{Stus-List} VHF Antenna

Nauset Beach nausetbeach at optonline.net
Thu Mar 8 12:54:31 EST 2007

I have an old "Celwave" 1 meter long 3 db stainless steel VHF antenna that has been screwed into the stern pulpit, but I need to move it so I can put cruising oriented gear in that location.  

Is this 10+ year old antenna still good or is it worth getting a new 3db antenna?  The closest example I can find is what I guess is its current iteration, the "CELmar 0-1" as seen on this page:  http://www.selexmarine.com/products/celwave/pdf/VHF_1.pdf

Have there been significant advances in antenna design / construction to make replacing the antenna a "good" upgrade?  Do stainless whip antennas break down after this period of time?  It has worked seemingly well in the past but never in very demanding applications or distances so do not have a frame of reference.  My sailing area is Long Island Sound and out to the Cape and Islands so I do not expect to be out of sight of land, or if so, not by much.

If replacing it is a good idea, what are the recommended alternatives?  Another SS whip antenna?  Is a Shakespeare Galaxy XP worth the added $$ ?  I assume staying with a 3 db antenna is the way to go, or is a 6 db a good idea?

I race the boat so the antenna is not going to the top of the mast as some might suggest.  From what I have read the loss due to 70' of coax cable would offset much of the benefit of the added height anyway, let alone the added weight aloft and chafe on halyards - the PVC pipe in the mast is already full of other wires.

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