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My system is not permanently mounted. The antenna and Mikrotik wireless router are on a bracket that fits around a shroud and that can be run up to spreader height. I do that using the spinnaker halyard and a downhaul as a retrieval line. I didn't want to mount it on the mast and have dead weight mounted up high, that's just bad for sailing.

I used a TrendNet 8db antenna because it is long enough to get great signal, short enough to make storage easy.

This is a photo of the external part of the system:


The loops on the white plastic bracket are what the spinnaker halyard and downhaul attach to.

I'm using an ASUS WL-330NUL wifi router inside the boat. These are cheap (about $30), USB powered, and tiny.

UnionPacific is correct that there are lower budget options for a single computer that will work almost as well. These systems do give you better range and better signal to noise ratios. They also can get multiple devices online at once, which can be handy if you are traveling with others.

Since I'm on a smaller boat (28') I'm often located on the farthest docks in marinas and this system has made marina wifi a lot more useable. The Mirkotik Groove is not user friendly, but I have a lot of networking experience that made it easier. The Bullet looks a little more user friendly (especially for joining password protected networks). I'm using the POE adapter that came with the Groove.
 
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