VHF Radio

The installation of VHF Radio is straightforward. It is located near the hatch, so that in theory one can take the microfone outside and speak from there, however, due to the engine and wave noise, I was never able to communicate properly when outside.

VHF Radio.

The radio is connected via two cables (NMEA) to GPS plotter, so that it receives GPS data which can be then displayed inside (Speed and Position). This proved actually quite useful when sitting inside during navigation and keeping an eye on the speed, and also when reporting one’s position to the authorities via radio.

The position can also be transmitted automatically through DSC in an emergency. My sailboat has a MMSI number assigned to it, so putting out a Mayday call is as simple as pressing a button.

The connector to the antenna which is located on top of the mast.

There is one problem with installing the antenna on top of the mast, as most sailboats do: if dismasted, you loose completely the possibility to communicate.

I think that in near future I will purchase secondary antenna and will keep it as a spare to be put up on deck in case of such emergency.

I also had some problems with the cabling, because the sea water enters the deck connector and oxidizes the cabling. In fact, the radio began to malfunciton after just two sailings. I had to replace a part of the cable (20 cm.) and the connector. Important tip: when installing the radio coaxial cable, leave some 60 cm. extra cable rolled up (near the radio iteslef), so that you do not have to replace the whole of the cable when the exposed part gets damaged. I did this, but I thought it was not necessary, but in the end I was happty that I did it.

The solution to prevent water damage consists in applying silicone protective coating to the threads of the connector and then wrapping tightly the whole connector with insulating tape.