Radio and antenna locations?

MYCBC – Why Join Us Forums Boat Maintenance and Mods Radio and antenna locations?

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      I recently bought a 26S and I’m installing a radio. Where are people locating them? Does it make sense to mount it below deck? That’s not as accessible, but it’s more secure and weatherproof than in the cockpit.

      For reception, I’d love to put the antenna on top of the mast, but that seems like it would be inconvenient when putting the mast up and down. Since I keep the boat at home I do that every time I sail so I don’t want to make it more time consuming than it already is. What are some other good options?

      Rick & Sue

        Hi Tedd, I have the antenna at the top of my 26M mast. It stays there all the time. The extra couple of feet of wire antenna sticking out does not affect raising and lowering the mast. Added height also increases range. I used heavy duty coax up the mast.
        My radio is inside the cabin but I have a remote mic at the helm. It is not possible to hear the radio from inside when the engine is running. Also I did not want to have to leave the helm to reach the radio. Some members have mounted it just inside the hatch. Still hard to hear a call.

        Ron Gillies

          Hi Tedd. When we had our 26S I had the radio mounted in the overhead above the galley sink. I then had a remote mic mounted in the cockpit beside where I sat so that I could hear and make calls. The antenna was at the top of the mast. There was some coaxial cable that came out the side of the mast at the bottom that attached to a connector on the deck. It was quick to attach and unattach when putting the mast up and down. I tried running the coax down the mast with it laying on the boat in its usual “down” position but it wouldn’t go through. I had to detach the mast and lean in against the house and go up on the roof and push it down. Attached (if it works) are a couple of photos. One shows the radio above the sink. The other shows the connection for the remote mic aft of the shifter for the motor and the clip where it “sat” to the front of the shifter. The cable ran under the shifter.

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            Thanks guys, that is great feedback. I think I will go for the top-of-mast installation. I had thought about putting the radio above the sink like that, too, but I wasn’t sure if there would be enough room, with the flotation foam. Did you have to remove a block, or just move them around?

            Ron Gillies

              It was all smallish blocks of foam in there, a few may have disappeared during the installation. As much as possible I just rearranged them. In our boat much of the wiring ran through there, so it wasn’t difficult to wire. The breaker switches were on the other side of the same bulkhead (towards the head). I also put the stereo up there (after that picture was taken).


                Zephyr and Gemini:

                I’m wondering what you’re using for an antenna. It seems to me that with the antenna up on the mast I can probably get pretty good performance without having to buy the most expensive one. Would you agree?

                Ron Gillies

                  On the MacGregor I went with something other than Shakespeare, I forget what it was. On the current boat I replaced my antenna last year when I had the mast down and went with a Shakespeare, I think it’s the 5215 Classic VHF Squatty Body Antenna. I think that I’m getting better reception with the Shakespeare but have no real way of comparing.

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