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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Radio Antenna Mount
|Author||Topic: Radio Antenna Mount|
posted 02-21-2010 11:31 AM ET (US)
Need some help, I want to get ideas and information on how and where to mount a VHF antenna. How and where does everyone mount their antenna? What position on the boat, console or hull? What mount and base are you using? Thanks
posted 02-21-2010 11:44 AM ET (US)
I have described my antenna installation in another article. See:
I used the more or less standard antenna mount with a ratchet mechanism that allows the antenna to be lowered. The antenna mount is secured to the hull using through bolts, and the hull is reinforced with a 0.25-inch aluminum backing plate. The mount design is somewhat universal. This design is made in both nylon and steel. I use a steel mount.
The goal for antenna mounting should be to put the antenna as high as possible, and to keep the antenna out of the way of the crew during normal boat operation. The antenna should also be kept a safe distance from all humans--typically three feet--when transmitting.
posted 02-21-2010 02:02 PM ET (US)
Having a browse through whalerparts to see the OEM locations and parts for various models, is a good starting point. In addition to Jim's advice.
posted 02-21-2010 02:43 PM ET (US)
Thank for the input, but Im looking for new ideas, or other options, Thanks
posted 02-21-2010 06:04 PM ET (US)
My advice may be old, but I strongly recommend you pay attention to it. I cannot recall anyone ever recommending that a VHF Marine Band antenna be mounted as low as possible. Even though that would be new advice, it would not be good advice.
posted 02-21-2010 06:39 PM ET (US)
My apologies for not remembering which Boston Whaler model you have. Having owned a Montauk and now Outrage 17, these are my setups:
Note - I don't fish but do transport a lot of gear, freight and serve as a family water taxi in the summer.
Montauk - Bought it with a 3' whip style antenna on the side of the console. Not the best location, got in the way and lacked good reception.
Outrage 17 - Prior owner installed a 8' Shakespeare mounted amidships on the gunnel. A terrible location since passengers boarding on that side always grabbed it assuming it was a good grip.
I tested the mount in several locations and found the railing adjacent to my stern quarter seats works the best. It is out of the way of hands and stows forward (using the rail mount ratchet style bracket) resting on the cap.
Here is a semi-decent photo:
Hope this helps.
posted 02-21-2010 08:34 PM ET (US)
Thanks for the picture Phil, just what I was thinking I wondered if anyone has ever done something that. I was even thinking of mounting it to the transom. By doing so it would be out of the way as you stated and can lay down close to the gunnel. I can hide the wire in the tunnel with the engine wires.
posted 02-21-2010 09:26 PM ET (US)
Here is a better photo:
posted 02-22-2010 12:27 AM ET (US)
Mine uses a rail/rachet mount in stainless steel. Mounted on the top of the shepards crook of my console with a 3' baseload antenna. I had an 8' fiberglass antenna in the same mount before but, it got in the way too much when fishing.
posted 02-22-2010 12:35 PM ET (US)
I've had good luck mounting it in the starboard aft area. On my current 21':
And on an earlier Montauk, but a bit harder to see:
When folded down on the Montauk, it would lay on the support/holdoff stanchions, between the hull and the vertical sections of the side grab rail.
When you consider where to mount it, everything is a compromise; mounting on the console gives you height, but very close to that three foot minimum that Jim refers to. Along side on the hull, it can can obstruct canvas and can be used all to often (with predicable results...) as a handhold. Stern mounting is closer to the engine, with possible problems with ignition noise. Pick you poison...
Best - Don
posted 02-22-2010 10:48 PM ET (US)
The separating distance between (a vertically polarized) radio antenna and human is much more effective if the separation is vertical rather than horizontal. A typical VHF Marine Band vertically polarized antenna which is three feet above a person's head will produce a much lower field intensity than the same antenna with the person directly in line of the main antenna lobe and three feet horizontally away. This is another one of many reasons why on my antenna installation I am using a shorter radiating element (3-feet) which is then mounted on an extension mast (4-feet). The combination gets the antenna radiator much farther above my head than if the typical "8-foot" antenna were used on the same mount.
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