Some handhelds have a fixed antenna
, while on others it simply unscrews and (with an adapter) you can screw on a "standard" VHF
cable leading to a masthead antenna
Christian, you forget that you aren't going to climb up the mast--or use the fixed VHF that was connected with a masthead antenna at all--when that "out of sight out of mind" masthead antenna has failed. From corrosion
, from chafe on the cable, from a lightning
strike, a bridge too low, or some other problem.
Yes, VHF gets greater range from greater antenna height and higher gain antennas. Assuming, that is, they are in working order.
I've been on more than one boat where I pulled my H/T out of a bag and it worked--when the permanent installed radio
with the great masthead antenna simply wasn't working. At all.
And a proper masthead antenna installation
, using top quality components and properly weather
sealed, is a rare thing to find. Not to mention that the coax itself degrades over time, and many cables
go way beyond the suggested 5-10 years before replacement.
And then again, if things REALLY go bad and the boat rolls...odds are that masthead antenna isn't going to stick around.
An H/T really isn't such a bad thing, even with its limited power and range. Forget the price
of radios--what do you figure is the cost of having a masthead antenna properly
installed these days? A good antenna, a premium cable, proper seals
, and the cable secured properly every couple of feet down the mast
, not just hanging in there?