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Center Console

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Choose the Right VHF Antenna — Center Console

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Center Consoles, such as this SeaVee, ride close to the water, so longer antennas can improve range. But the speed and motion of these hulls suggest that a shorter antenna with an extension may be the best compromise.

Being lower on the water, a center console benefits from a long antenna, increasing the range to its radio horizon. So Catoe recommends Shakespeare’s 18-foot Galaxy antenna model 5018 ($621.95)—like the 5309 he recommended for offshore cruisers (but 5 feet shorter) or the 4018. 

Of course, other manufacturers also produce 9dBi antennas of about the same height and gain, such as Digital Antenna’s 532-V. But securing a big antenna in a relatively small, lively vessel can be a problem. Also, center consoles have the same cosmetic consideration concerning upright antennas as the bigger sportfisherman, so it would be worth considering a compromise: a 6dBi antenna such as the Glomex RA1225, perhaps adding an extension tube to give it some extra height.