Shakespeare Marine Antennas
Shakespeare makes antennas for just about every marine application. Their dedication to hand-made craftsmanship and attention to detail are why the U.S. Coastguard, U.S. Navy and other global military services trust Shakespeare antennas for their communication needs.
Antenna Technology And Design
Why spend a lot of money on an expensive radio, only to have it perform poorly because it has been paired with a poor quality antenna? This isn't just shortsighted, it's a safety issue. Reliable communication is critical to safe boating.
Shakespeare engineers pioneered major developments in marine antenna technology, including the combination of a normal beam with low radiation angle to minimize signal fade while maximizing range. They were also the first to develop a variety of what are now considered standard techniques for antenna construction.
Each Shakespeare antenna is hand constructed with a fiberglass casing to seal out moisture, preventing corrosion and providing you years of trouble-free operation. Brass and copper elements provide maximum range and efficiency, and metal ferrules ensure each antenna works in even the most demanding marine conditions.
From the smallest recreational boat to the largest commercial vessel, Shakespeare offers a wide line of antennas and accessories to meet all boating communication needs:
Recreational VHF radio antennas
Commercial VHF/SSB radio antennas
Sailboat VHF radio antennas
Marine CB radio antennas
Cell Phone cables
Seawatch mrine TV Antennas & Accessories
Mounts & accessories
Marine radio accessories
Connectors, Adapters and Coaxial Cables
Tips For Choosing The Right Antenna For Your Boat
There are a wide range of factors that must be considered to select the correct antenna for your application.
To the get the best range out of your antenna it is important to choose one that can be placed as high as possible on your boat. Sailboats generally use a 3 to 5 foot antenna mounted to the masthead. However, some racing enthusiasts prefer an 8 foot antenna mounted to the stern, to protect it if de-masting were to occur.
8 foot antennas are also ideal for 16 to 25 feet powerboats. Larger boats can use taller antennas but remember to leave enough down room, for clearing low bridges and other height limitations.
Gain, measured in decibels, determines the amount of communication range your marine antenna produces. The higher the gain the greater the communication range. However, a higher gain produces a more compressed, narrow beam, which can cause fading on rolling seas. Small, lightweight boats should not use a gain rating above 6 decibels because of the amount they roll in heavy seas. Higher gain is ideal for more stable vessels like commercial shipping vessels.
The proper mount style and placement is vital to protect your antenna from structural failure. An upper clamp is needed if you are using a two piece antenna system that is longer than 10 feet. If you are going to mount an antenna that is 14 to 18 feet tall, the upper clamp should be placed 3 to 5 feet from the bottom and when mounting 18 to 23 foot antennas the upper clamp should be 4 to 8 feet from the bottom.
The correct cable length and style is vital for marine radios and antenna to work to their highest potential. When it comes to wiring your VHF, HF/SSB or cellular communication systems: the shorter the cable the better. For cable runs under 20 feet RG-58 cable is ideal but longer runs require a larger, low loss cable like Shakespeare's RG-8/X, RG8A/U or RG-213. Shakespeare also offers Lo-Max, a high quality coaxial cable ideal for use on cellular antennas.