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Author Topic:   VHF antenna for 170 Montauk
WT posted 03-03-2010 12:27 PM ET (US)   Profile for WT   Send Email to WT  
My 170 MONTAUK is at my Boston Whaler dealer, and the electronics shop there just called to say my Shakespear VHF 8-foot antenna is broken. I had told them that my reception and [transmission] have been deteriorating the past couple of years. When the same dealer installed my Icom 504 VHF back in 2007 they noted then that my antenna performance was a weak link, and that it may need replacement soon.

Anyway, he suggests the 4-foot Morad 156 HD antenna for my 170 Montauk due to the size of my boat, with the small size not getting in my way. He said if I wanted an 8 foot antenna, he would recommend the Digital 529VW.

I travel up to 50 miles north out of Bodega Bay without any ports in between and many times with no boats in sight.

Which antenna would you pick? Morad 4 foot 156 HD or 8 foot Digital 529VW.



Tom W Clark posted 03-03-2010 12:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
I would (and did) get a GAM SS-2 when replacing an 8' Shakespeare whip VHF antenna on my boat.

WT posted 03-03-2010 12:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
Thanks Tom, for the heads up for the GAM SS-2. I currently have the Shakespear 5225 which rated pretty good in your link.

Another note is that I tend to ride my 170 Montauk pretty hard sometimes. :-) I used to strap my 8 foot antenna to my console handrail to keep it from whipping me as I drive or banging against the console.

So I would want an antenna that is going to take a ton of vibration abuse. My first Icom radio got shook to death. :-O


Fishmore posted 03-03-2010 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Fishmore  Send Email to Fishmore     
Warren, I have had some personal experience with the Digital 529VW (8') and the Digital 528VW (4') antennas. However, they were mounted on the top of my hardtop cuddy where the base of the antenna was about 8' above the water so my range would be better than on a gunwale mount. When fishing off the Marin coast (around Duxbury and out to N bouy) I was able to communicate with people claiming to be fishing in a circle encompassing Bodega / The Guide / Santa Cruz. Seeing that Tom's recommendation ranks so much higher in that test makes me want to try one of those out.
Phil T posted 03-03-2010 04:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Phil T  Send Email to Phil T     
Warren -

Check out Jim H's in-depth article, it's a good read.

WT posted 03-03-2010 04:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
jimh posted 03-04-2010 12:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Failure of VHF Marine Band antennas which are built using a fiberglass tube is quite common.

I have completed three seasons of boating with the GAM SS-2 antenna. This includes about 200 hours underway and probably 10,000 miles on the highway towing on a trailer. The antenna looks like new. There have been no mechanical or electrical problems with the GAM SS-2 antenna.

The radio performance of the GAM SS-2 antenna has been outstanding.

jimh posted 03-04-2010 09:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In regard to the 4-foot Morad 156 HD antenna, I don't have any first-hand experience with it, but I have read about it. I think David Pendleton has one on the roof of the hardtop on his fine 23 CONQUEST. It looks like a very well made and rugged antenna. I also expect its electrical performance would be as good. Usually radio antennas that appear very well made generally are also good performers electrically.

My only concern with the Morad 156 HD antenna is its mounting. The overall height of the antenna is very important for determining the range of communication. The higher the antenna can be mounted, the better it will perform. I do not have familiarity with the Morad antenna, and I do not know if a mounting arrangement could be worked out that would permit it to be installed on an extension mast of 4-feet length, as I showed with the GAM SS-2.

I also think the price of the Morad is a bit higher, in the $150 range. If we allow about $40 for the extension mast, this puts the antenna cost at about $190. If we use an extension mast which is rated for heavy duty (to handle the higher weight of the Morad antenna) the extension might cost $70, making the total antenna and mast about $220. They do seem to be popular in the Pacific Northwest region.

fishinchips posted 03-05-2010 09:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishinchips  Send Email to fishinchips     
I have a morad on my 170. Its ok.
I had a shakespeare 5225 8' on the montauk before, but it won't fit under my boat cover. So I took it off and put a morad.


Chuck Tribolet posted 03-05-2010 09:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I've got about 1100 hours underway, and probably 3500 hours
bobbing around at anchor in Monterey (not glassy water), all
on salt water, and about 84,000 miles of towing. The only
failure was due to driving under a tree with the antenna up
leaving Pt. Lobos. Fixed the antenna with some glass cloth
and epoxy and it still worked fine. Eventually replaced it
because the repair was ugly. I still have the antenna in the
rafters of my garage.

The failures I've seen of glass tube antennas have come
because somebody didn't put them down when driving under a
bridge or tree.

WT: I'd get the dealer to describe HOW it's broken. Sounds
to me like you need a new connector at radio end. And if
you want to borrow my antenna with the ugly repair, no


WT posted 03-06-2010 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for WT  Send Email to WT     
Thanks for the offer Chuck. I'm going to support my dealer and stimulate the economy at the same time. By the way, I've hit a few tree branches with my old 8 foot antenna too.


SJUAE posted 03-06-2010 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     

Do you suggest I do the opposite to Warren and not support my dealer or stimulate the economy :) as my standard BW 2006 8ft GRP antenna mounted on my T-top should be perfectly adequate even though I have a nice new Standard Horizon GX2100.


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