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Sportfisherman

Choose the Right VHF Antenna — Sportfisherman

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Sportfishing boats, such as this Hatteras GT63, achieve optimal range for VHFs with near-vertical antennas that account for any bow rise. Raked-back antennas may look flashy, but we encourage function over form.

Sportfishing boats may present similar antenna needs to that of offshore cruisers, thanks to their size and operating demands. But the speed with which they travel and the hull motion that results might suggest a shorter model. Mounting the antenna on a tower also reduces any benefits of extra length. And windage and the lift of the bow at speed may require positioning the antenna vertically when underway, which means it will be leaning forward when the boat is running at slow speeds, a look some owners may find aesthetically unacceptable. 

A standard-length, 19-foot 9dBi antenna such as Shakespeare’s Classic 4018 ($501.95) would be a good choice. But owners who really must lean their antennas back might think about using a shorter 6dBi option, such as an 8-foot Glomex RA1225 ($199), or perhaps make up for the reduced gain by choosing a particularly high-performance model with silver-plated elements such as Shakespeare’s 8-foot Galaxy 5225 XP ($292.95).