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Old 09-11-2018, 09:16   #1
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VHF antenna

I have a Pearson 28 Sailboat. I need to replace the VHF antenna on the mast. Looking for some suggestions. Companies or actual models. I am a Ham radio operator and very familiar with the technical part so want to do it right. Also.. The cable will need to be replaced so was wondering if I should go with actual Marine Coax or can I get away with a good quality regular coax like I use with my home setup.

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Old 09-11-2018, 09:23   #2
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Re: VHF antenna

I have a Standard Horizon GX2360S radio that came with my Pearson 424. I just installed a new Shakespeare 5215 antenna on my main masthead. I'm happy with the performance.

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Old 09-11-2018, 12:02   #3
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Re: VHF antenna

Originally Posted by windcree View Post
...should go with actual Marine Coax or can I get away with a good quality regular coax like I use with my home setup.
Since you provide no details about what sort of coaxial transmission line you use at your home for your amateur radio antenna, it is impossible to pass any sort of judgement on whether or not that transmission line will be suitable for use on your boat.

There really is no coaxial transmission line standard of "marine coax."

I recommend you use a non-contaminating outer jacket, a stranded center conductor, and a tinned braid shield.

Choose a cable size such that the total loss in the coaxial cable will not exceed 1-dB for the length of transmission line from antenna to transmitter. For a typical sailboat, that probably means an RG-213/U transmission line or something similar.

My preference is to avoid any cable marked as "RG-8X" as there is no standard for that marking, and the quality of the cable can be completely variable from vendor to vendor. Also, I am not particularly impressed with "foam" dielectric cables. I worry the center conductor will migrate if there is any sort of bend in the cable, and also worry if the foam will tend to absorb moisture.

For an antenna at a sailboat masthead, I would use a metal half-wave whip antenna. The GAM ELECTRONICS SS-2 (or SS-2 Marine) has worked well for me. For top-of-mast mounting the antenna weight and wind area should be minimized. The GAM SS-2 does this best. The whip is easily replaced. It fastens with a set screw. The transmission line is not attached to the antenna; use a UHF-series connector (PL-259) to connect to the antenna's connector.


A large retailer that handles GAM is DEFENDER.COM.

You may need a new mounting bracket. See

Also, I have been a licensed radio amateur (K8SS) for 55-years. I have worked professionally in radio and television broadcasting as an engineer for 43-years. I have been boating for 60-years.
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Old 09-11-2018, 12:20   #4
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Re: VHF antenna

A 1to 2dB loss is typical of most coax at VHF so the only real consideration is good quality which you won't find in a marine store including Defender. Check out the numerous ham retailers for both better quality and better prices on both coax and antennas.

Equally important are the connectors which vary in quality so again stay away from marine store products.
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antenna, vhf

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