When it comes to communication on your boat, your VHF antenna is critical to the VHF installation. You are more likely to have high-quality communication between yourself, shore stations, and other boaters when you have the correct antenna. A VHF attend provides a radiator for the transmitter and radiates energy in the right direction.
For an antenna to work correctly, it also needs to be protected from the elements and be made of corrosion-resistant material to last on the water. When you’re looking for a new VHF antenna, how do you know you made the right choice?
What’s the dB Rating?
Your dB rating indicates the increase in transmitting power due to focusing energy. An antenna with a high dB rating will concentrate energy perpendicular in a disk-shaped field. Higher dB ratings strengthen the signal and reduce the amount of energy above and below the antenna.
How Is Your Antenna Constructed?
When it comes to VHF antennas, they should be made from fiberglass or stainless steel. It should be a short, whip antenna if you have a masthead mounted antenna because it creates less windage and provides a wide pattern. Small powerboats may also choose to use whip antennas. The construction of your VHF antenna should depend on the type of boat you have and the elements that you have to weather regularly.
What Are the Elements Within the Antenna?
Your VHF antenna will be made from one of three materials. You will have one made with copper, brass or coaxial cable. If you want the best possible performance and high durability, you want to use a brass or copper antenna.
When choosing an appropriate VHF antenna for your boat, you need to consider the type of antenna, your boat type and the elements within the antenna. To ensure you’re receiving a durable antenna that supports communication, discuss your options with the professionals installing the VHF system.