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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-23-2011 09:28 AM
windward54 Another option I've seen on some of the Hunters was a fake backstay, which was used as the antenna. Since Hunters use a mainsail with a large roach, just have to make sure the sail will clear the fake backstay.

I usually warn people that are thinking about a GAM that there is one issue to consider. The GTO-15 feed line wicks moisture and can corrode out. The antenna then has to be taken down and sent back to the manufacturer, as this part is not replaceable by the user. If you are close to a port where this is no problem, fine. If you are doing extended cruising, something to consider. Other than that, the antenna works great.
03-23-2011 09:04 AM
Brezzin Old thread but Yes. A good friend has one mounted on a port stay on his lagoon 440. He also has no backstay. The kicker is this. The GAM is 34 feet long and on our boats you will have to set it up to go around the spreader.
03-23-2011 08:46 AM
GailDixon Has anybody mounted the GAM split-lead antenna on a shroud rather than on the backstay? My Hunter 49 has no backstay!
04-18-2007 12:08 PM
do335 The tube only covers the backstay to a height that person could accidently touch the active section of the antenna, approx 7'. This should eliminate or reduce chance of shock when transmitting.
04-15-2007 11:41 PM
sailingdog Ummm... Do335, you're worried about the windage from adding a separate wire to the masthead... but not worried about the effects of windage that adding a 1" diameter tube over the backstay... Hmmm...strikes me as flawed thinking in many ways.
04-15-2007 11:30 PM
do335 I've considered a seperate wire to the masthead but that's adding more windage and doesn't seem as reliable. A whip is possible, but has some of the same issues. I've read about the antenna that mounts next to the backstay, but no one who has used one. All HAM's I've spoken to don't believe they will work. The tubing I'm thinking of would be 1" or more in diameter. That should have enough space to allow air between the wire and tube.
04-15-2007 08:12 PM
sailingdog Do335-

Why do you want to cut the backstay and introduce the possibility of rigging failure due to the modification. They also make backstay antennas that are mounted in parallel to the existing backstay, that don't run these risks.

If you really must cut the backstay, I would recommend that you use the Hayn Hi-mod type swageless fittings and their insulator, since it is supposedly failsafe.

The problem isn't really shocks, but RF-induced burns. While I don't recall the maximum distance this can happen at, IIRC, a plastic pipe isn't enough to stop it from happening.

Also, putting a plastic pipe around your backstay is a good way to trap water against it and increase the risks of corrosion-induced failure.
04-15-2007 08:06 PM
Backstay Antenna Installation

I'm preparing to convert my backstay for use as a SSB and HF antenna. I've noticed that sometimes people install the lower insulator high off the deck and run the feed from the tuner to above this insulator. Why not install the insulator lower? If you cover the antenna above the insulator with a plastic pipe you should be able to avoid any shocks.

I'm planning on using swageless fittings to convert my backstay. Any recommendation on which brands of fitting and insulators and why?

04-15-2007 06:03 AM
Bill Mc
Originally Posted by SimonV

Your not on your own there with HF/SSB/HAM, my question is does the GAM antenna need to go on the back stay could it go on one of the side stays. I have seen these automatic antenna tuners for @$450us, I take it, they will adjust the length or the antenna internaly ! the radio is $999us.

The GAM antenna can be mounted anywhere as long as it is vertical, (yes a slope is fine too.) Mine is on the back stay. My neighbor has a catamaran and has his on the port stay and keeps an extra to haul up with a halyard in case of emergency. Yes, these definitely go thru an antenna tuner..

Hope this helps.

Asking a ham about antennas will usually heat up a conversation the same way as asking a sailor what the best anchor is.

Fair Winds,

04-15-2007 04:32 AM
Omatako SD,

If it's anything like my system (Seapro) it'll probably come in at around 5890 miles (rhumb line). At least I hope so else my system is lying.
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