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Author Topic:   Broken Fiberglass Antenna
towboater posted 01-04-2009 03:24 AM ET (US)   Profile for towboater   Send Email to towboater  
The 6-inch fiberglass tip of my brand new Shakespeare VHF antenna broke off. Somebody forgot to lock the the mount and the antenna fell down and snapped off clean on a bullrail. If I ever find that guy....The end [of the internal portion of the antenna] is exposed but still intact. Will it still work? If so, obviously, the [internal portion of the antenna] needs protected.

I have a bunch of thin wall golf club shafts that would be easy to measure, trim and fit over snugly simply using 5200. I'm not sure if the ungrounded metal shaft would help or hinder the transmission and receiving capabilities.


fishgutz posted 01-04-2009 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for fishgutz  Send Email to fishgutz     
Call Shakespeare. Be very friendly. Tell them under normal use it broke. Act concerned, not angry. Tell them you can't see spending more money to replace it. If they are at all like their fishing rod division they will replace it for free. I have had great luck getting free replacements of everything from bike seats to GPS units, even underwear and stereo speakers. Most important BE FRIENDLY.
Chuck Tribolet posted 01-04-2009 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The fibreglass tube is just the support for a wire(and some
other stuff lower down) inside. You don't want to repair
with metal but rather with fibreglass or maybe a piece of
rubber hose.


fishgutz posted 01-04-2009 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for fishgutz  Send Email to fishgutz
Also, if they want their antenna back first, tell them you'd like to keep using the one you have (if it still works) and see if they will send a replacement first so you can use their packaging to return the broken one. My son just did that with a video game part. Actually he's done it a couple times(he's learning from the master).

Try returning it to the place you bought it from. Tell them it just barely hit the rail and just snapped off. Or imbelish the story a little and tell them you bumped your head on it and it just broke. Tell them the end almost hit you in the eye. They'll feel sorry for you. Just make sure your story doesn't have any holes in it.

That antenna should have an expected level of durability. It isn't fragile. Nothing on a boat should be fragile.

jimh posted 01-04-2009 10:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The fragility of those fiberglass antennas is one reason why I changed to the GAM SS-2 antenna and its exposed metal whip. You won't break a GAM SS-2 if it falls on the deck.

You should not bring any conductive objects within about six feet of the antenna. Any conductor near the antenna will affect the antenna's performance. Certainly using a metal object to repair the antenna is completely out of the question.

DeeVee posted 01-04-2009 12:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for DeeVee  Send Email to DeeVee     

The antenna that was on my boat when I bought it was broken a couple of times by myself when I forgot to lower the antenna for the trailer ride home from the ramp (part of the learning curve of moving up from a 17 to a 22 foot boat).

I used black liquid electrical tape to seal up the end of the tube. The final length of the antenna was close to six feet when I finally replaced it last winter. The antenna mounting location is on top of the T-top.

I am sure breaking the antenna off a few times did not help the performance of the antenna, but I was always able to communicate with my fishing partners when I wanted to, even when out of sight from one another. I finally replaced it for safety's sake.


Liteamorn posted 01-04-2009 01:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Liteamorn  Send Email to Liteamorn     
I snapped the tip on my brand new antenna going under a low bridge. I made a "splint" out of 3/4" pvc pipe, filled the open spaces with silicone and kept the sleeve in place with wire ties. Works like a charm!
towboater posted 01-05-2009 12:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
Thx for the advice.
I wish fixing a antenna was my only problem.

Today was the worst working weather I have ever endured.
55 mph wind blowing huge wet flakes of snow over the windows til they covered or fogged up. Flood lights just caused more glare.
Every river on the entire Columbia River estuary is dumping 40 year snow melt on top of a 9 ft max ebb.
Towing a barge I have no business towing on a butterfly day.

I cut loose and started towing just long enough to realize this was the wrong thing to do, regardless that a Panamax Freighter was waiting for us to finish and load...I took er back to the dock and told the Prime, Im sorry man, you need to find a better Skipper &/or Tug because I cant do this with what I have here. The whole crew was awesome even tho I had to excuse myself to change pants. A big Tug will be onsite tomorrow morn. Another day in parad...

Yes, a Whaler Guardian was on the scene (not mine). One day I will post a picture of it.

Back to antenna repair, yeah, I guess I did repair one long ago with a Popsicle stick and vinyl tape. too tired to go on, thanks for listening to me whine.


lavieve posted 01-05-2009 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for lavieve  Send Email to lavieve     
I repaired my shakespeare antenna after accidently breaking it. I simply fiberglassed the break using West System epoxy. It is a little larger, but works fine.
Scott Grey posted 01-06-2009 03:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Scott Grey  Send Email to Scott Grey     
A good friend of mine left his up after loading his boat at the ramp. It broke about a foot off the top of his 8 ft. He and I went to Ace Hardware and bought a rubber cap in white and used a little 5200 to seal it. It still works good and he thinks he didn't loose any real distance with the performance. Just an Idea.
pglein posted 01-09-2009 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for pglein  Send Email to pglein     
I would see if you can get Shakespeare to replace it. It shouldn't have broken under that type of use.

If you can't, I would remove it use some of that tool handle dipping plastick to cap the top off and call it good. The core of the antenna is just a metal shaft. Shortening it by 6" won't have much of an impact on it's range. The main concern is preventing corrosion, which is why I would recommend capping it with something waterproof.

LuckyLady posted 01-09-2009 03:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for LuckyLady  Send Email to LuckyLady     
Good call! It takes a real man to make that kinda call.
Keep your feet dry up there in the great NW.

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