Author Topic: VHF antenna - what is good?  (Read 3909 times)

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Offline Enniberg

VHF antenna - what is good?
« on: February 14, 2011, 02:37:12 PM »
I am looking to install a vhf and antenna in my boat. We have a good discussion about vhf's going in another thread, but I thought we could get some antenna recommendations here.

Is there anything good available in the $100 range? I have had Shakespeare antenna's on previous boats, but they don't seem to last long.

Johan

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Offline CanvasGuy

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Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2011, 03:47:00 PM »
May I be the first to recomend "Digital":biggrin:  http://www.digitalantenna.com/vhfantennas.html
 they make a quality antena at a good price
 I love my digital 8' black and it preforms well. :applause:


Gary

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Offline Enniberg

Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2011, 04:29:49 PM »
Gary, I was wondering if Digital was good, I had never heard of them until yesterday. I think it is pretty cool that you can get them in black too.

Where did you get yours?

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Offline CanvasGuy

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Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2011, 04:44:48 PM »
Yeah I think off Amazion.. best price search..
well worth it... :twocents:
Gary Smart
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“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” Arthur C. Clarke

Offline Kimbrey

Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2011, 04:59:26 PM »
Quite a bit of antenna talk on bloodydecks.com. Seems like Digital is thought to be good.  Generally most of our stuff is Morad or that is what the electronic outfits supplies us with. The antenna is Allen screwed on an aluminum extension tube. About the only time one will go bad on us is when a bird kamikazes into one.  A good antenna is probably more important than the radio.
2005 Sea Legend --Sold--replaced with 26' Duckworth

Offline Threeweight

Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2011, 05:07:36 PM »
I have heard from numerous tuna boat fishermen in here in Oregon (the guys who go 50-60 miles offshore) that the Digital model 529 is the gold standard.  It is also surprisingly cheap (like $130).  I will never buy another Shakespear antenna if I can avoid it.

Morad is probably better still than the Digital, but costs more $$ as well.

I would second that the quality of the antenna is more important than the radio.  I had this drilled into me in the Coast Guard Aux classes as well as the tuna captains.
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

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Offline finfinn

Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 11:30:02 PM »
Been following a few sites and usually the Digital antennas come out top rated. Will be my next one.
Had a glorious SR19 Finnesse.
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Offline Enniberg

Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 12:17:53 AM »
Gary, did you buy a mount from Digital with your antenna, or was the antenna mounted with something that was already there? I am wondering if a Shakespeare mount will be compatible.

Johan
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Offline CanvasGuy

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Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 04:27:34 AM »
yes it would.. but i got mine  through Amazon it is stainless
i would recommend them as they don't cost that much more and won't break
 by the way i made a steel backing plate and bolted it through the side cabin
 shes on for life... :wink:
Gary Smart
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Offline fishing eagle

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Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2011, 08:10:58 AM »
The stainless antenna mounts are nice looking and more costly than the nylon mounts and I have decided to stay with nylon mounts. Why nylon antenna mounts? Because they work great, they are less expensive and since the day I forgot to drop my antenna at a boat launch that has a low bridge on the roadway to the ramp.... Yes it was too late when I heard the snap. Believe it or not, I was doing maybe 5 mph when I went under a bridge with 7 foot clearance and the 8 foot VHF antenna did not break; but the nylon antenna mount snapped into two at the swivel mount. I only had to replace a nylon antenna mount at minimal cost and I consider myself lucky.

Now that tells me the nylon mount was the weakest point but what if I had a stainless mount? What would have been damaged, the antenna or maybe the boat its self? I will continue to use nylon mounts.
(Reel Delight) a 2001 Sea Ranger 19, 2003 Honda 90, 2010 Yamaha T8 w/power tilt, Panther T4 steering system, Hummingbird electronics, & Scotty 1116 electric downriggers.
U.S. Navy Veteran, member of U.S. Power Squadron & Past President of Lake George Fishing Alliance (Retired & ready to fish!)

Offline Enniberg

Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2011, 11:35:15 PM »
Got my Digital 529 installed today - looks good in black :party:

First time I have paid attention to getting a good VHF antenna, but obviously I will not know much about how it performs until I get the radio installed too :doh:
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Offline Grizzle

Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 12:11:02 AM »
I need to move my antenna from the side of the boat to the top of my tower.  Should I put another 8' on or can I get away with an 4'?  Thanks
Brook Stockton - My Boat: Mighty Molly - The Fish Monger - Arima SeaChaser 16 - Soft SkipTower and "The Rack"

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Offline Danno

Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 07:19:11 AM »
Grizzle, that depends on where you use your boat. VHF is line of site. The taller your antenna is and the higher it is mounted, the better.
Previously owned a 1998 19' SR

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Offline Enniberg

Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2011, 08:24:28 AM »
What Dan said.

I am no expert on this, but I'd think that if you put a 4' up there, you are probably achieving what is pretty much a status quo vs. the 8' mounted where you have it now.

For fishing off shore, I would like to get my 8' mounted higher in order to achieve greater range.
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Offline Threeweight

Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2011, 09:36:49 AM »
As Danno noted, waves and the curvature of the earth block VHF signals.  The higher you can mount your antenna, the more range you will have (especially in bad weather).  Price difference between a 4' and an 8' isn't that big of a deal... I'd go 8'!

Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
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Offline StreamFixer

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Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2011, 09:40:32 AM »
Grizz

Be sure to anchor that puppy well.  The higher you go, the more the mounting base will be stressed.  With that new frame, it should not be a problem, however, a cheap, plastic stock mounting will likely not hold up for long.

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Offline Threeweight

Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2011, 09:51:43 AM »
Use one of these:



Or maybe have a stainless mounting plate added to your arch... good for mounting the antennas, radar, etc... down the road.
Former Sea Chaser 17 owner
Wild Card, Hewescraft Ocean Pro 220, Honda 225 and 9.9

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       --- Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Croaker Stroker

Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2011, 09:53:14 AM »
I think the shorter antennas are for sailboats. The 9db and 6db signal shape is different. The shorter antenna sends out a fatter signal so that when a sailboat is keeled over, the signal doesn't pass over the receiving station.

Mine is a shorter sailboat antenna because it was free.  :redface:
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Offline fishing eagle

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Re: VHF antenna - what is good?
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2011, 02:37:31 PM »
Stay with your 8 ft antenna and get the best possibl signal!
(Reel Delight) a 2001 Sea Ranger 19, 2003 Honda 90, 2010 Yamaha T8 w/power tilt, Panther T4 steering system, Hummingbird electronics, & Scotty 1116 electric downriggers.
U.S. Navy Veteran, member of U.S. Power Squadron & Past President of Lake George Fishing Alliance (Retired & ready to fish!)