Choose the Right VHF Antenna — Offshore Cruiser
Bluewater cruising boats need reliable communications over long ranges, which necessitates a high-gain antenna, mounted as far above the waterline as possible, and with good quality RG-8X feed cable to minimize power loss over what is likely to be quite a long cable run. Since the boat is unlikely to be slamming over waves at high speed, and should be able to support a big antenna plumb upright, a 9dBi antenna such as the 21-foot, two-piece Glomex RA500 ($675) or Digital Antenna’s 532-V ($442.85) would both be good choices.
Chris Catoe, sales engineer at marine-antenna manufacturer Shakespeare says that owners looking to outfit a boat of this type could also go for something even bigger: “I’d suggest our 5309-R Galaxy ($784.95). It’s a solid-performing 23-foot, two-piece antenna with elements made of complex brass and copper tubing to give it the right combination of performance and longevity coupled with a smooth, glossy finish.”