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Thread: VHF & Antenna??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Anchorage, AK

    Default VHF & Antenna??

    Need to buy a VHF and Antenna for my 18 ft alum boat. The antenna sizes range from 3 ft to 8 ft, and there are many options for radios. Any preferences or suggestions?


  2. #2


    I just went thru the same thing and not knowing how to sort out every ones spec's I found this link, it has some good reading on the subject, if nothing else under the heading "Selectivity"

  3. #3
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Icom makes good radios and get the longest antenna your boat can handle and mount it as high as possible. There are two factors with antennas, their actual electrical performance, and line of sight issues. On smaller boats having that antenna as high as possible is the best performance boost you can get.

  4. #4
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Kodiak, Ak

    Default agree w Paul H

    I agree with PaulH
    Having had several Icoms in my past, none ever gave me problems, and go long as you can on the antennae, be willing to spend a little more on the Ant. it's worth it for clarity and range

  5. #5
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default My Icom...

    was great until my ratchet mount let loose and the antennae slammed down the side of the boat. I put the antenna back up, but the radio seemed not to be working, and I kept trying it because it worked close up but no distance over about 150 feet. Well, the antennal wiring connection inside had broken, and what happened will happen to any vhf radio...the amp burned out because there was no load on the transmissions due to the disconnect in the antenna.

    Not the fault of the Icom or any other radio I might have just a word of warning: Make sure you get the lead connections well soldered or the screw connectors tight, whatever you have, and check them often!

    I had to buy a new radio and bought another Icom, because I liked the one I had...big letters on screen and a great speaker. Lots of others on the market, they all seem to be very good, everytime this subject comes up on this forum, different people champion their brands, and they are all probably right!

  6. #6
    Member fullbush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010


    I started using Digital antennas. I order them from Consumer marine electronics. I used to use shakespear, I ordered a digital and the glass work was superior. I went under some low hanging spruce once and my shakespear snapped and my digital doubled ovver and the stainless ratchet mount broke not the antenna! Oh yeah an the connection is sweet, you don't need to solder anything...I agree Icom is one of the best, so is standard horizon, and I see garmins now in the vhf business. Garmin makes good stuff so i',m sure their radios are decent


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