The 10 Best VHF Marine Antennas

Updated February 13, 2017 by Melissa Harr

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We spent 25 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. So you bought a quality radio for your boat, but you’re also going to need an equally amazing VHF marine antenna to make the most of it. These units are more than just pieces of wire — they’re delicate machines. Because choosing the best model depends on a range of factors related to both radio and vessel, be sure to read your owner's manuals and consider both height and gain before you choose. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best vhf marine antenna on Amazon.

10. Tram 1620-HC

A heavy-duty 8-footer, the Tram 1620-HC handles all marine band frequencies and features a nylon ratchet mount so that you can easily lay it down. It offers high performance at 1,500 watts with a 6-decibel gain, and includes a 15-foot coaxial cable.
  • well-known brand
  • hardware is stainless steel
  • handle may not stay tightened
Brand Tram
Model 1620-HC
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Tram 1610-HC

Bigger isn’t always better. The Tram 1610-HC is the 5-foot, 3-decibel version of the maker’s popular lay-down antenna. It comes with a 17-foot coaxial cable and is made from the sturdy fiberglass that serious boaters expect.
  • includes pl-259 connector
  • entry-level pricing
  • mount may become discolored
Brand Wholesale Parts
Model 1610-HC
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Air Wave Marine 150004

Don’t compromise on quality. Try the Air Wave Marine 150004 and get a 5-foot model that offers a no-splinter guarantee as well as easy installation thanks to the company’s ProConnect system. Simply drill a hole and screw in the factory-included FME.
  • made in america
  • terrific signal radiation
  • pricier than similar products
Brand Air Wave Marine
Model 150004
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Pacific Aerials P6182

The Pacific Aerials P6182 boasts the ability to be removed and remounted as necessary, making it the choice for those who want convenience and flexibility. Since the cable is hardwired to the mount, there’s no need to cut any cable when removing the antenna.
  • for small to medium vessels
  • classic white color
  • must use with pro series mounts
Model P6182
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Sirio SB 1S

Get Italian excellence with the Sirio SB 1S. Position it on the mast top with the stainless steel bracket and relax, since it's protected by a fiberglass tube that can withstand harsh sea environments. It works on 156 to 163 megahertz without a ground plane.
  • uhf female connector
  • offers unity gain
  • long-established company
Brand Sirio Antenna
Model pending
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. KJM A861-V

With the KJM A861-V, you get an 8-foot, 6-decibel design with everything you need for installation: 20 feet of removable RG-8X cable, a PL-259 adapter, and preinstalled FME connectors. Its radome is made of double-thick fiberglass polyurethane that’s mirror polished.
  • five-year warranty
  • inner spiral-copper wires
  • no need to solder
Brand KJM
Model A861-V
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Shakespeare 5101 Centennial

From a company known for excellence comes the Shakespeare 5101 Centennial, a tall, high-quality model that’s an economic value. Featuring brass and copper elements, this antenna will give you the range and power you’ve been looking for.
  • separate swivel mounts available
  • gain of 6 decibels
  • high-gloss finish
Brand Shakespeare
Model 5101
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Metz Manta-6

The U.S. Coast Guard chooses the Metz Manta-6 for good reason. It’s been shown to outperform traditional 54-inch, 3-decibel gain antennas and be more durable, too, with its soldered connections and stainless steel construction. Its power rating is 250 watts.
  • perfect for racing
  • no ground plane necessary
  • small but powerful
Model pending
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Tram 16771

More is more with the Tram 16771, a combo unit that covers not only 2.4-decibel gain VHF but also automatic identification system (AIS) and GPS. You’ll find that this saves you space as well as install time, getting you on the water safely, sooner.
  • stainless steel whip
  • ratchet mount is nylon
  • positions without large holes
Brand Tram
Model 16771
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Shakespeare 5215 Classic AIS Squatty Body

The Shakespeare 5215 Classic AIS Squatty Body is a mast-mounting, 36-inch whip that offers excellent performance over VHF marine frequencies and is designed for AIS transceivers. The unit comes with an L-bracket for installation and a 2-year limited warranty.
  • designed to be low-profile
  • vertical polarity
  • long-lasting product
Brand Shakespeare
Model 5215
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

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Last updated on February 13, 2017 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.

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