The best VHF marine antenna also needs to be well designed such that the radiated waves travel in a required direction – there is no point directing radio waves up into space when all of your contacts are on or around sea-level ! A poor quality VHF marine antenna will not provide the required good match & may provide you with questions about your installation and whether your best VHF marine radios equipment is working correctly. That is why we suggest you use a best VHF marine antenna from a reliable manufacturer.
Even the best VHF marine radio in the world will not perform to their optimum if connected to the wrong VHF marine antenna. Much like the tyres of a sports car are the only contact point with the ground, providing the necessary grip & traction when racing around a track, a radio’s only contact point with the outside world is it’s VHF antenna. If the race car tyres are low-quality or worn then the car will not perform to it’s best capability – similarly, a radio needs a well-matched load (antenna) to allow the efficient conversion of electrical energy into radio waves.
From the outside, they all look like white sticks with different heights. When choosing the best VHF marine antenna, how can you tell which one is going to be the best fit for your boat? They generally look the same but there are so many differences between VHF marine antenna types. You aren’t paying more for one just because it has a cooler name, there’s a lot to consider in finding the antenna that’s the best fit for your boat.
Which antenna is the best VHF marine antenna for you?
Just selecting an antenna with the most dB (also known as gain) doesn’t mean you get the best signal. As dB increases, the signal is more compressed like a focused flashlight. A compressed beam can cause the signal to fade in rough seas especially for smaller boats that tend to rock more.
A smaller dB isn’t as concentrated, it offers the most consistency in the area covered when a boat is rocking. A larger dB sends a further signal but is not efficient with high levels of boat movement.
Get your best VHF marine antenna up high.
Last time we checked, the earth is round. You want to exceed the curvature of the earth by getting your antenna as high as possible.
Taller antennas (over 8 feet) usually require 2 mounting points. A swiveling mount at the base and a stand-off bracket a few feet from the base. Shorter antennas (8 feet and under) usually only need to be mounted through their base. So pick a spot on your boat and an antenna length that get you as high as possible.
Eliminate the Noise from your VHF marine antenna.
Eliminate out the noise from other radios and the environment by having an efficient transmission system. An efficient transmitter improves the amount of signal and the amount of noise that another listener would hear from you. Would you pair a low quality speaker to a high quality stereo system? The same applies to your best VHF marine antenna.
The factors (within your control) that can improve the efficiency of your transmission are:
– Quality of your antenna elements.
– Quality of your coax.
– Quality of your connectors.
The best VHF marine antenna – Shakespeare Galaxy 5225-XT
Shakespeare’s best VHF marine antenna – maximizes range and quality in a great looking antenna. The 5225-XT is Shakespeare’s Galaxy® Style 5225 in a stronger, stiffer radome. It’s extra tough for use on hard tops, T-tops, radar arches, or wherever its extra resistance to high winds and high speeds is welcome.
The Shakespeare Galaxy 5225-XT 8ft VHF Antenna w/ 6dB Gain represents Shakespeare’s best VHF marine antenna. Its Galaxy design maximizes range and quality in a great looking VHF marine antenna.
The 5225-XT is Shakespeare’s classic Style 5225 in a new, stronger, sturdier, stiffer radome for extra duty. It’s extra tough for use on hard tops, T-tops, radar arches, or wherever its extra resistance to high winds and high speeds is welcome.
– Brass and copper elements for maximum range and efficiency
– Stainless steel ferrule with standard 1″-14 thread
– 20ft RG-8/X low-loss cable plus a PL-259 connector
– Suggested mount: Shakespeare Style 4187 or 5187 (each sold separately)
– One section
The Style 5225-XT is a Galaxy® Series, collinear-phased 5/8-wave antenna of 8’ overall length. The one-section, 6dB antenna has a stainless steel ferrule and a 20’ RG 8/X low-loss cable.
Shakespeare Galaxy 5225-XT Tech Tips
This antenna will read “short circuit” when tested with an ohm meter or continuity tester. The 50-ohm coaxial cable should remain at least 3 feet in length, measured from the point where the cable exits the antenna. For installations where the cable exits through the bottom center of the antenna’s ferrule, replace the grommet at the exit hole in the ferrule with the supplied Grommet Plug.
Choose a mounting location that is as high as feasible, as free as possible from obstructions, and as far as possible from other antennas and strong sources of RF. The recommended mount is Shakespeare’s Style 4187 stainless steel ratchet mount (sold separately). This antenna can be mounted self supporting.
To clean the antenna, use mild dish washing liquid (one that is not harsh to the hands and without ammonia) in lukewarm water.
Do not let paint solvents, cleaning solvents, or adhesive caulking come in contact with the antenna. Chemicals in these materials might destroy the finish.
It is important to remember that the line of sight does not equal your transmission range. To maximize your range, make sure to drown out the noise from other radios and the environment by having an efficient transmission system. This means pay attention to the quality of the antenna elements, connectors and coax cable on the antenna you want.
Better conducting elements help create better efficiency in your signal transmission so silver plated elements are more effective than brass elements. Additionally, thicker brass elements conduct better than thinner brass elements. As for coax cables, there is some loss with every length of coax that you use