The Best Marine VHF Antenna For Your Vessel Needs

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Best Marine VHF Antenna

Without a doubt, radio communication has been an important part of mankind and it has benefited us a lot ever since its origin. And lucky for us, today's technology has given us different ways to use and take advantage of it.

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There are now several various amenities and tools that we can use to make sure our daily lives is well-equipped with communication devices, even when you’re in the middle of a challenging environment. Like for example how long-range two-way radios can help every outdoor enthusiast receives updates in real-time. It's also very helpful in the event of emergencies.

However, the moment you will depart the shore, satellite signals will be limited and communication will be too. This is where the marine VHF antenna comes to the rescue. It's built to establish the connection to shore stations as well as other boaters. It can transmit power from your radio and send a signal in a particular direction.

So without further ado, let me introduce five of the best marine VHF antenna you will find in the market. Each of these products has its own unique capability to make sure you will stay on the grid. Please keep on reading below.

Shakespeare 5101 Centennial White 8' VHF Marine Antenna

Shakespeare is definitely one of the most reputable brands when it comes to marine VHF antennas. It’s been a leading company in technology and innovation since the year 1987. They’ve been famous for producing high-quality and reliable products globally and Shakespeare 5101 Centennial White 8' VHF Marine Antenna is not exempted. This 8-feet antenna is decent enough for marine situations.

In fact, it has been specially designed for boaters of all ages and experience levels. It is composed of copper and brass elements as well as brass ferrule which has been chrome-plated combined with a standard 1 inch to 14 thread; as a result, you will have an antenna that is not only extremely durable, but is also highly durable that can withstand extremely strong breeze without any difficulty at all.

Moreover, this antenna comes with PL-259 connector along with 15’ RG-58 coaxial cable; this means you almost have everything that you need to set it up and begin using it. I also like its sleek look with its white color that will surely complement your vessel. The bonus is that the antenna is covered with a highly glossy polyurethane finish so it will not become yellowish in the long run and to protect it against rust and corrosion, especially that it will be exposed to various elements.

Pros

  • It features copper and brass elements that are known to be high-quality materials
  • It’s an extremely durable antenna
  • It comes at an affordable price
  • It provides reliable reception.

Cons

  • You might need the assistance of Shakespeare tech support to install the antenna.
Tram 1607-HC 46-Inch VHF Marine Antenna

This VHF marine antenna has a length of 46 inches or about 4 feet long. It's a durable antenna that is built to last. It is made of fiberglass which is heavy-duty as well as stainless steel that is well known for being hard-wearing; this is to make sure the antenna will survive strong winds and whatever weather condition you will be in.

This VHF marine antenna has a length of 46 inches or about 4 feet long. It's a durable antenna that is built to last. It is made of fiberglass which is heavy-duty as well as stainless steel that is well known for being hard-wearing; this is to make sure the antenna will survive strong winds and whatever weather condition you will be in.

And the best thing is that it covers plenty of marine band frequencies, this means you’ll receive most of your favorite channels even if you’re on the boat. Plus, it has pretty wide coverage so you’re guaranteed to receive and transfer signals anywhere you are. This makes TRAM 1607-HC VHF Marine Antenna the perfect choice for anyone who’s going on challenging conditions because it has been designed this way.

Pros

  • It’s a portable antenna that comes with 20 feet RG-58 cable
  • It has wide and strong signal coverage
  • The antenna itself is coated with materials that are weather-resistant
  • It’s a rugged and heavy-duty antenna ideal for challenging conditions.

Cons

  • There are some complaints from its customer regarding its mounting system. some said its bold don’t stay tight.
TRAM 1600-HC 35 - Inch VHF Marine Antenna

Next, we have the younger brother of our previous product, the TRAM 1600-HC 35-Inch VHF Marine Antenna. This is one of the finest VHF antennas you will find in the market and you’ll often find them on small boats used for fishing.

Truth be told, TRAM 1600-HC’s reception and gain can’t match our first two products above. The reason I included this one on this list is because of its capability to serve hobbyists vessels. For instance, I like that it’s capable to receive and transmit signals even when you’re in the middle of harsh and challenging conditions.

Another excellent feature of TRAM 1600-HC that I like is its durability. In fact, the whole antenna has been covered with heavy-duty fiberglass. Moreover, it can receive almost all marine band frequencies present today. This is a great feature as it will give you access to service frequencies for emergencies as well as other signals that come from other stations or vessels.

Though it may be an economical alternative, I can say that TRAM 1600-HC is powerful enough in making sure your radio will always be on the grid. It also has a pretty impressive mounting system which does not feel flimsy at all, unlike most cheap VHF antennas. The mounting bracket is even made of stainless steel that makes it even more durable.

Pros

  • Its mounting system is exceptional
  • It has improved the signal transmissions
  • It is made to be resistant to corrosion and rust
  • It has access to different marine band frequencies
  • It comes at an affordable price.

Cons

  • This antenna comes in a removable design, however, it only becomes vulnerable to moisture.
Shakespeare 5226-XT 8' Galaxy Antenna

If you’re a serious fisher or you tend to venture on places with challenging conditions, then you need to seriously consider Shakespeare 5226-XT 8' Galaxy Antenna. This is a popular marine VHF antenna since it is much stronger and it offers extra resistance against the harsh weather as well as the high speed. This is why it's the best antenna for radar arches, hard tops, T-tops and other areas that require additional tough features.

This antenna comes in a Black beautiful finish with copper and brass elements to make sure it will have a great range and will be efficient enough to easily communicate with the other boats around. It has the capability of transmitting and receive signals from various frequencies in actual time. Plus, it delivers an on-point and clear transmission on your radio. These are the features that you’ll surely appreciate it as a boat owner.

On the other hand, its ferrule that is made of stainless steel comes with a 1”-14 thread while the PL-259 connector and 20ft RG-8X cable will help you easily and properly install this unit. Shakespeare 5226-XT 8' Galaxy Antenna has 6dB gain and covers a bandwidth of 3 MHz within 2.0.1 VSWR too.

Pros

  • It’s an extremely durable antenna that it can hold its grip on any surface
  • It can endure most severe wind speeds making it the best choice if you’re going somewhere with terrible weather condition
  • It delivers incredible clarity and range
  • It comes with a solid construction that all of its hardware, as well as its sensitive parts, are well protected.

Cons

  • There are no complaints from its users.
Shakespeare 5240-R Low Profile 3' VHF Marine Antenna

Last but definitely not the least is another marine VHF antenna from Shakespeare, which is the Shakespeare 5240-R Low Profile 3' VHF Marine Antenna. If you hate clutter on your communication board that you even find its simple setup to be irritating and such an eyesore, then I’m sure you’ll love this device.

What makes Shakespeare 5240-R stand out is that unlike most of the marine antennas, this one has a very slim structure. But don’t get me wrong, it is still capable of providing your varying requirements and needs as a boater. In fact, it can deliver the same excellent performance you will find in most rugged antennas. You will even often find this on bass boats and console fishing boats. This only means that what we have here is an adaptable marine VHF antenna.

Anyway, it is composed of copper elements that have been wrapped all over using a tin plate. It has a flawless design which has further improved its performance to transmit and receive signals. And that's not all, this antenna has also a really great reception. Plus it features a whip made of stainless steel and is a heavy duty; this makes sure it will be as rigid as you want it to be while you traverse in high speeds.

Pros

  • It comes with a brass canister that helps minimize the likelihood of re-tuning
  • It can survive strong winds
  • It has protection against corrosion and rust
  • It delivers incredible transmission.

Cons

  • You will need to be extra careful when installing this device.

Best Marine VHF Antenna: Buyer’s Guide

Best Marine VHF Antenna: Buyer’s Guide

Though you already have five of the best marine VHF antenna in the market today, there are still some factors you need to consider to make sure you’re choosing a product that will suit your needs.

So take time to read these important features before you decide which marine VHF antenna you will buy.

Range

First of all, your antenna should have an excellent range or else it will only be useless. So make sure you check the antenna's range or the amount it can cover; this will determine your capability to connect to the world beyond your boat.


Construction

Next, you need to check out the antenna’s material as this will say a lot of things about the device. This is the best way you can determine the device’s efficiency and durability.

There are some antennas that are built with metal elements inside its fiberglass tube, some are built using chrome-plated brass elements. Other cheap alternatives are built using plastic ferrule. If your budget limits you to buying high-end antennas that you may be forced to opt for cheaper choices, always remember the fact that devices made with great material are the ones that last longer.

It should also be durable enough to withstand high-speeds and heavy winds. Take note that mounting your marine VHF antenna is a way you can improve the range you can achieve.


Height

The antenna’s height is something you should not ignore too. The taller antenna you have, the better you will be able to obtain a broad range. However, you also need to consider the height of your vessel or you will only find yourself in trouble whenever you have to cross under bridges.


Ease of use

It should also be easy to set up and mounting it should be a walk in the park. Make sure you can use the device without any issues at all.

Conclusion

So far, radio communication is still as purposeful as ever even with the birth of present communication devices such as mobile phones. They are capable of providing reliability when everything else fails. But for your vessel, you can never do it without the best marine VHF antennas with you.

So for your next adventure, don’t just bring a fishing rod, make sure you have one of these units I’ve listed above. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this article as much as I do and this will help you find the best product that will suit your preferences. If you still find yourself confused with something, feel free to ask in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

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