actually combined in our minds some of the other features from boats we had looked at onto the one we actually bought (surely that's happened to other folks, right?). Needless to say, we combined a lot of really cool features that aren't actually on the boat we own now...huh.
Luckily for our internet aspirations, Kingsley has batteries, outlets & stuff...problem is...she doesn't have an inverter. That's a handy little device that converts battery/DC current to outlet/AC current - what's needed to plugin our Clear modem and surf while we sail the high seas (of Seattle and the Clear surrounding area). Now, I know what you're thinking - ahh, poor little sailors don't have high speed wireless internet while sailing. Well, may I direct you over to one of our past posts of a 70 foot powerboat with heated floors in the head, err, bathroom (last boat)...
Well, enter our new Clear upgrade. After a extra challenging time dealing with customer service folks online and in person - don't get me started - we finally picked up a new Clear Voyager mobile modem.
The setup now: plug in the tiny modem (pic at the beginning of this post). Want to use it on the go? No problem, unplug it. It has batteries that supposedly last between 6-8 hours. It is the same 4G speed that we were used to with the old modem. You won't need a router like the Apple one I pictured above (there goes my free Macbook Air for the shameless plug) - the Voyager beams a wifi signal to up to 8 devices. Also, I imagine you could easily charge it using one of a few new solar chargers on the market (they carry a few at R.E.I.) since it has a USB charger similar to an iPod.
Downsides? It's super small and because of that I'm probably gonna break it soon. Battery is internal so once it goes so does the device (you can always plug it in). Clear suffers from some series corporate/customer service/retail store communication problems ("Yeah, sorry sir, I can't sell this to you here at the store because you're an existing Clear customer"), It only works in Clear cities - ours luckily happens to be one with water everywhere.
Dear readers, what type of internet do you use on the run or at the dock? Do you block out the net on purpose while cruising? Someone's got to share about their wifi extender antenna thingys!
~Paul & Amber
I don't know who said that catchy phrase, well, actually, I think it is just me saying it. Our Kingsley boat project of last week was heading over to my friends shop and working on new galley sink/trash covers (inside) and some new cockpit tables (outside). The orginals were made from plastic...not even a workable plastic - some composite that is equally hard to clean/paint (a.k.a. it is probably cheap).
We upgraded the galley covers to bamboo and the cockpit tables (not finished yet) to roasted oak - a wood that has been literally roasted, removing water and sugars making it good for outdoor use (and cheaper than teak). I haven't installed the cockpit tables yet but I am pretty happy with our [almost] finished project.
Do you have any recent add-wood-to-your-fiberglass boat projects? Did you use teak or something different? What do you use to maintain your indoor wood shine?
Welcome to our new Aboard series! Over the next few months we'll be adding posts to this portion of our site, describing how we do things aboard S/V Kingsley, our sailboat-home here in the Pacific Northwest. We're excited to share some ideas and ways of doing things with our readers and hopefully receive a good deal of feedback and ideas in our comment sections on each post (because we're kinda new at this and you people are smart!).
We start today with something we couldn't leave behind when we sold [almost] everything and moved aboard our 32 ft boat - coffee. We are in Seattle after all!
Be sure to check back in on our Aboard series as we'll share posts on lots of aboard topics including: cooking, cleaning, entertainment, heating, cats, kayaks, marriage:), the head, storage, books, music, apps, candles, and more! ~Paul, Amber, & Kali
We like to think we have mastered the art of a good cup of Joe on land or sea. On Kingsley, we often use the ol' stand-by - not a plastic, old, plug-in coffee pot mind you (this is Seattle don't forget!) - the french press. We heat up just enough water in the teapot on our Force 10 propane stove, add some ground coffee beans to the press (ground at the store or by our hand-powered grinder), add the water when it is warm enough, wait 3 1/2 to 4 minutes (using a timer), then press...pow!
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