My flats boat had a 3 foot stainless steel whip from Shakespeare that was installed by the previous owner. It actually snapped off last week and I’m looking for some type of a replacement. The 3 foot antenna was never ideal, it was mounted to the top of the console putting it right at eye level and I was always worried it was going to hit someone in the face or eye. I see a couple of manufacturers have some very short rubber whips (8-12 inches) similar to what would go onto a handheld on the market. Anyone have any experience/recommendation with one of these? This boat is utilized for inshore activity only, I typically never travel more than about 4 miles off the beach in it. I would like to be able to use the onboard VHF as just a back up to my cell phone. I have a handheld but I typically like to keep that in my ditch bag for the big boat and really don’t want to worry about constantly charging it every time I fish inshore.
Very simple answer, VHF signal travel is limited to a factor of antenna height above the water or ground level, there may be other interference factors but antenna height is the primary controlling factor.
In simple terms this little article explains it pretty well:
Thanks BT yes I am familiar with line of site and performance of a VHF based on heights of antennas. Essentially I’m trying to get hand held performance out of a fixed mount unit just to have Inshore usage as a back up to cell phone.
Shakespeare has a 3
Ft model that has a removable antennae. That works welll. I would unscrew the whip when fishing and put it back on later
i have seen several people use the short plastic whip you are talking about. they have the coax connected to the vhf, and leave it all under the console, and if need, you can grab the ant with one hand and the mic with the other.