Choosing the Right Antenna

Not sure which antenna is best for you? Take a look at some of these useful tips to get you started.

Step 1: Height

When deciding on an antenna, height is of paramount importance. For clearing low bridges or other obstacles, consider a ratchet-style antenna mount to avoid damaging the antenna. TIP: The higher an antenna is mounted, the greater your range.

 

Antenna Calculator

Your Antenna

ft
Insert the length of your antenna from the base to the tip.
ft
Insert the height of your antenna's BASE above the waterline of your boat.

nm

Other Antenna

ft
Insert the length of your antenna from the base to the tip.
ft
Insert the height of your antenna's BASE above the waterline of your boat.

nm

Both Antennas

nm
This is the maximum possible range in nautical miles.
Actual range may be less depending on antenna efficiency, output power, and other environmental factors.

Step 2: Gain (dB)

Gain is the transmission pattern of your antenna, measured in decibels (dB). The higher the dB, the farther the range.

  • As gain increases, beamwidth is narrowed.
  • Small, lightweight boats, which tend to roll excessively in heavy seas, normally do not use an antenna with a gain rating higher than 6dB.
  • Larger or more stable vessels can use higher gain antennas effectively.

3 dB Gain

Usually a 4-foot antenna.
Best suited for powerboats under 24 feet or sailboats.

6 dB Gain

Usually an 8-foot antenna.
Best suited for boats over 23 feet.

9 dB Gain

Usually any antenna 12-feet or taller.
Best suited for boats over 32 feet.

Step 3: Performance, durability, & other features.

Drown out the noise from other radios and the environment by having an efficient transmission system. An efficient transmitter improves the strength of signal and the amount of noise that another listener would hear from you. Would you pair a low quality speaker to a high quality stereo system? The same applies to your antenna.

The factors (within your control) that can improve the efficiency of your transmission are:

  • Quality of your antenna elements
  • Quality of your coax
  • Quality of your connectors

Element Type

Better elements, better efficiency, better range.

Fittings

Stainless Steel > Chrome Brass > Nylon
To prevent wear, it is recommended to match the material on the antenna fitting to the material of the mount.

Construction

Ethafoam spacers protect the elements from vibration for greater durability. The outside shell is called the radome. A thicker radome also increases durability.

Removable

An antenna with a removable connection is easier to stow and replace.

Built to last

Our pioneering ideas have made Shakespeare® the most trusted brand in the industry, and you can always depend on our products for superior performance. Shakespeare fiberglass antennas are built with precision — hand-soldered connections, brass and copper elements, strong mechanical joints, and superior electronics. The radiator and electrical elements are then encased in our exclusive Shakespeare fiberglass radomes.

CONSTRUCTION

  • Thick radome & ethofoam spacers
  • Extreme durability

ELEMENTS

  • Silver-plated brass
  • Maximum efficiency

FERRULE

  • Heavy Duty Stainless Steel
  • Premium look with extreme durability and saltwater corrosion resistance

CONNECTOR

  • Connector at the base of the antenna
  • Easily remove an antenna without the hassle of re-installing cables

COAX CABLE

  • Compatible with a variety of cables, including low loss RG-8/X, RG-213, LMR 400, and Shakespeare Easy Route cables
  • Maximum flexibility

AVAILABLE BANDS

  • AIS, VHF, AM/FM

CONSTRUCTION

  • Thick radome & ethofoam spacers
  • Extreme durability

ELEMENTS

  • Thick brass
  • High efficiency

FERRULE

  • Stainless Steel
  • Great durability and saltwater corrosion resistance

CONNECTOR

  • Easy Route mini-end and screw-on connector included
  • Solder-free and easy routing installation

COAX CABLE

  • RG-8/X cable attached
  • High efficiency

AVAILABLE BANDS

  • AIS, VHF, AM/FM, SSB, CB

CONSTRUCTION

  • Standard radome thickness
  • Basic durability

ELEMENTS

  • Brass and coaxial cable
  • Basic efficiency

FERRULE

  • Chrome plated brass or nylon
  • Good durability and saltwater corrosion resistance

CONNECTOR

  • Solder-type connector
  • Basic connector type

COAX CABLE

  • RG-58 basic coax cable attached
  • Basic efficiency

AVAILABLE BANDS

  • AIS, VHF, AM/FM, SSB, CB