How to select a marine VHF antenna

How to select a marine VHF antenna for you boat

Whether you use a fishing boat or a ferry boat at sea, A boat trip is unimaginable without communication equipment. And it’s even more sensitive to commercial ships. one of your means of communication is VHF radio, A proper antenna is required for any marine VHF radio to work properly. Your antenna will play a big role in how well your radio signal will be heard by other stations.

We have Focused three topics of an VHF antennas. Which will help you understand the technical, commercial, etc. of the antenna very well.

In this article, we will give you the details of what to consider when buying a VHF marine antenna.

So friends, let’s start …

What is a VHF Marine Antenna?

  • Technical Specification
  • Mounting
  • Construction
  • Other considerations

Technical Specification

Gain (dB Rating)

Gain means the ratio of the output power to the input power in dB. The size of the antenna plays a vital role in the sphere of receiving a signal. If you use a longer antenna, you will get the higher gain. Antenna gain indicates the effective increase in signal strength that you can achieve by manipulating the transmitter signal.

Like a TV antenna placed on the roof of your house, it can transmit a signal in a particular direction. Though it contains a high gain, it can send in one direction only.

If the antenna swings away from the signal source, your TV will lose picture quality. You can't use a TV-type directional antenna for use in marine purposes if you wish to communicate the full 360 degrees or Omni-directionally.

In lieu of concentrating the signal in a particular direction, a marine antenna along with gain will compress or "squash" the parallel signal. Typically, the higher the gain of the antenna is, the flatter to the horizon the message will get.

Remember that, if your boat sways & rolls on the waves, your flat compressed signal will then also pitch & roll. It will generally happen if you mount the antenna at the masthead, where the motion of your vessel will be most pronounced. In this situation, you cannot achieve the right quality signals and reliable communications every time the vessel rocks.


Range typically depends on the placement or mounting of the antenna. If you set the antenna at a higher place above the water, you can expect a good range from your antenna. VHF radio waves usually travel pretty much in straight lines if your communications range is in 'line-of-sight.' Your antenna should be able to "see" the other antenna, and there must be a clear, unobstructed path between the antennas.

For the sake of the curvature of the earth, the distance between 2 antennas increases, and they finally fall below the horizon and can no longer communicate with each other. In most cases, the communicating way of VHF is limited to around 35-50 miles depending upon the antenna's height.

You can get a somewhat extra advantage in the sphere of Sailboats as you can mount an antenna at the top of the mast and reach great distances.


There are different types of mounting. Some of them are as follows:

  • Rail mounting
  • Mast Mounting
  • Surface Mounting
  • Mounting Location

Rail mounting

The manufacturers' design rail mount for quick and easy installation on vertical or horizontal, straight or angled rails. The design of it is effortless, and so you can install it very quickly. Naturally, the subordinate section grips the track tightly, and the flat part supports the antenna. You can even bolt the flat section to a flat surface, instead of gripping to the rail.

Besides, you can use sturdy brackets to mount devices to standard 35mm DIN rail. There are ten clips in this. People naturally use these clips for general-purpose made of glass-fiber reinforced Nylon material. You can use them to work with rail depths of 7.5mm or more significant.

You will generally find three sizes of the bracket in the market. It is effortless to install and remove those from the DIN rail. You should follow the "fixed" (not spring-loaded) tab of the clip on the top so that it can bear the load.

On the other hand, you should set the spring-loaded tab on the bottom. You can simply push upwards on the DIN clip to remove the DIN clip from the rail. You can also move the whole clip down to release the bottom of the clip. You don't need any screwdrivers or special tools to perform this task.

Mast Mounting

The manufacturers have designed this mast mounting equipment for poles with 48mm outside diameter. They are suitable for the installation of wind generators, radar-units, satellite antennas, or any other technical stuff. It is a widely versatile pole mount with a simple installation-friendly front mount.

The bracket used in it fits both horizontal and vertical pipes and is wall mountable. Besides, This product meets all AC Antennas with an internal 1.25"-11 TPI thread, which is ideal for the N240F revolving nut. So, this mount fits antennas like the CX4, CX3 5/8, and Cellular antennas.

You can use it on sailboats and for land also. The mast foot has a swiveling capacity, and therefore you can comfortably mount on horizontal and inclined surfaces. As the mast foot and the mast clamps are mounted in rubber elements, it prevents vibration and noise transmission to a large extent.

You should not keep the cables outside of the mast so that the wires are not visible and perfectly protected. During the development, the manufacturers have taken care to allow simple installation and maintenance.

Surface Mounting

Surface-mount technology (SMT) is an electrical method where the manufacturers mount the electrical components directly on the back of a printed circuit board (PCB). An electrical part fit in this manner is referred to be a surface-mount device (SMD).

The surface mounting means mounting something on top of a surface's face. It means if you run your hand along the surface, your hand would run into the attached object. The manufacturers started to improve the level of automation for PCB assembly for boards. The user used a variety of equipment during the 1970s and 1980s.

It was not an easy task to assemble PCB with the use of traditional components with leads. Resistors and capacitors needed to have their points pre-formed so that they could fit through holes, and even integrated circuits.

They also required to have their leads set precisely to the right pitch so that they could be placed through the holes easily. The users used the surface mount technology widely in the 1980s, and the popularity grew from then.

Mounting Location

The location has a remarkable impact on attaining a good signal. Whenever possible, you should not install the pumps outdoors or in excessively hot, humid, dirty, or dusty environments. If it is not possible, you should protect the pump with a suitable cover or ventilated enclosure.

In the sphere of cold applications, you need to protect the pumps from being breezed, which can cause severe damage to the pump.


Price and Warranty

Price warranty helps the buyers in the sphere of buying their expected products without hesitation. We see that there are three types of price warranty, including sellers' guarantee, consultants' warranty, and contractors' warranty.

Seller warrants that the prices and services for all items sold are as favorable as prices currently extended to any other Buyer for their similar quality and quantities.

The Consultant certifies that the prices charged herein are not higher than those charged to its most favored customer for the same services under the market conditions. The College or its authorized representatives(s) have the right to examine the records of The Consultant. Also, it is necessary to assure that the prices charged to the College under this Contract do not exceed those charged by The Consultant.

The Contractor warrants that the prices of the items sold to the City are not less favorable than those currently expanded to any other customers. The Contractor shall voluntarily disclose, to the City, any prices for similar items in similar quantities.

The Contractor assures that prices shown on this Vendor Contract are complete, and they will not add any charge of any type without the City's express written consent.

Other considerations

Coaxial cable

Coaxial cable is a kind of wire that has an inner conductor surrounded by an insulating layer, and a conductive shielding. Many Coaxial cables have an insulating outer jacket also. Naturally, an electrical signal flows through the center conductor.


Cable operators, telephone companies, and internet providers usually use coaxial cable around the world to convey data, video, and voice communications to customers.

Coaxial cable connectors

The users use Coaxial cable connectors to connect cables to other devices and design to maintain the shielding on the wire. You can assure High-quality connectors for reliable, long-lasting connections.


There are two specific connector styles; male and female. Female connectors act as a receptacle to receive the male pin. There are different types of coaxial cable connectors for use in video, audio, RF, and microwave industries. Each offers unique benefits based on its use or application.

Ant TM Combination Antenna

The combination means combining two or more things to achieve better performance.

Ant is a combination antenna for using on a vehicle roof mount. The antenna has a cellular antenna and GPS antenna with a low noise amplifier and has the advantage of mounting an external rod. It has a wide range of rods that offer different frequencies. We can use it in various applications depending on which system we integrate it.

Also, we can use it on fleet management, safety/security systems, logistics, and other telematics applications. It is slim and aerodynamic, and therefore it is perfect to use both on HGVs and smaller vehicles, like taxis, pick-ups, vans, etc.

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