People in this present time do various activities as a form of their hobby or recreation. There are those who love to go boating. But as this is done, there are important things that should be put into consideration. For one, communication should still be possible even while in the middle of the sea.
For those who make boating as a hobby, a VHF radio is a must aboard. But how far the signal can reach is always a concern. So, how do you make sure that you can clearly hear those who are trying to reach you?
VHF radios are restricted by law to transmit a maximum power of 25 watts so you cannot increase the transmit range by adding a booster. But the good news is, you can always maximize the range by choosing a laird VHF antenna and installing one in a strategic location on the boat.
A laird VHF antenna is rated by its gain, which is measured in decibels. This gain is the ability of the antenna to focus its power in a narrow or broadband or can be somewhere in between. For instance, a 3-dB antenna releases its energy in a broader and more circular shape that does not travel as far. On the other hand, a 6-dB broadcasts a beam somewhere in between. So, you just need to choose a high dB antenna as it has the farthest broadcast. But don’t decide just yet.
A focused signal like that with a 9-dB antenna could drop in and out as the boat rolls and then pitches in the sea. A 3- or 6-dB antenna is not very susceptible to such an issue due to its wider transmit beam.
The biggest factor affecting the distance of the VHF signal is the height at which it is mounted. This means that the higher it is mounted on the boat, the farther its signal reach would be.
This is because a VHF signal is a broadcast line of sight which means that the curvature of the earth is affecting how far the signal would be or the signal of someone trying to reach you could travel.
The height is another factor that should be considered. This is where sailboats have a great advantage. In this case, owners could just mount a whip-style VHF antenna on top of the mast. Owners of powerboats need to be more creative. You need to make sure that you have a place that is as high as you could get, but not in a position that would get in the way of fishing lines.
When it comes to boating, communication is very important VHF antennas play a significant role in making this happen. Make sure that you a high-quality antenna that can offer a great signal range for better communication.