Please critique my sailboat installation plan

I’m choosing a solution for the comms on my sailing boat but I’m a newbie to this so please critique it. What have I missed? Are there better alternatives etc.

The objective is to deliver relatively reliable, cost effective and moderate speed internet to 2-4 users on a 17 metre sailboat, ideally with the functionality available worldwide but second best would be to have it available everywhere except the US. We will be using it for streaming a movie from time to time, a few video phone calls, and generally surfing the internet and sending emails. I’m looking to power it with 24V and for the solution to be relatively low power consumption. The boat will be crossing oceans as well as coastal cruising. I know there are lower cost approaches to what I am considering (eg putting a cellphone in a waterproof bag and hauling it up the mast) but I would like the simplicity of having one network that everything can connect to.

I am modifying the Starlink RV antenna to disable the motor and power it from 48V DC via a 24/48V DC/DC converter. I’m hoping this will give me coverage in remote areas but it is power hungry so I am looking to get coverage via the cellphone network whenever I can, so that I can limit my use of starlink.

I’m looking at using either the RUTX 50 or the RUTM 50 (I still need to find out - does the RUTM cover all the frequencies of the RUTX as well as the US frequencies, or does it drop some of the frequencies included in the RUTX50 in order to cover the US frequencies)?

I’m thinking of mounting it in the custom Antenna QuSpot from QuWireless, at a height of about 1.5 metres above sea level, on one of my dinghy davits. I’ll run an ethernet cable from starlink to the RUTX50 (or RUTM50), it will only be a run of about 5 metres. I’d also looked at other antennas but I like the idea of the antenna being designed for easy connection with the RUTX50 as I’m not a comms guru. Is this antenna a good choice?

I imagine I’ll also need an access point inside the boat so I plan to run a cable from a LAN terminal on the RUTX50 to a TAP200 access point inside the boat.

I have read some reviews about instability in the RUTX50 so I have wondered whether I am better off sticking to a Teltonika cat 12 router instead, but if the consensus is that the RUT50X is good then I like the idea of future proofing the installation a bit more.

Is what I am proposing suitable for someone with “beginner” comms status? What else should I consider that I haven’t mentioned? Can you see any flaws in my plan or improve on what I’m thinking of doing?

Thanks for your input!


Hi, I wil try to comment some parts that I understand :slight_smile:

standard RUTM50 at least for now designed for US region and does not have all frequencies that RUTX50 has.
You can find more info in “Ordering” tab. RUTM50 Cellular 5G Router
Probably best choice would be to order router with “global” type of module, this can cover all regions.

I imagine I’ll also need an access point inside the boat so I plan to run a cable from a LAN terminal on the RUTX50 to a TAP200 access point inside the boat.

RUTX50 have wifi and if its place will be in the middle of boat probably TAP won’t be necessary, it should cover enough range itself. Otherwise better experience would be with two APs.

I have read some reviews about instability in the RUTX50 so I have wondered whether I am better off sticking to a Teltonika cat 12 router instead, but if the consensus is that the RUT50X is good then I like the idea of future proofing the installation a bit more.

I think its better to go with 5G router, you will get better experience when 5G is available and as you said more “future proof”. In my setup (not in boat :slight_smile:) it serves well.

Thanks Simonas, I didn’t realise it was possible to order a “global” module for the RUTX50, that’s good advice.
The RUTX50 is going to be at the back of the boat, hence my thinking about having an access point.
I think one problem I am going to have is taking the ethernet cable from Starlink and getting into the QuSpot as it is a sealed unit. Does anyone have any advice on this aspect? thanks!

On those QuSpot enclosures for the RUTX50, there is only room for one Ethernet Cable passing through the waterpoof socket - so that’s good for the Starlink connection to the WAN port number 5, assuming the RUTX will control failover … unfortunately I am unfamiliar with the Starlink system.

Luckily they have made provision for installing a second waterproof socket, that you can use to connect one of the RUTX50 LAN ports either directly to the AP or to the AP via a switch - I’d recommend a switch, that is accessible, for maximum flexibility.

You will need to purchase the second socket assembly and install it yourself, They come in 2 different lengths, so pick the one most appropriate to your needs. The QuWireless product codes for the sockets are QRJ45-L for the longer length cable and QRJ45 for the standard length.

Also be aware that you’ll probably be powering the RUTX50 over an ethernet cable, to reduce the number of cables. It is IMPORTANT to note that, if using this method, it MUST be powered over LAN port 1 ONLY and MUST be PASSIVE PoE. You need a passive PoE injector or maybe there is a Teltonika switch model that proves PASSIVE PoE on its ethernet port(s).

Thanks Mike, I hadn’t realised about the need for passive POE. I had been looking at the Teltonika TSW101 but think that is an active switch so presumably I need to use something different. Any recommendations?

I see that the long switch is 38cm long. Does this mean that I’ll need to position the switch within 38cm or less from where it exits the Qu Spot enclosure? that could be tricky as I was going to run the cables down the inside of my dinghy davit to bring them inside the boat through an existing entry point.


No, the length of cable is for inside the enclosure, to plug into the RUTX. All you’ll see on the outside is an RJ45 socket that you’ll plug your network cable into. The QuWireless connector should work something similar to this video

TSW101 will work fine but you’ll need an Active-To-Passive PoE converter between the switch and RUTX - I use a Mikrotik RBGPOE-CON-HP … the ‘G’ denotes gigabit capable, so make sure it’s the right product code as they do a similar version that isn’t gigabit capable.

Thanks Mike… Okay, makes sense about the cable length, I think I’ll only need standard length as I’m using the Qu Spot.
To check my understanding (questions for you or anyone else on the forum) …
Am I right in assuming that because the Qu Spot only has one ethernet cable to connect to as standard, it will be much easier for me to power it via POE rather than a direct connection to the battery? (noting that this must be passive POE)
I’m new to POE switches and injectors but I gather that switches are better than injectors as they don’t automatically deliver the voltage. Does this mean that I could get a multiple switch like the TSW101, take the output from one port and put it through the Mikrotik RBGPOE-CON-HP to power the RUTX50, and take the output from another port and power my starlink dish (which needs 48V)? i.e the one switch powering several devices via POE?
Is it correct that the switch and the connection to the battery that powers it can be some metres away from the router and starlink dish?
Anyone know if starlink needs active or passive POE? (assuming I by-pass its power supply / AC/DC converter and supply the 48V directly)?
This all seems very complex right now but I hope one day I will look back and wonder why I found it so complicated!
Thanks for your help

Hi Julia,

Please don’t take this the wrong way but given your level of knowledge and the importance of communications when out at sea, with its ability to save life … I think you need to throw some money at this and give the job to someone that can do a professional job and explain it to you.



Hi Mike,
Thanks for your message; I totally agree! I’ve actually looked but found it difficult to find someone who I can pay to help me - a lot of consultants seem to favour the top end solutions e.g Peplink, and I think that is too complex for what I need. I want to end up with a system that I can understand enough to be able to troubleshoot at sea. I’ve sought advice in Greece, where the boat is currently located, and the language barrier rules out some companies and the Comms company that I spoke to that are fluent in English advised me that an antenna wouldn’t make any difference to me as my boat is fibreglass, which contradicts everything else I’ve heard so I am not sure of their level of expertise. I could speak to a UK consultant but the ethical thing to do is to buy from whoever advises me, and it’s difficult (almost impossible) to ship from the UK to Greece. I’ve also seen the excellent US websites such as seabits and onboard wireless, but think their solutions are probably more US-centric. But in parallel with reaching out to this forum, I am also looking for someone who I can pay to help me. There is also an element of knowing that I need to get up to speed because, as you say, comms is important at sea (though we do have an iridium go as backup for weather reports). But my apologies if the questions I am asking are inappropriate to the forum. And many thanks for your help thus far.

Hi Julia,

If you’re struggling to find someone to deliver a platform that is fit for purpose without over-engineering then you might find some pointers to a supplier or advise, near to you.

UK Charter boat skippers and professional fishermen don’t skimp on capability but at the same time, are very price sensitive. Given the local tide times, it mght be worth hanging around the port when they’re readying to depart and ask them who they’d recommend to go to. You might have to prep. a good yarn along the lines of Thor Heyerdahl, as some of them may have been ‘insulted’ too many times by inconsiderate ‘not even day skippers’ (although in the vast minority).

When I’ve had to move tech. around Europe, I’ve found it better to book a Budget flight and take the stuff myself … a quick 1 or 2 days ‘in-and-out’.

P.S. “… as my boat is fibreglass” … keep clear of these boys, as some people can’t help but speak out of their backside.

Just a thought,


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