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Relocation to STX Phase one has started

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a_dugas6
(@a_dugas6)
Advanced Member

So phase one of our relocation plan has officially started. The plan is to live onboard our sailboat when we get down there so that we don't feel rushed into buying or renting anything until we find the "right" place for us. Plus, given that we have to put the boat some where anyway, why pay rent if we don't have to, especially for a place that we may not actually like living in. We want to have the luxury of getting to know the different areas, and finding the right spot for our family. Consisting of me, my husband, our German Shepherd, and our fluffy grey kitty.

So phase one was/is to move onboard here in the states for about 6 months so that we get used to it, before adding getting used to Island life. We figure if our "home" doesn't change, that should make the transition easier. We really can't do a PMV, so this was/is the next best thing that we can do.

The first week onboard is going well. The dog and cat even seem to be adjusting to it. I am now working from the boat, and have a small desk area where what used to be a small closet.

So based on what I read here, I purchased an At&T hotspot for my internet, we already switched our phones to At&T, it's working but our signal isn't great, 1 or 2 bars at best, usually just the 1. It is working and I am able to connect to the internet and work without issue, but I don't the signal will improve on STX. Someone here, a while back, posted about using a cell phone signal booster. I did some research, and there are so many options, I'm wondering which one I should get. I don't mind making the investment into a good one, but I'd hate to spend almost $600 dollars, just to find out that a $200 one works better.

Does anyone have a recommendation on a good cellular signal booster/antenna? I need one that does not connect to the internet via broadband or anything like that. I'm hoping to be able to use the At&T hot spot for my internet needs and not pay another company.

Thank you for any advice you can give me.

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Topic starter Posted : April 8, 2014 12:31 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/

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Posted : April 8, 2014 12:39 pm
rosesisland
(@rosesisland)
Trusted Member

If you are Christiansted harbor bound, ATT should give you all bars without a booster at that location. Marlene, poster on here, lives in harbor and could help give better info, but, my phone has complete bars while on the boardwalk. Only places I've had trouble with ATT reception is on the Northshore/Cane Bay area.
More will follow with more advice, I'm sure. Welcome to STX!!!

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Posted : April 8, 2014 12:41 pm
a_dugas6
(@a_dugas6)
Advanced Member

I looked at the Wilsons electronics, found mixed reviews. Do you use it, or know some personally that uses it? Wilson's product aren't cheap, and again I don't mind making the investment if it will work!

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Topic starter Posted : April 8, 2014 12:41 pm
a_dugas6
(@a_dugas6)
Advanced Member

Were hoping to go to Salt River Marina, but space there is limited. Ideally the best product will let us be anywhere on the island and give us enough of a signal to work. Unfortunately I can't work from the boardwalk...way too much Rum punch available for me to remain productive. 🙂

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Topic starter Posted : April 8, 2014 12:44 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

There is pretty much zero signal in Salt River. I would find out if even a booster would work there. :S

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Posted : April 8, 2014 12:45 pm
sunshinefun
(@sunshinefun)
Trusted Member

I wouldn't recommend Salt River Marina. Its is getting pretty run down and its a long way from most conveniences. Take a look at Green Cay Marina and compare. It might cost a bit more to have a slip there, but its much more modern, has amenities like cable TV at the slip, tennis courts, a pool, spa and much better restaurants than Salt River. I just had a friend relocate his 48' catamaran there from Salt River and he is much happier now.

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Posted : April 8, 2014 12:54 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

++2 Green Cay

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Posted : April 8, 2014 12:55 pm
caribstx
(@caribstx)
Trusted Member

++3 Green Cay

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Posted : April 8, 2014 12:58 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

I use a Wilson at my house and install them for customers. They work great. Built to last.

Salt River Marina would be a tough place to get signal even with an Amp. The key to an amplifier is to have something to amplify.
I would wait to see where you end up. Some areas have excellent signal,....some have zero.

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Posted : April 8, 2014 1:06 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Btw rum punch is everywhere... if that's an issue you might want to reconsider the move (joking!)! Seriously though, anywhere you park your sailboat you will have easy access to a bar/restaurant and drinking is really prevalent on STX. My suggestion is don't make that a part of your decision about where to tie up.

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Posted : April 8, 2014 1:09 pm
a_dugas6
(@a_dugas6)
Advanced Member

SkystheLimit: What model Wilson do you recommend?

Boat details:
40' Ketch (2 masts), open center cockpit
Aft-cabin behind cockpit
Galley, and V-birth in front of cockpit

We can mount anything, within reasonable size to either mast.

We haven't settled on Salt River, we looked into Green Cay and they said we could not have a dog as a live aboard, so that ruled them out.

I am aware that Rum Punch is everywhere...actually after my last visit I brought home some Cruzan rum, then started buying it up here, personally I like my rum punch best. I use the same rums, but I use the Arizona Fruit Punch, it's a might light punch, making for a less "heavy" drink.

Thank you

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Topic starter Posted : April 8, 2014 4:52 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

I would contact Wilson directly. I know on home and office boosters there has to be separation between the indoor and outdoor antenna to prevent interference. Specs say 75 feet separation. How to do that on a boat? Maybe the one made for a car? And if the boat is underway probably an Omni directional outdoor antenna.....

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Posted : April 8, 2014 5:44 pm
a_dugas6
(@a_dugas6)
Advanced Member

Is that 75 feet of cable, or line of sight? We were thinking about monuting to the top of the mast, which puts it 52 feet high, we could then put the amplifier in the aft-cabin, which would be about 75 feet of cable, but not 75 feet by line of sight.

I will check with Wilson.

Thank you

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Topic starter Posted : April 8, 2014 5:53 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

75 feet is a guideline. You can create separation with foil, metal roof, etc.. Or even a metal tray under the outdoor antenna.
If they "see" each other, (indoor and outdoor antennas) it can cause oscillation.

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Posted : April 8, 2014 7:18 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

FYI
http://www.wilsonelectronics.com/in-the-news-wilson-scoops-up-rival

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Posted : April 8, 2014 7:21 pm
jwidjaja
(@jwidjaja)
Advanced Member

Green Cay is nice, but it's $20/ft per month and they'll charge you overall length (including bowsprit, dinghy davet, etc). Depending on your draft, you may be able to find a mooring in Christiansted or have one built in Gallows Bay (that's what we did).

Also if you have more than 6 ft draft, Salt River may not be an option for you.

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Posted : April 9, 2014 1:47 am
sunshinefun
(@sunshinefun)
Trusted Member

Green Cay is a bargain at $20 a foot. I've never had to take my boat out of the water for hurricanes (two) and I've saved a bundle on insurance.

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Posted : April 9, 2014 12:29 pm
a_dugas6
(@a_dugas6)
Advanced Member

Green Cay is beautiful, but again, they told us that they do not allow live aboard dogs, that rules them out regardless of price, beauty, or perks.

We draw 5'2"

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Topic starter Posted : April 9, 2014 8:22 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Good friend of mine lives aboard at Green Cay. They have a live aboard Rottweiller...

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Posted : April 10, 2014 11:43 am
a_dugas6
(@a_dugas6)
Advanced Member

Good friend of mine lives aboard at Green Cay. They have a live aboard Rottweiller...

Really? Hmm, I wonder if I just spoke to the wrong person when I called. I spoke to, what sounded like a young woman. A Rottweiler is certainly comparable to a German Shepherd. Maybe I should call again. Do you happen to know of any one in particular that I should ask for?

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Topic starter Posted : April 10, 2014 1:37 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

The GM just retired. In the interim I would ask for Rhonda. Maybe offer a deposit??

Or just do it,.. and keep it leashed at all times. They want to have rent coming in.;)

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Posted : April 10, 2014 4:33 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

You probably spoke to Patty...she's the young one.

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Posted : April 10, 2014 5:05 pm
IslandHops
(@IslandHops)
Trusted Member

Another (cheaper) option for a cell booster is ZBoost 545. We have used it in 2 locations on STX and have had much success. Dual band works with sprint and at&t.

Salt river has little to no signal. And the marina is not the best live aboard solution if you like creature comforts, but many folks do reside there. I think they have more openings now that their rate was increased to $17 per foot for live aboard (14 non live aboard), but with hurricane season ahead it will still likely fill up. It is also a much further sail to get to Buck Island, which is where most cruisers like to anchor out on a weekend.

Green Cay is the best (we lived aboard there) and they now have a lounge as well as the other amenities listed above. I think the live aboard rate is $25 per foot (20 for non live aboard). I can understand their policy regarding pets, as a resort/marina maintaining a high standard for all guests, having dog poop around is not the best. Not all owners are as considerate as you may be. There may be some cases where one or two pets are 'grandfathered' in under previous agreements, yet I think their current policy is no pets.

There is also St. Croix Marina (Gallows Bay), Jones Maritime (Chirstiansted), and the yacht club as options.

You may want to consider putting the boat on a mooring and simply renting - especially if you are arriving in off season as there are plenty of relatively inexpensive rentals available.

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Posted : April 11, 2014 11:51 am
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

Wilson acquired Zboost.

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Posted : April 11, 2014 3:54 pm
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