Best VHF Marine Antennas

A fix-mount VHF Marine radio is never complete without a Marine VHF Antenna. The antenna is responsible for the transmission power and will ultimately determine the connection between your radio and the outside world. It is responsible for sending the signals the right way and ensuring that they get to their intending destination in the best possible quality.

If you are considering investing in a VHF marine antenna, the following includes the top 10 best VHF marine antennas you should consider.

Top 10 Best Marine VHF Radio Antennas

1. Shakespeare 5101 Centennial VHF Marine Antenna

Shakespeare 5101 Centennial

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This is an upgrade to the standard version of this product. There are reasons it is featured on top of our picks. It has a significantly improved range thanks to the fact that there is more copper inside. It is basically made of copper and brass, having a chrome plated surface which means that it is absolutely more durable than most Marine VHF Antenna you will find elsewhere. It also looks really attractive in simple yet stylish exterior surface. Besides the attractive finishing, one of the best things about this Antenna is its power. It has a good reputation of working pretty fine in 25 mile range and even better in ideal conditions. In addition to the impressive range, the device also performs very well even at high speed. As has been mentioned before, the copper-rich antenna offers more range than most antennas. The product also comes with a 15 foot RG-58 cable and a PL-259 connector. The 2 pounds and 8′ length Antenna also has 6dB gain.

The only downside to this device is the fact that it doesn’t come with a mounting kit meaning you may have to spend more to mount it in your boat.

2. Herdio Waterproof Marine Radio Antenna

Herdio Waterproof Marine Radio Antenna

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This is a flexible antenna that can be used in boats as well as in cars conveniently, thanks to the angled mounting options that makes it all easy. It has a 180-degree swivel base that guarantees maximum mobility and enhances reception. Made of Rubber dipole, Stainless steel nut, and PPC line, the antenna measures about 16.7 inches and weighs about 5 ounces. It also has a cable that measures 54.5 inches approximately.

With this product, you can listen to some of your favourite stations as it gets strong signal for FM/AM. Signal range can be as good as 10 miles for Marine Boat, Car, and Home radio frequencies. The device is also waterproof which means that you may never have to worry about corrosion. This is definitely ideal for the marine environment. This product has been around for just a year and most buyers feel it is definitely among the best options in the market.

3. TRAM 1607-HC VHF Marine Antenna

TRAM 1607-HC

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This is a 46 inch VHF Marine Antenna that promises to serve you for as long as you would love to use it. Okay! That is an exaggeration, but this is a pretty strong antenna that is definitely built to last. It has a rugged heavy-duty fiberglass construction and stainless steel hardware that screams durability. In spite of the strong build, it is perfectly portable and quite easy to use. Installation of the device will be as easy as it can get with 20ft RG-58 cable and an easy screw-off PL-259 connector.

Using this antenna is just as good as it can be – it actually covers all marine band frequencies, meaning that you will get all your favourite channels while you are on your boat. The antenna measures 51 X 5.2 X 2.5 inches and weighs 2 pounds. It will certainly be a great purchase that will meet your needs squarely.

4. Shakespeare 5104 Centennial VHF Antenna

Shakespeare 5104 Centennial

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This may not be the tallest Marine VHF Antenna, but it is certainly one of the very best options available for those that need a local antenna. Measuring just about 4ft and weighing 2.1 pounds, this Shakespeare antenna achieves 3dB gain, but it is perfect for picking signals generated by boats that are close to your location. Just as you would expect from any product from Shakespeare, the 5104 is well designed. It is quite attractive and has a copper plated exterior for more resistance.

The best thing about this antenna is probably its ability to hold strong against foul weather. It will be able to withstand the sort of wind that can break most other antennas. It may not pick up transmission from very far boats, but the Shakespeare 5104 Centennial makes sure that you get just the transmission you need in a crystal clear manner.

5. Shakespeare 5225XT Galaxy VHF Antenna

Shakespeare 5225XT Galaxy VHF Antenna

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This is another 8ft and 6dB gain Marine Antenna that will definitely make an intelligent purchase. The device manufactured by Shakespeare is as strong as you would expect, made of brass and copper elements. It is also built for maximum range and efficiency. The antenna has been around for so long but remains one of the most sort after Marine VHF Antennas due to its efficiency. There are buyers that have confirmed that the device can pick up VFH radio broadcast from boats that are as far as 20 miles away.

The 5225XT is a chrome-plated brass ferrule with standard 1inch – 14 thread. Installation of this antenna may be even easier than you can imagine. The package includes a 20 feet low-loss cable and a connector. It is true that you can get other VHF antennas that are 8feet in length at cheaper rate but there is a reason this device cost more. It is a reliable product and a potential lifesaver.

6. Shakespeare 5226-XT VHF Antenna

Shakespeare 5226-XT Galaxy VHF Antenna

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This share so many similarities with the last product we reviewed but they are quite different. This version is somewhat stronger and will offer extra resistance to harsh weather and high speed. It is most ideal for T-tops, hard tops, radar arches, and other such places where the extra tough feature is required. It is beautifully finished in Black with brass and copper elements for the sort of range and efficiency any boat owner will appreciate.

The stainless steel ferrule comes with a 1”-14 thread and the 20ft RG-8X cable and PL-259 connector helps to get a proper installation. The antenna gain of the 5226-XT Galaxy is 6dB while it covers Bandwidth of 3 MHz within 2.0.1 VSWR. The 5226-XT has the Shakespeare Limited Warranty of 5 years, which is an indication of its stronger and stiffer build.

7. Shakespeare 5400-XT VHF Antenna

Shakespeare 5400-XT Galaxy VHF Marine Band Antenna

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This is sometimes referred to as the Galaxy little giant. It is a 4′ antenna that is made of brass and copper for maximum level. It is another wonderfully constructed device from the stables of Shakespeare that delivers excellent performance despite the fact that it is 4′ length antenna with gain of 3dB. The Bandwidth is 5 MHz within 2.0:1 VSWR. It boasts of stainless steel ferrule with standard 1 inch to 14 thread. The package also comes with 20 feet RG-8/X low-loss cable and a PL-259 connector that lets it install easily in your boat.

This antenna is specially made to offer exceptional VHF communication. Due to its small size, it is the perfect solution for T-tops, hard tops and other such places aloft where it can deliver maximum range. The 5400-XT Galaxy is also beautifully finished in white making it attractive, especially for individuals that are already taking by Shakespeare’s style. It also has the 5 years Shakespeare Limited Warranty.

8. Shakespeare 5241-R VHF Marine Antenna

Shakespeare 5241-R Low Profile

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As you must have noticed, most of the products featured here are from Shakespeare and they all have certain qualities that make the ideal for different situations. The manufacturers have something for everyone and this particular low profile marine antenna was obviously made to fulfil the need of bass boats, centre console fishing boats, any vessel at all where compact size is the most critical factor under consideration.

At just 3′ length, the sealed, tin-plated copper wire coil delivers quality performance even as the 36” heavy-duty stainless steel whip ensures there is extra stability even in unfavourable conditions and when the boat is moving at a faster speed.

Installation of the Shakespeare 5241-R Low profile 3′ VHF Marin Antenna is quite easy with the 15′ RG-58 coax cable and the PL-259 connector that are included in the package. Suggested mounts include Style 4187 Ratchet Mount, 5187 Ratchet Mount, 4188-S Rail Mount, or 4190 Rail Mount.

9. Shakespeare 5215 Stainless Steel VHF Antenna

Shakespeare 5215 VHF Low-Profile

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This is a low-profile stainless steel Marine Antenna that is considered by many as Sailboaters favorite. From all indication, it will be hugely helpful for Sailboat owners. The stainless steel construction, the fact that it is lightweight (weighs just bout 1.5 ponds), and the low-profile design makes this logic understandable. The gain of 3dB is also considered the recommended dB rating for sailboats since it means a broader pattern of radiation which reduces signal choppiness in rolling waves.

At just 3′, the device also features sealed, tin-plated copper wire coil to ensure efficiency and stainless steel body and whip for stability. It is specifically designed for masthead mounting with stainless steel “L” bracket supplied. Other items included in the package include 60′ RG-8/X low-loss cable, PL-259 connectors, and SO-239 connector. The Shakespeare 5215 VHF Low-Profile comes with the 2 years Shakespeare Limited Warranty.

10. Tram 1620-HC VHF Marine Antenna

Tram 1620-HC 8 VHF Marine Antenna

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This is a heavy-duty 8-footer from Tram which is also a top player in the industry. It is also a high performance antenna for VHF marine radios. It has a fiberglass construction and stainless steel hardware for resilience and durability. It also features a nylon ratchet mount that allows for easy laydown. The device weighs about 5.16 pounds.

In terms of performance, the antenna performs real well at 1,500 watts. It can handle all marine band frequencies. It has a gain of 6dB. Tram 1620-HC 8′ VHF Marine Antenna also comes with 15ft RG58 A/U coaxial cable with a PL-259 connectors. The antenna has been around for quite a while and most buyers have express satisfaction at the performance. Many also feel it is too good for the price.

Buyer’s Guide

Why you need a top quality Marine VHF Antenna

If you truly wish to maintain a reliable connection for your Marine radio, there is need to invest in a reliable high quality antenna. A low quality antenna will undermine the quality of your signals and may not transmit them to the intended destination. The range it will cover will also be inadequate for most boats and vessels. A top quality Marine VHF Antenna, on the other hand, will ensure that your signals travel in the right direction and gets to their intended destination in the best possible quality.

The Best Marine Antennas

It is hard to determine what represents the best Marine Radio Antennas. There are several models from different manufacturers in the market and each will claim to have the best one. A great deal of research will be needed to know what represent a good product. The reviews provided by those that have been using the devices may also be a good guide towards determining the top quality products that will suite each boat/vessel.

Features to Consider While Buying VHF Marine Antenna

As has been mentioned, there are certain features an individual should consider before deciding on the Marine VHF Antenna to buy and we will briefly consider some of the features below.

Device construction

The material the antenna is made of will determine so many things about it. The efficiency of the device and its durability are the commonest factors that are determined by the antenna construction. While some are made of metal elements inside fiberglass tube, others are made of chrome-plated brass elements. There are still some low-grade options made of plastic ferrule. Your budget may push you to go for cheaper options but you need to be mindful of the fact that the ones with better material will last longer.

Range

An antenna that cannot offer significant range is near useless. While shopping, you need to consider the range the antenna can cover as it will determine the connection between you and the world outside your boat. The way you mount your antenna will also determine the range you can obtain. Always work it out in time.

Gain

The gain of the Antenna is also referred to as the dB rating. This is an indication of how the antenna focuses energy and the type of boat/vessel you have should determine the Gain of attention you should consider. While higher rated antennas will boost transmitting power higher but will have reduced horizontal angel of signal, Low dB antennas will give broader pattern of radiation which can be helpful in certain situation.

Conclusion

A VHF Marine Antenna is an important equipment for every boat owner. Buying the first antenna you come across in a market place is not the best way to get a quality one. We have considered some of the best options on the market and our buying guide will definitely help you to buy an antenna you will enjoy using.