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Attaching VHF antenna

I,m about to step the mast on my boat and would like to know the pros & cons of attaching the antenna to the boat or top of the mast? Thanks Walt
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-26-2010
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Any reason for posting this thread twice???

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Not so sure how to uses this site. Thought I had posted in the wrong category sorry.
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Walt—

Would recommend you read the POST in my signature as it is designed to help newcomers navigate/use the site. Welcome to the asylum.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt352 View Post
I,m about to step the mast on my boat and would like to know the pros & cons of attaching the antenna to the boat or top of the mast? Thanks Walt
To answer your question, Walt...

Attaching the antenna to the top of the mast: Pro (there's only one, but it's a biggie): Potentially much greater range. Two boats with an antenna height of 6 feet (approx. 2m) have a line-of-sight (LOS) distance to one another of 6 nm. If just one boat gets its antenna up to 40 feet (12m), their LOS distance goes up to 10nm. If both boats have their antennas at 40 feet: Their LOS distance goes up to nearly 16nm. Marine VHF radio is all about LOS, which means height. Cons: It's much harder to install and service. If you're a racer, for whom such things matter, you're adding significant weight aloft. (Not so much the antenna, but the coax.) Your radio will be more susceptible to destruction by lightning. If you're demasted: There goes your antenna.

Now take the pro and cons for the masthead installation and reverse 'em for mounting down below and you'll have the pros and cons for that location .

FWIW: Our antenna is mounted on the transom. I plan to add an antenna to the masthead some day. I'll leave the antenna on the transom as a backup. I'll also upgrade the radio to one with DSC and a remote access mic. Between the impaired range and the radio being down below, it's not very useful to us right now.

Jim
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-26-2010
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Ive, put this in your other thread but here it is as well. Masthead is pretty much the way to go if you can......IMHO

But it does also depends on where you are sailing. If you're on a lake and you are never going to be out of sight of nearest rescue service, you have plenty of Cell phone reception etc then maybe not such a big deal.

If you are however going offshore like me without the benefit of HF, then well I personally want every wee little bit of range I can get.....

Masthead means significantly increased range, increased range means the people you want to hear you can when you most need it.....

So my two cents, put simply is:

If it is an inshore boat, go masthead if it is no big hassle, if its a hassle I wouldn't worry too much about it.

If going offshore then for me masthead is compulsory.....

'Life is either a daring adventure or nothing' - Helen Keller



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