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Old 10 August 2013, 15:44   #1
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what size is best for vhf antenna ?

Hey guys, i am just wondering what most people use for vhf antennas on there ribs. I would like strong signal but not sure i want to use a 8ft fiberglass antenna?
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Old 10 August 2013, 15:56   #2
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I got 2 of these 1 for VHF Tother for AIS work fine for me http://www.saltyjohn.co.uk/boat-products-antennas.htm
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Old 10 August 2013, 16:06   #3
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Thank you for the recommendation I am going to look into them. I was not sure if a 3db was strong enough
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Old 10 August 2013, 16:07   #4
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What radio are you using?
Do you have an A frame?
Who are you talking to? And where are their aerials?
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Old 10 August 2013, 16:17   #5
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I just picked up a standard horizon gx1600 25 watt vhf marine radio. Just installing it on my zodiac. Wanted it for weather updates, marina Communications stuff like that.
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Old 10 August 2013, 16:32   #6
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Weather Updates
The radio won't make any real difference. Antena might, but I'd expect unless you are at the limits of reception their antena is probably chucking out far more power than you need to receive. I'd expect to get it on a hand held antena so should be no issue whatever aerial you choose. They don't need to hear you.

Marinas
You probably aren't much more that 5 miles away when you want to talk to a Marina? So again handheld will work so any antena should. Bear in mind the marina could be on handheld depending on the size of the marina!
Some marinas will have land obstructions quite close - so maybe a better antena will help. 25W will help too. However, height is what usually makes the biggest difference both for height and for avoiding local obstructions like yourself. Hence the A Frame question.

Beware some antena are sold for yacht masts which can be leaning up to 30degrees when underway. You wont be.

A helix on top of an A frame might not be much worse / even better than a straight aerial with its tip finishing at the same height.

A helix on the side of the console wont be as good - less height, and more risk of accidental obstruction by people etc. But could still be suitable for what you want...

Do you know how far you'd be from a CG mast?
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Old 10 August 2013, 16:46   #7
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Thank you very much for the great info i do not know much at all about vhf but you cleared up alot of my questions. As for the a frame question i am not sure what that is but i think it maybe the bar at the back of the boat then yes i have one
I am also not sure about the cg mast location.
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Old 10 August 2013, 17:12   #8
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A Frame is tha Metal Frame over the engine. It gives you a "higher" point to attach things. Beware that if you put a tall aerial (like the METZ) on there then you may have height issues if you are storing in a garage or on some UK slipways there is a barrier like you get at the entrance to some car parks to keep trucks etc out.

I'd think the Metz on the A Frame is the best you'll get. But a helix on there might not be too wicked a combination either.
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Old 10 August 2013, 17:17   #9
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Yeah i am thinking that's the route i am going to take. I keep boat on a marine railway in a covered boathouse so i may have to use a hinge mount type setup so i can just fold it down. Thanks again very helpful
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Old 11 August 2013, 05:56   #10
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We boat in fairly remote locations and I want access to the Coast Guards Rescue 21 as much as possible, so a 8ft antenna was the answer. I do not have a tower and do not want one as it would get in the way of my launching wheels and add unnecessary weight. I used fairly long screws and put it directly onto the transom and haven't had any issues. The nice thing is it folds right down to the floor of the boat, using a folding antenna mount.
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