Best Marine Radio Antenna in 2020
For any VHF boat radio to work properly, you’re going to need a good and dependable antenna. This may seem like an easy choice, involving nothing more than logging onto your favorite website or visiting your neighborhood boat supplier and grabbing the first one that catches your eye.
In reality, how well your equipment functions when out at sea will depend a great deal on the type of antenna you select. So take your time and choose one that will not only keep your equipment functioning well, but will do so for a number of years.
There are many different types of marine antennas to choose from, with products and items that cover all different kinds of categories and price ranges.
But boat antennas are like most other things in life – what works for someone else may not be what’s best suited for you and your specific VHF equipment.
What is the Best VHF Marine Radio Antenna?
This is a very difficult question to answer because it largely depends on what you want your marine equipment to do. For example, do you want it to reach for just a few miles or up to 25 miles or more?
It also depends on how much you want to spend. You can find antennas that will work for $30 or so, or you can buy a top of the line one that will cost you 10 times that or more.
We have gone through several reviews and these are the top selling boat marine antennas for 2020.
BEST MOUNTING PLATE BRACKET FOR VHF ANTENNA
FISHMASTER MARINE Bracket for VHF Antenna
The Fishmaster Folding Antenna Mounting Plate features a clam shell design that easily affixes to any type of 1.9″ or 2″ t-top framework. The globe is your oyster with this Folding Antenna Mounting Plate – It works with most folding antenna install braces!
BEST DIGITAL ANTENNA FOR BOATS
Luxtronic Long-Rang UFO Digital HDTV Antenna
The Luxtronic digital TV antenna can be used both indoors and also outdoors, and also is specifically excellent for Motor homes, vehicles, boats and also campers. This effective antenna will offer the most effective photo and also audio quality, even if your vehicle changes course.
Without getting too technical, an antenna allows you to transfer energy from the VHF radio’s power amplifier, making it possible to communicate with other boats and with authorities on shore. How well you’re able to do this depends, in large part, on the quality of the antenna you choose.
So whether you’re out riding jet skis, or fishing with your buddies or just drinking a few beers, having a dependable marine radio and antenna is vital to your overall safety.
You never know when something could go wrong, and this is not when you want to learn that your equipment isn’t up to par.
How long should a VHF antenna be?
The industry standard is that antenna height should be less than half the length of the boat, to achieve maximum performance.
So no matter what type and style of antenna your marine VHF radio is attached to, it’s best to stay within this general maritime rule.
What Size VHF Antenna do I need?
To answer this question, you’ll need to determine what you want and need in terms of size, gain, cost and even grid rating. Just keep in mind that your VHF marine radio is your lifeline in the case of an emergency, and don’t expect cell phones to work in most of these situations.
The fanciest and most expensive VHF radios in the world won’t work well if they don’t have good marine VHF antennas to go with them. So take some time, ask a lot of questions, look over as many items as you can and find the one that will work best for you.
Small power boats often use stainless steel antennas because they’re easy to install and perform better in the wind at high seas. But larger boats are more suitable for antennas made of polyurethane, with elements made of stainless steel, brass and copper.
But these recommendations are not set in stone, so feel free to choose the boat marine antenna that will best suit your needs in terms of price and performance. Just be sure your radio and your antenna are both on the same page, so to speak.