Linksys WAP with DD-WRT software
The early Linksys Wireless access points (WAP) came out with Linux software, and Linux software is provided under the free GNU license
which means it can be distributed freely at no cost.
So, this allowed some clever people to make some modifications to the software that enables the WAP to be used in ways that were not first intended.
It can be used as a receiver(client) using external antennas or as a relay using a receive antenna and a transmit antenna. So you could have a high gain antenna panel receiving the distant signal and then a smaller antenna retransmitting to your laptop(s) on the boat. Or you can simply plug the ethernet or USB cable into the laptop.
The high gain antenna and the receiver (WRT54) could be installed several feet above the deck and an ethernet cable run down to your laptop.
There are several versions of Linksys Wireless Access points and some of the more recent ones do not have the memory capacity to run the special software. I believe the WRT-54L is the most recent version that is specially engineered with more memory for this purpose, but bear in mind that this is all very experimental and you could end up with a dead (the guru's call it "bricked") $60 WAP that cannot be revived.
There is a wealth of information out there on the internet and free software. Just search on DD-WRT and research it carefully. One link is www.dd-wrt.com
.Howard [ Just Imagine ] 22-Mar-2008