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I guess my question to you is how far off shore do you want to go? Chicago is my home port and I asked this question a couple years ago to my fellow sailors.
If you want data, I have Verizon, and seem to be able to surf the web at least 5 miles offshore. ATT and Sprint drop data closer. They seem to lose data at only the 2 and 3 mile distance.
I've never tried voice much while out on the boat, but I did make a call more than 5 miles offshore. I don't think i was more than 10 miles yet.
Texting goes forever. I don't think I lose texting ability with Verizon until 25 miles or more. The lake is only 60 miles wide. I know others with ATT have further range for texts than I do with Verizon. I know some people who have only lost signal for the middle 10 miles before picking up a cell tower in Michigan.
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