What do you use as your VHF aerial? Freedom 33 Cat Sloop

Batteries, Generators, Solar, Wind and Electronics

What do you use as your VHF aerial? Freedom 33 Cat Sloop

Postby hotstonp » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:28 am

Greetings one and all,

I am about to loose my 3rd VHF aerial in 3 years. If I get caught in roughs, have a rough passage to windward or spend too long reefing in a good blow with a bit of a sea then I seem to loosen my VHF aerial and if I am not quit enough I saw goodbye to my aerial and windex. So what do you use? How to you fix it?

Many thanks in advance
Keep well
Peter
1986 Freedom 33 Cat Sloop (UK Hoyt), Hull # 001, Aluminium Needlespar rig, shoal keel.
hotstonp
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:54 pm
Location: Southampton

Re: What do you use as your VHF aerial? Freedom 33 Cat Sloop

Postby BillSmith » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:50 am

What's happening to your VHF antennae? Loosening at the attachment point or whipped to pieces? Loose screw? Loctite on threads!

We did a remove and repair on our B&G wind anemometer. Used a rigger for that. No problems with vane, VHF or B&G after a season in SF Bay's very brisk breezes.

Are there any lines blowing over the top and doing damage? One device banging into the other in high winds?

You lose range on VHF, but have seen many a boat with antennae affixed to a aft radar arch or bimini support. Better lower and working than aloft in not functioning.
Bill & Carole Smith
Freedom 35 Pedrick
SweeTART
Coyote Point
San Mateo, CA
BillSmith
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 7:56 am
Location: San Mateo, CA

Re: What do you use as your VHF aerial? Freedom 33 Cat Sloop

Postby mike cunningham » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:00 pm

I just lost a long post I made on this topic. I sent a copy of it to Practical Sailor before I lost the darn thing.

Bottom line is I have Tram antenna and it twists itself off the base in a seaway. I lost two of them before I figured this out. I tested this in the garage with a new antenna and as able to walk the aerial off the base by simulating the circular motion of pitch and roll while grasping the antenna assembly in my hand. The problem is the way my antenna is fabricated and designed, it is not obvious the aerial base actually screws into the antenna base. There are set screws for the aerial wire but no screws for the associated base so the aerial is just screwed on and you are unlikely to check it when you mount the antenna because you don't know there are threads. You may have the same issue.

Use locktight and tighten as much as possible was my solution. I did not want to replace the whole thing because I had some complex RF wiring at the masthead and did not want to redo it. I've sailed a couple hunderd miles in a seaway with the fix and it seems to be holding.
User avatar
mike cunningham
 
Posts: 223
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:21 am
Location: Jacqueline, F30 #3, Discovery Bay, California

Re: What do you use as your VHF aerial? Freedom 33 Cat Sloop

Postby hotstonp » Mon Sep 25, 2017 11:00 am

Thanks Mike & Bill,

Mike I think you are right, mine is unwinding itself due to the motion of the mast. It just happens faster in aggressive short chop.

I had thought of using loctite but wasn't sure about it... I think I will now. Just wait for half term and then hoist my 10 year old daughter up there to fix it then?

Keep well
Peter
1986 Freedom 33 Cat Sloop (UK Hoyt), Hull # 001, Aluminium Needlespar rig, shoal keel.
hotstonp
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:54 pm
Location: Southampton

Re: What do you use as your VHF aerial? Freedom 33 Cat Sloop

Postby mike cunningham » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:09 pm

Agree with your solution. I have a topclimber which I use to get up there. It is a pain. When I was in Hawaii, one of the delivery crew was a young scrawny guy who was up the mast in about three minutes, He said the topclimber was a waste of time and had me hoist him up. Replaced the antenna...done. Unfortunately this was antenna number two and we lost it again before I figured out what was going on. Having said that I am all in favor of having someone young and nimble do the climbing. For replacement number three, I had the mast out of the boat. Oh for being young and scrawny.
User avatar
mike cunningham
 
Posts: 223
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 11:21 am
Location: Jacqueline, F30 #3, Discovery Bay, California


Return to Electrical and Electronics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron