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Old 03-09-2007
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Medical Insurance and Internet

My wife and I are Canadians, planning to retire to west coast of Mexico in January. We will be living on a 40 foot Fuiji . As Canadians we are a bit shocked at some of the medical insurance premiums. We would appreciate any advice as to good and reasonably priced insurance plans. I am aware of the Mexican insurance plan and will apply there as well.

Also I am finding it difficult to get much information on receiving internet. Does anyone have info on equipment available. I am led to believe many marinas have wireless but would prefer to have my own system it the cost isn't extreme.

Any information will be very much appreciated.

Thanks
Terry Fallis
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Old 03-09-2007
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Can't help you much on the insurance, but the easiest way to get internet on a boat, IF, you are in a area covered by cell phone, is by wireless through a cell provider. If that isn't available, then you're looking at more costly options, which others have more experience with than I. Hopefully, some of them can give you some more options.
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Old 03-09-2007
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Tfallis...as PB says, there is NO cheap way to get internet on a boat other than if you are in cell phone range.
KVH makes ocean going internet systems but they start at around $4k and then charge by the bit.
If you want JUST e-mail and have an SSB rig...you can add a Pactor modem for about $1k and a $250 annual subscription to www.Sailmail.com and get text e-mail. If you are a ham...the sailmail subcription is not needed.
Many developed harbors now have wireless access which you can purchase monthly so you don't need to go ashore.
As far as health insurance goes...suggest you try over at www.ssca.org discussion board as there are several extensive threads on this subject.
Welcome aboard!!

P.S. We've cruised with many canadians who have told us that they go back to Canada every six months to keep their gov't insurance in place and that is cheaper for them than buying separate coverage. I don't know if this is a possibility for you but thought I'd mention it.
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Old 03-12-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBzeer
Can't help you much on the insurance, but the easiest way to get internet on a boat, IF, you are in a area covered by cell phone, is by wireless through a cell provider. If that isn't available, then you're looking at more costly options, which others have more experience with than I. Hopefully, some of them can give you some more options.
Thanks John I will research cell phone for Sea of Cortez. I imagine it is pretty spoty but may work. I don't know if long distance would a apply as you move from area to area but if so cost could be very high.

Thanks again John

Last edited by tfallis; 03-12-2007 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 03-13-2007
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Camaraderie I thank you for the info. The boat we are using has SSB setup so we will have that option. I am told I won't care about internet all that much once aboard but I am afraid I am "addicted"
and would love to have the video messaging option to keep in touch with my family. I was hoping someone had some experience with the KVH setup and a cost to use it. The harbour internet sounds a good alternative when we are near one. We have literally no real boating experience just lots of courses so aren't quite sure what to expect. I will follow through on your insurance suggestions.
Thanks again
Terry Fallis
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Old 03-13-2007
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Terry

getting real wifi on board is very very very expensive. It requires the big domes you see on mega yachts and is designed for ships. All the solutions you generally use will support email access and some of the sat phones will support limited browsing. The cell phone solution will also support email and limited browsing.

In my experience nothing will support full on video other than local wifi so would suggest you look at a good antenna/amp set-up for your boat. Again SSCA board has lots of discussion on this.
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Old 03-13-2007
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To clarify SVsirius's response...

Actually, getting real WiFi on board isn't very expensive if you are at a marina or harbor with an open access point. However, getting real high-speed internet access on the open ocean is very expensive, both in terms of capital costs and in terms of on-going costs.

Many people confuse WiFi for wireless internet access. Wifi is the name for 802.11x wireless internet access using the 2.4GHz and 5.2GHz spread spectrum frequencies. The most common nowadays is the 802.11G and its variants. It is relatively short-ranged, without specialized equipment—usually about 300-400'.

Other forms of wireless internet access include satellite-based internet, satellite-telephone internet, which is slightly different, and cellular-phone based internet. Of these, satellite-based internet requires a gyro-stabilized tracking antenna, which is fairly expensive and power intensive for a small sailboat. Satellite-telephone internet can be done with many of the "handheld" satellite phones that do not require a directionally stabilized antenna, but the speeds will be relatively low. Cellular-based internet access is restricted to areas with cell phone coverage, usually within 20 miles of shore maximum.

The satellite-based services usually charge by either time or data sent/received. Some of the cellular plans are flat-fee, others charge by either time or data.
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