Antennae are important to boaters, but locating the right VHF antenna for your boat can be difficult if you don’t understand what you are looking for. Whether you are out on a fishing expedition or taking a pleasure cruise, you want the best communication available on your boat to prevent you from being stranded on the water for long hours or even days. Here are some facts you may want to know about selecting a VHF antenna with range and clarity.
Price Doesn’t Equal Quality
When it comes to a marine antenna, purchasing the most expensive stick you can find doesn’t mean you have the best quality available. Additionally, if you have a small boat, you don’t need a 10 dB gain; instead, you need a significant signal, not one that travels great lengths. You also need to understand what is inside the antenna. Is it copper or brass, a coax cable, or a coaxial cable? Your antenna is a photon generator that depends on quality parts to transmit correctly. Price doesn’t equal quality of signal, either.
Line of Sight Is Key
Many boaters don’t know that no matter how big, tall, or expensive their VHF antenna is, the signal will only travel through line of sight. That is why the antennae are designed to be narrow poles that extend high into the air above your boat. A small 24-foot boat should have at least an 8-foot antenna with 6 dB gain, and a large boat should look for at least an 18-foot height with an 8 dB gain.
To better understand which type of VHF antenna is right for your boat, contact a marine company that sells a variety of sizes and dB gains. You may also want to look into replacing your radio when you change out your antenna to keep the system as up-to-date and safe as possible.