How to Choose a Marine Cell Phone Booster: Your Guide

30th Aug 2023

Why Is Cell Service so Bad on a Boat? 

Do you love the marine life but hate that you never seem to have any cell phone service? Poor cell phone service can be caused by many different factors.


Depending on where you are boating, you could be miles away from the nearest cell phone tower. Perhaps you like to pontoon at the family cabin in a remote, small town. Or maybe you prefer to sail on the ocean. In either situation, the further you are away from the nearest cell towers, the weaker your cell phone signal will become.

Boat Materials:

Depending on what materials your boat is made of, that can make a huge difference as well. If you are in an enclosed cabin inside a boat, often the metal inside the walls and other watertight materials can interfere with signal transmission and prevent you from gaining a strong signal. 

How to Improve Cell Service

Regardless of what is causing your cell service issues, most can be solved with a portable cell phone signal booster. A cell signal booster allows you to take incoming cell signals and amplify them, allowing you to stay connected without dropped calls or streaming slow downs on multiple phones or devices.

What Is a Marine Cell Phone Booster?

A marine cell phone booster is simply a cell phone booster that works on boats. Most portable or RV cell phone signal boosters will work just fine on your boat! Many even allow for diy installation.

How Does a Marine Cell Phone Booster Work? 

Marine or portable cell signal boosters consist of an external antenna or marine antenna, an amplifier unit, and an inside antenna. The external or marine antenna gets installed as high up as it can be on the boat, and picks up signals from the nearest cell towers. Those signals then go through an amplifier unit which boosts them to create a stronger, better signal. The internal antenna, which lives inside the boat, then broadcasts the boosted signal out into the boat. The now boosted signals can be picked up and used by multiple users on multiple phones and devices, with any North American cellular carriers.

Pros and Cons of a Marine Cell Phone Booster 

The pros of having a portable or marine cell phone booster are that you can easily access a better signal when boating, allowing you to stream, call, text, work, and more, all without interruption. 

The only con is that there are certain areas where a cell phone booster may not work. In order for a cell booster to work, there have to be cell signals that it can pick up (even if they are very weak). In areas where there is no signal at all, such as in very remote areas, or if you are way out in the middle of the ocean, a booster would not work because there would be no signal to boost. However, in areas where there is even just the faintest of signals to pick up, a cell phone booster can help you achieve maximum service.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Booster

When buying a cell signal booster, one should consider: 

  • Quality 
  • Reach of internal antenna 
  • Ability to be used portably 
  • Warranty

Learn More with KING Connect

KING has two cell phone signal boosters that work well for boats. Both of our cell boosters can be used in-motion, by multiple phones and devices, any cellular carrier, and have no contracts or monthly fees.

The KING Extend Pro is a stationary mounted cell phone booster that includes pole mounting equipment, and runs off of AC to DC power supply. Depending on what kind of boat you have, you could certainly utilize diy installation, especially if you were to mount the external antenna on a pole and didn’t need to drill through a roof.

The KING Extend Go is a completely portable booster that comes with two separate sets of antennas, one smaller, magnetic set for a car (or boat) and one set for RV or boat). The Extend Go does not require any permanent mounting, and even includes a convenient travel case and a foldable tripod so you can easily set it up anywhere - and get the external antenna up as high as possible. Because of the portable design, the Extend Go can be used completely with diy installation, no need for service techs.

Do cell phone boosters work on boats? 

Yes! Cell phone boosters work great on boats, and can help you achieve a better signal strength.

Do cell phone boosters actually work? 

Absolutely! Often once you plug your booster in, you will see a dramatic increase from one bar of signal to full bars.

How can I boost my cell phone signal in the Dead Zone? 

If you are truly in a dead zone where there is no cell phone signal at all, then there would be no way to boost your service…because you cannot boost what isn’t there. That being said, much of the time when we have spotty service or have areas where our cellular bands come in and out, there is still some service, and anytime there is even a little bit of signal that reaches the booster, it can certainly help to amplify it!

What is the difference between a cell phone booster and a cell phone extender? 

A cell phone booster and a cell phone extender would be the same thing - both are just marketing terms. Boosting and extending your signal reach are essentially the same thing.

How do you get a cell signal on a boat? 

If you are struggling with weak signals on your boat, then definitely check out KING cell phone signal boosters!