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Anntena mount on small CC

Old 08-23-2009, 05:24 AM
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Default Anntena mount on small CC

I have a 18ft center console with the normal stainless steel hand rail that is on top of the console and goes a little above the windshield. Very sturdy and extends down the sides of the console with addiotnal mounting brackets.

I would like to add a VHF fixed mount radio (currently have held one), what are the pros and cons of the two ways I have seen anntennaes mounted on smaller CC??

1. Mount VHF annetena directly to hand rail on center console (either at the top of rail or down along the side) with rail mount bracket.

2. I have seen the VHF annetena bracket either through bolted in the side of the console or to floor right next the to the base of the console.

If VHF annetnaes are "line of sight" wouldn't a 4ft VHF annetnae mounted near the top of the windshield hand rail perform almost the same as an 8ft that is mounted to the floor right next the cosnole?? Seems like that type of mounting system (on the floor) wastes a lot of the annetnaes "line of sight?"

I do not do any flyfishing from the boat so casting interference is not a concern.

The handheld is OK, but for at times I am 4 or more miles away from land (good weather) and during the week there are not a lot boats out either.

thanks for any suggestions
Old 08-23-2009, 07:20 AM
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Go with a 4' digital 528VW on the rail mount, its 4.5db and shuold work just fine for you.
Old 08-23-2009, 11:24 AM
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You'll be fine. I've mounted a VHF antenna to the front bow of my generic bimini top and it has been fine for the last 10 years. What you want is a "ratchet rail mount" so you can swivel it.

s/s $65 http://shakespeare-marine.com/mounts...ndmount=4188-S

nylon $17 http://shakespeare-marine.com/mounts...findmount=4721

You can probably get these at better prices, just do a google search on the part number.

There are also additional mounts on this site... http://www.dlilly.com/products_antenna.htm

I'm actually using a different mount, but it's probably discontinued since I haven't seen it anywhere else in a while.

Good luck!
Old 08-24-2009, 06:09 AM
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I was considering going digital, but was told by an experienced Ham radio guy that 4db gain isn't much better than using a coat hanger as an antenna. You might want to consider going with an 8 footer with 6db. I just picked this one up from here cheap:

http://www.bestboatingdeals.com/prod...f-8ft-5101-6db

They also have the SS mounts for cheap:

http://www.bestboatingdeals.com/prod...-ratchet-mount
Old 08-24-2009, 06:41 PM
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Thanks for the help! I was just curious as too how many of you guys mount your antenna to the rail above the windshield or mount to the floor near the center console. I will check out the sites reccommend.
Old 08-24-2009, 07:16 PM
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Why not mount it to the side of the console on a ratchet? Here is where mine is:


Last edited by Parthery; 08-25-2009 at 05:37 AM.
Old 08-24-2009, 07:24 PM
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If you read the installation instructions for the radio (and possibly the antenna), you will be cautioned not to mount the antenna within three feet of the radio. That pretty much rules out the console. I don't know why anyone would mount an antenna to the floor of a boat. You lose effective height and you'll be tripping over it. And people may use it for a handhold.

Why not on the gunnel or the outside of the hull with a fold down mount?
An 8' antenna is better than a 4' antenna for a typical power boat.
Old 08-24-2009, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bygracealone View Post
I was considering going digital, ...........
;?
Old 08-24-2009, 07:26 PM
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I have never seen anybody mount a 8' antenna to the floor of a boat. I can't imagine why anybody would do that. Mounting to the rail on a boat like yours is most common, or mount it to the side of the console using a standard ratchet mount. The downside to mounting a fiberglass antenna on your cosole is having to "look through it". Its always in your field of vision and is annoying. A 4'er already in your line of site so you might as well go for an 8'er mounted to the side of your console or rail.
Old 08-25-2009, 05:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bygracealone View Post
I was considering going digital, but was told by an experienced Ham radio guy that 4db gain isn't much better than using a coat hanger as an antenna. You might want to consider going with an 8 footer with 6db. I just picked this one up from here cheap:
...
Huh? I would strongly reconsider this guys "experienced" comment. There is NOTHING wrong with a 4db 4' antenna on an 18' boat. In fact, a 6db could be worse when you pitch and roll.
Old 08-25-2009, 05:36 AM
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I've had the antenna mounted on the gunwale as opposed to the console....its in the way of docking, fighting a fish, etc...moreso on a center console than on a dual console, etc...

VHF is line of sight...the higher you can get the antenna...the better. I agree w/ yachtjim...the difference in price between a 4' and 8' is not substantial. The only reason I have a 4' on mine is it came with the boat and I haven't broken it yet.
If I have to replace it, I'll go 8'
Old 08-25-2009, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by dowop View Post
Originally Posted by bygracealone
I was considering going digital, but was told by an experienced Ham radio guy that 4db gain isn't much better than using a coat hanger as an antenna.
Huh? I would strongly reconsider this guys "experienced" comment. There is NOTHING wrong with a 4db 4' antenna on an 18' boat. In fact, a 6db could be worse when you pitch and roll.
I was questioning the part about "going digital". I hope we all know by now that there is no such thing as a "digital" antenna. For radios, TVs, whatever. No such thing as a digital antenna. There is a company that puts its brand name "Digital" on their antennas but they work on the same principle as any other antenna.

As for the coat hanger, if cut to the correct length it will function as an effective antenna but it's going to be hard to mount and pretty ugly. You can't get 4' from one coat hanger so you would have to twist two together after removing any coating.

Yes, a 4' commercially produced antenna will be fine on an 18' boat. It will work best if mounted as high as possible.
Old 08-25-2009, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Parthery View Post
I've had the antenna mounted on the gunwale as opposed to the console....its in the way of docking, fighting a fish, etc...moreso on a center console than on a dual console, etc...
Lay it down to get it out of the way?
Old 08-26-2009, 09:38 AM
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I mount my 4' top the top rail of my console. I use a ratchet mount so that I can leave it folded down if I'm not planning to use it.

I don't like anything on the gunwale of a CC. Besides, mounting a 4' on the rail is only slightly lower overall than mounting an 8' to the gunwale.
Old 08-27-2009, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
An 8' antenna is better than a 4' antenna for a typical power boat.
A 4' antenna mounted on the console grab rail is more practical in day to day usage. Adding a 4' extension under the 4' antenna on those days when the water is smooth enough to take an 18' boat offshore gives better range than an 8'.

http://www.continuouswave.com/whaler...HFAntenna.html

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