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Author Topic:   VHF Antennas on Montauk
tabasco posted 03-07-2002 09:52 AM ET (US)   Profile for tabasco   Send Email to tabasco  
Ok need input on mounting an 8 ft VHF antenna on a Montauk. Where do most of you mount your antenna Starboard? Port side? How about the antenna cable (don't want to trip on it) any information would be helpful also any "Don't do's" would be appreciated
tabasco posted 03-07-2002 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     

Another question is it better to attach the base to the side rail or drill holes into the hull for the base mount?

whaler al posted 03-07-2002 10:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for whaler al  Send Email to whaler al     
I mounted my antenna on the starboard side of the console...worked just fine...had to mount a 4ft because i kept hitting it while casting for strippers...
Dick posted 03-07-2002 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I have mine mounted on the starboard side of the cosole grab rail with a SS ratchet rail mount. Started out with an 8' but like whaler al it kept getting in my way switched to a 5' by Digital Antenna, works great.
jimp posted 03-07-2002 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
Tabasco -

I just emailed you 3 photos. I mounted both my VHF & LORAN antennas on top of the rail, all the way aft, port & starboard sides. They were out of the way, and while fishing, I just laid them down.


Bigshot posted 03-07-2002 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
After breaking off 2 ants on my Hydra-sport(mounted on T-top), I bought one of those 3' SS shakespeares and it works just as good for me. On a Montauk it would be perfect in that your Bimini will not interfere. I have a Handheld on my Montauk.
Hoop posted 03-07-2002 11:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoop  Send Email to Hoop     

I mounted my Galaxy 8 foot VHF antenna, which importantly comes with a 20 foot lead, on my Montauk starboard stern railing using a ratchet mount, based on discussion on this forum about 1 1/2 years ago. I mounted it on the second vertical support from the bow. It is not on the console.

Advantages: when I put it the antenna down, it lies parallel and on top of the gunnel. It doesn't get in the way of anything. I drilled no holes. I can change it back to the console if I should ever want to do so in the future. I don't have a canvas top, but it would be outboard of the Mills full enclosure that I hope to acquire one of these days.

Disadvantages: Antenna cost is $100, about double the cost of entry level antennas. It gets in the way a little bit when I'm fishing, but not too bad. The particular ratchet I bought, a SS ratchet, doesn't 'lock' closed and is susceptible to overtightening. Overtightening resulted in a ratchet failure and I had to get another one. Now I bungy it closed.


Salmon Tub posted 03-07-2002 11:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
I mounted a ratchet mount rail base that you can get at west marine (white plastic) directly on top of the sheppards thingy (rounded center rail in front of console). Every time I go out I just screw on the antenna (8') and remove after trip. This way it is out of my way and I can still use my console cover. I have a short lead which goes just over the windshield and directly to my radio. Shakespeare rep said that as long as you have 3' of cable, you should be o.k. I have normal reception and transmission, and am satisfied with this. Mounting anywhere else seems like it will interfere with fishing.
whalerron posted 03-07-2002 11:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
Mine is mounted on the rear starboard side railing. I used a stainless ratchet mount on the second vertical support from the stern. The ratchet mount uses a locking arm that locks the antenna in any and all positions.

Whaler Al, where is it that you are catching strippers? Alot of us might be interested in that kind of fishin....

- Ron

triblet posted 03-07-2002 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
8' Shakespeare Galaxy on the aft end of the
starboard rail, SS ratchet mount. The Galaxy
has a 20' low-loss RG-8X cable, the cheaper
Shakes have a 15' RG-58 that's thinner (more
loss). A 15' cable won't make it on a Montauk.
The cable is run through the tunnel to the
console, so no trip hazard.

On the trailer, the antenna folds down and
straps to the rail with some rubber gizmos I
found at West Marine.


David Ratusnik posted 03-07-2002 01:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Bigggsss- How'd you break off 2 8'ers from the T top. Sounds like good stories- please share. David
TightPenny posted 03-07-2002 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for TightPenny  Send Email to TightPenny     
8' Shakespeare on the starboard side of the console on a plastic ratchet mount. I don't have a bimini so there is no interference. It lays down nicely for the winter or when trailering.

The cable is routed to the front of the console and enters into the console through a clamshell fitting on the front.

VHF is mounted on the stern face of the console with another clamshell fitting for the cables to come back out. Works well for me.

gvisko posted 03-07-2002 05:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for gvisko  Send Email to gvisko     
mine is on right side of console with base
all the way down in front corner this
allows me to pull console cover all the way down. gv
Tsuriki BW posted 03-07-2002 06:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tsuriki BW  Send Email to Tsuriki BW     

I have a 3' (or is it 4') Shakespear SS antenna, mounted on an SS ratchet mount, on the right side of the console of my Dauntless 14. It is high enough to be able to work well and clear the hand rail to fold down so I can get the boat in the garage.

The antenna works just fine with my fixed mount radio (mounted in the center of the console dash).

The ratchet mount works great and requires little maintainance.

With the steering wheel AND the console door on the left side, mounting the antenna on the opposite side makes a lot of sense, especially if you boat alone. It is not constantly in the way when you go forward or get into the console for something.

I highly recommend an SS rachet mount, especially for towing or garaging/storage.


dfmcintyre posted 03-07-2002 09:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Tabasco -

I've mounted 8'er's on the starboard side, using a ratched type mount, that's through-bolted to the _inside_ of the hull, just behind, and slightly above the last (this explanation is gonna get bare with me...) support stanchion of the stainless steal grab rail.

Got it?

When folded down, it rests on top of the series of support stanchions, between the rail and the hull. About 3/4" from the tip, when folded down, I mounted a little stainless steel eye strap, and bend the stick slightly to fit the end into the strap.

I've used this method of mounting, on all the whalers I've owned.


tabasco posted 03-12-2002 03:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Thanks guys............I bought the 8' Shakespeare Galaxy. They were out of stock on the basic so they gave me a great deal on the one with the noise filter. Paid a little over $100 for the one with the filter. West Marine sells it for $159.00. Also got the SS rail mount with rachet. I guess I'm all set ..........just have to wait for the boat to arrive.
Thanks again
whaleryo posted 09-09-2002 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for whaleryo  Send Email to whaleryo     
Mounted a whip antenna on the console rail. Then I read the VHF radio manual which says that the FCC laws state that the bottom of the antenna must be at least 1 meter vertically above the operator, and 3 meters horizontally from any passenger. How do you do this on a small boat? Do I need to tow an "antenna boat" behind me?

triblet posted 09-09-2002 10:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
8' Shake Galaxy starboard side after on the
last horizontal part part of the side rail,
on an SS ratchet. I initially got one of
the plastic ratchets, got it home, opened
the package, and decided it was cheesy and
exchanged it for SS.

Which side is a function of how YOU organize
YOUR boat. On my Montauk, the port side
stays clear for people, gear goes on the
starboard side. Also, the swim step was
already on the port side.

BTW, if you leave the antenna up, and drive
the trailer under a big tree limb, it's not
good for the antenna. Not fatal, but not
good. I put two lengthwise cracks about 2"
long in the base of the antenna, and popped
it out of the chrome ferrule. West System
to the rescule. I epoxied it back in the
ferrule, and epoxied a couple of turns around
the base of the antenna, and it worked fine.
But the glass work looked bad, so I bought a
new antenna.


whalerron posted 09-09-2002 10:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
My Standard Horizon Intrepid VHF came with a fairly long microphone cord and the entire unit is submersible. I just jump out of the boat and go underwater with the mic when I need to make a call.
triblet posted 09-09-2002 10:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
whaleryo, does your VHF manual quote chapter
and verse for that regulation? I've never
seen that written anywhere before, and I'd
like to see what the reg says (as opposed to
what the VHF maker's lawyers told the writers
to say it said).


Dick posted 09-09-2002 10:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     

In my roughly 50 years on the water I have never encountered an FCC cop checking antenna mounting and don't expect to.

I started with a Shakespeare SS whip on the console grab rail, didn't like it so I switched to a Digital Inc 4' glass antenna, works great and stout enough to use as an outrigger.

whaleryo posted 09-10-2002 11:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for whaleryo  Send Email to whaleryo     

I don't have the (ICOM) manual with me but the page was generally an FCC warning about Electro-Magnetic radiation frying the brains of anyone within 3 meters of the antenna while transmitting.

I was going to mount the antenna aft on the starboard side rail but gave up after trying to snake the coax through the tunnel.

Taylor posted 09-10-2002 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
What you need is a 'fish tape' which is a resilient yet flexible piece of metal designed to fish wires through walls. Start at the bow, take out the cooler and feed the fish tape stern-wards down through the hole under the console. Mine just popped out at the stern end of the tunnel. Tape the coax to the fish tape with electrical tape and make sure there's nothing sticking out, then pull the fish tape back, taking the coax with it.

A tape measure might work to do this job also if you can't find a fish tape.

Dick posted 09-10-2002 11:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I just checked the manuals for both my Raytheon fixed mount and hand held VHFs. No mention is made of a problem with radiation from the antenna.
If it is true just think what you are doing to your brain when talking on a handheld.
I think a problem with radiation from a VHF antenna is less likely than a giant squid surfacing under your boat.
jimh posted 09-11-2002 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The specified distances the antenna is to be mounted away from people are included in the equipment maker's manual in order to comply with this regulation of PART 80 -- STATIONS IN THE MARITIME SERVICES

80.227 Special requirements for protection from RF radiation
As part of the information provided with transmitters for ship earth stations, manufacturers of each such unit must include installation and operating instructions to help prevent human exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation in excess of the RF exposure guidelines specified in 1.1307(b) of the Commission's Rules.

(Quoted from 47 CFR 10-1-90 Edition)

Since I hold several FCC Radio licenses I am compelled to have a copy of the rules on hand; it is also interesting to run down little questions like this.

Dick posted 09-11-2002 10:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
Like most government publications, that FCC blurb says nothing as well as being 12 years old. The FCC has never been known as one of the brightest government agencies and very slow to update and stay up with progress.

Look at how long it took them to give up trying to control CB radio, it was out of their control from the start.

I am a 30 year FCC AM ticket holder.

triblet posted 09-11-2002 08:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Taylor is right about the fish tape. With
just a little patience you can push it down
the length of the tunnel. It will probably
hang up a couple of time, when it does, just
give a little wiggle and body english.

When you go to pull it back, be sure to tape
over the opening in the U-shaped loop at
the end so it won't catch.


ShrimpBurrito posted 09-11-2002 09:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Jimh - you are a Morse code whiz!
rsgwynn1 posted 09-12-2002 12:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for rsgwynn1  Send Email to rsgwynn1     
If you ever plan to use a Bimini, go for a rail mount.

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