Going out on the water can be fun, exciting and, at times, dangerous. If one thing is sure, marine excursions can be unpredictable. Unexpected severe weather, equipment problems or even health emergencies can transform a pleasant outing into a crisis in a matter of moments. When you are on the water, you are isolated from your natural environment, land. In an emergency, that isolation can work against you and cause a dangerous situation only to get worse. Maintaining a means of communication between your boat or ship and the mainland is crucial in protecting your safety when out on the water. A good VHF radio with a well-made marine antenna is the solution.
Boaters and professional seafarers prefer the reliability of the VHF radio to other types. Its strong signal at short distances is usually favorable for onboard applications. However, the best radio set in the world will be of no use if you have not outfitted it with the proper antenna. An antenna that lacks the unique qualities of a marine antenna can leave you without the ability to communicate during an emergency on the water.
An antenna designed to function dependably on the water usually has some features that conventional antennas do not. For one, since it will spend its life on the water, the critical area of the antenna base should be rubberized to prevent moisture damage. The materials the designers use should all be marine grade and durable. Having access to a functioning onboard radio with a fully working antenna is too crucial for safety to settle for low-quality materials.
Another desirable design trait of a marine antenna is a small footprint. On most boats, and even large ships, space is at a premium. Marine vessel designers assume everything onboard is built to fit in the most compact space. Antennas that are bulky or have a broad base can be challenging to install onboard. Finding an antenna that is designed primarily for marine use will help ensure that if an extreme event occurs while you are on the water, you will have a way to call for help.