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Old 10-15-2014, 02:03 PM   #41
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Yes, providing connectivity is not an option for me as a small business owner.

The KVH setup releases me from the office. I may only take 5 phone calls a day, but those 5 calls are needed for my business to function and generate revenue.

One good thing is that it is a legitimate business expense. The boat is owned by me. The telecom gear iis owned, and the service paid for by the business.

As a person I think allot about expendatures of this magnitude. As a business owner all it has to be is cost justified. The actual number is for the most part irrelevant as long as there is an underlying cost justiification.
When I was young I helped a former client of my father's (he was dead) with an IRS audit. His business owned an airplane. Agent didn't like the deduction for expenses. Well, that year it was used one time and that was for a business trip to Florida for a dealer's show (he was a boat dealer). I argued it's simple, 100% business. The auditor said, "Well that's not a smart business decision to own a plane for one trip." I told him I agreed but it wasn't his place to determine if it was smart or not, just if the use was business.

Things evolve into necessities sometimes. Cell phone wasn't at one time. Today it is. Satellite on a boat allows so much we couldn't do otherwise. We occasionally attend a Friday morning staff meeting from wherever we might happen to be, using webcams. I sometimes get jobs from my former employer that can be typically done in one day but are urgent. After one report I submitted recently, his email read something like, "Thank you. I was afraid your conclusion would be that. Oh, by the way, where are the two of you?"

I know many think always being reachable by cell phone or other is horrible, that it keeps us from vacations and relaxing. I find it the opposite. I can go and relax because of it. I know if need be I can always be reached. But I feel that need on a personal basis too. My wife and I have never not been able to reach each others. Someone very close to us just had a baby and we were there for that. But we have been able to see the baby regularly on Skype so we haven't missed seeing her. She even sees us, although not altogether sure that she knows what she's seeing. But then to her that's the way it's always been. Aunt and Uncle on the screen. She'll do something and we'll cheer or applaud. To her it's not strange that we're thousands of miles away doing that.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:25 PM   #42
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No justification needed, I just went through a full blown audit for 2012. The INMARSAT and comm gear on my old Mainship was owned by the business and the expenses were paid for by the business. The deductions were allowed not even challenged. I'm in the mobile communications business (infrastructure) with 2 major cellular carriers as customers.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:28 PM   #43
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No justification needed, I just went through a full blown audit for 2012. The INMARSAT and comm gear on my old Mainship was owned by the business and the expenses were paid for by the business. The deductions were allowed not even challenged. I'm in the mobile communications business (infrastructure) with 2 major cellular carriers as customers.
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I know that. The rookie auditor just wasn't real straight on it, but I had his supervisor reiterate to him what I had said. Certain things auditors like to question such as boats, private aircraft by sole proprietors, trips to exotic locations.

Above a certain size company you basically have a perpetual IRS audit. Year round from one year to the next. As long as they keep much of the same staff it's not that bad as they learn the company so don't have to repeat many things. Besides you're going through so much for public SEC reporting that it's just one more small item. But there was one expense they denied years ago and until I retired we were still treating the same.

Our travel policy allowed spouses to accompany at their own expense. But we paid the full hotel room price for both people. Many years ago the auditor asserted correctly that we couldn't deduct any additional amount for the second person. He went through all our travel expenses for two months and everywhere on a hotel bill it said 2 people he called to find out the price differential. Well, he determined it was $200 for the 2 months and we agreed then that for the year we had $1200 non-deductible and that we'd just keep using that number. 15 years later the company is still doing it. That was the only change they found those two years. Multi-million dollar items no problem. An accountant asked about that tax entry a couple of years ago and I had to explain. So you had a company with a billion dollars in sales adjusting taxable income by $1200 a year. You actually love when auditors go off on such petty things because it means you're not having to deal with any complex issues. They just love looking at travel expense reports.
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:50 PM   #44
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We use a Dish Tailgator for our TV source. They allow us to pay for one month and then turn it off for 3 if we wish. It works well on our boat, but we only use it when we're tied up to a marina dock. We don't like running the generator at anchor to watch TV.

As far as the internet, we use a Straight Talk Mobile Hotspot (Wal-Mart). So long as you have cell reception from Verizon tower, this hotspot works well. We like it because if we're at a marina where there's good wi-fi, we don't need to use it. If we're out at a marina with no wi-fi, or traveling around, we can get 2 GB of data for one month for $25. It's been worthwhile for us!
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:57 PM   #45
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The problem with many resellers of cellular service is depending on your home area you may get a less than desirable cellular provider. Straight Talk uses providers other than Verizon in many areas. The last place I would want to be is on Sprint trying to download much of anything. They are getting better but they are what they are.
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:11 PM   #46
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Dumb question: if you have a KVH unit can you get tv and internet on the same equipment?
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:33 PM   #47
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rpeterson - good question. I'm sure there more people than just you & I would like to know that.
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Old 10-15-2014, 05:34 PM   #48
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Dumb question: if you have a KVH unit can you get tv and internet on the same equipment?

No.
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:24 PM   #49
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No.
Actually that has recently changed, kinda, sorta

You can subscribe to KVH services that automatically download content to a dvr for viewing.

I saw the flyer from KVH and checked it out, but it was spendy and didn't look that interesting, but they are getting there.

What we are going to do when we take the boat out of Alaska is add a dish network KVH antenna system.

Right now we use cellular data to download TV shows and movies for viewing when out of cell range. That works pretty well. The wife can even watch HULU over the cellular network connection.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:26 PM   #50
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I have satellite TV, I am trying to figure out how to get Internet when I am out of connection with any shore sources. Like when cruising out of site of land.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:31 PM   #51
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I have satellite TV, I am trying to figure out how to get Internet when I am out of connection with any shore sources. Like when cruising out of site of land.
What would you be using it to access?
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:33 PM   #52
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Oliver, the Internet in general, so I can post on a blog, get weather etc.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:39 PM   #53
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Oliver, the Internet in general, so I can post on a blog, get weather etc.
This is what I'd use. We would have one but haven't justified enough serious use for it to make it worth while.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:48 PM   #54
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This is what I'd use. We would have one but haven't justified enough serious use for it to make it worth while.
Thats what we have. It would be hard to justify if you were just using it so aunt Gertrude could call, or to surf the web.

For us, the unit and the service has paid for itself long ago with increased sales revenues for our business. Its easy math to figure out your average daily sales, and average profit margin, and the cost of shutting down the business to go boating. Thats what we used to do. We'd forward the calls to our answering service saying we were closed for, and we would pick reasons...Invetory, company picnic, company team building exercise, etc... Those would be zero sales days.

Now, we are mobile. We can afford to spend a week out on the boat because we dont lose a weeks pay just to go boating.
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:58 PM   #55
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Thanks, yes that is pricey. We are planning on moving on the boat in March, going to Alaska and then next fall down the coast to San Diego. It would be nice to be in contact via the Internet with everyone and get weather etc. Don't know if it pencils for that.
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:23 PM   #56
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Thanks, yes that is pricey. We are planning on moving on the boat in March, going to Alaska and then next fall down the coast to San Diego. It would be nice to be in contact via the Internet with everyone and get weather etc. Don't know if it pencils for that.
For weather I'd take a good look at this.
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:31 PM   #57
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Thats what we have. It would be hard to justify if you were just using it so aunt Gertrude could call, or to surf the web.

For us, the unit and the service has paid for itself long ago with increased sales revenues for our business. Its easy math to figure out your average daily sales, and average profit margin, and the cost of shutting down the business to go boating. Thats what we used to do. We'd forward the calls to our answering service saying we were closed for, and we would pick reasons...Invetory, company picnic, company team building exercise, etc... Those would be zero sales days.

Now, we are mobile. We can afford to spend a week out on the boat because we dont lose a weeks pay just to go boating.
Actually the return you're getting is more than that. It's not just the sales on those days. When you're not able to be reached on some days then customers go elsewhere the time you're open and available as well. People change to someone they can be sure they can reach. In today's world, people have become quite intolerant of not being able to reach someone when they feel they should be able to.
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:36 PM   #58
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Actually the return you're getting is more than that. It's not just the sales on those days. When you're not able to be reached on some days then customers go elsewhere the time you're open and available as well. People change to someone they can be sure they can reach. In today's world, people have become quite intolerant of not being able to reach someone when they feel they should be able to.
You are very right. Our new customers become repeat customers. We know them by name, and they like the fact that they get someone on the phone that they know and trust.

Potential customers will go immediately to the competition if they get voicemail from a business. Thats why we try to answer all calls ourselves, and when we cannot, the calls are routed to our answering service, that answers the phone just like they were our receptionist.

My satcom service is set up to forward ring no answer and ring busy calls directly to the answering service.
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Old 10-16-2014, 01:37 PM   #59
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B&B well said and so true in today's society. They'll move on if you aren't on top of their requests.
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Old 10-16-2014, 06:30 PM   #60
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I'm not a coastal cruiser, don't normally set in marinas. So I need some way of getting on the Internet when I am not able to get cell service and Wi-Fi in the marina.
I have satellite TV via a KVH antennae. I have a Wave Wi-Fi hub on the boat so when I am in a marina I can get on the internet through that, but when cruising it does not work. it is literally a Wi-Fi booster.
Looks like all of the satellite providers for data are expensive on the equipment side. And it looks like I can not use my satellite TV antennae to get and send data. (I don't care about movies when on the go) I don't care to have voice if I can email and get on the internet.
I sold my business last year so I can not write it off, don't care anymore about IRS audits, been there done that, but through with it. I am retired. I simply want to be able to Skype the grandkids, reach my blog, friends blogs,(one who has challenged me to "come find him") (he is somewhere in the Caribbean) social media, and weather etc. when I am out of range of cell towers. Which is mostly. Spent the summer in the islands in the inland passage to Alaska, very seldom had cell service, mostly on the hook. Would have been nice to get on the Internet to stay in touch. we didn't want to go to a marina just for that.
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