Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Portland, OR
Thanked 28 Times in 27 Posts
Rep Power: 17
Either way has its plusses
I put a VHF antenna (ss 36" whip) on the top of the stern rail of our prior boat and it worked fine for the decade I owned it. Being a line-of-sight situation for range I occasionally did find that other boats were hard to tune in.
OTOH, no wiring in the mast or having to check on a distant antenna at the top.
Additionally, while it's not very likely that you will be dismasted, it is nice to have the stern antenna so that your radio is still working...
(Don't laugh -- the only time I was ever on a boat that lots its rig at sea, it actually did have a stern antenna and we were very glad to be able to let the USCG know. We returned to port under aux engine power, and no harm was done except for some large insurance company having to cough up $$$ for a whole new rig and some deck repairs...)
And, yes, it will reach out a lot better and your handheld with its little "rubber duck" antenna.
Last edited by olson34; 01-19-2011 at 11:07 PM.