Before selecting a marine radio antenna mount, there are a few basic things to consider. First off, hopefully you already have your antenna selected. Be sure the thread pattern is going to match the mount. Most antennas use a 1″ – 14 thread pattern. Most antennas have a female ending and the mounts have a male ending. You just screw the antenna onto the mount. Also, take notice of the length of the antenna. Most mounts handle antennas up to 8 feet in height but there are a few heavy-duty varieties that can handle longer. Also, think about the finish of the mount and how it will look on your vessel. Antennas come in a few finishes. Most are either white or chrome metal (and some are stainless steel which is similar to chrome). Be aware that most (but not all) antenna mounts are attached using bolts so be prepared to drill. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer closely and measure carefully before drilling. Lastly, put some thought about the requirement to tilt the antenna and if that’s the case, be sure to select a mount that has a ratchet so it can tilt.
A good quality stainless steel mount comes from a company called Shakespeare. The Shakespeare Stainless Steel Ratchet Antenna Mount weighs in at approximately 2 pounds. Like most mounts, this has the standard 1″ – 14 threaded screw pattern found on most marine band radio external antennas. There is a 9/32″ built-in cable slot to run the antenna cable through. The ratchet uses a four-way design for so this can be placed on the deck or side of the boat. A handle is part of the mount which allows the antenna to be move. Like almost any surface mount, the bolts to attach this to your vessel are not included.
The Shakespeare Nylon Ratchet Antenna Mount is a white nylon version of the stainless steel mount we just discussed. This is a lighter duty version of the previous and is typically for antenna lengths that are less than 8 feet. Using these for longer antennas is not recommended. All the design elements from the prior antenna are present in terms of ratcheting abilities. Same support for antennas, they fit the 1″ – 14 threaded patterns.
Finished in black, the RAM Marine Antenna Mount features RAM’s ball and socket design. These guys make great mounts for vehicles and although they aren’t as well-known as Shakespeare in marine antenna mounts, they make some sold marine mounts too. This mount can swivel and pivot. Just turn the knob on the side of the arm, get your antenna into position, and tighten the knob. The base has pre-drilled holes for surface mounting. These handle antennas using the 1″ – 14 threaded patterns.
Don’t feel like drilling holes in your trust vessel? Look no further than the Shakespeare Stainless Steel Ratchet Rail Antenna Mount. These mount to a rail on your boat. These handle antennas up to 8 feet and have 9/32″ hole for cable feed-through. The mount can attach to 1″ and 1-1/2″ vertical or horizontal rails. Keeping in tandem with the other antenna mount, these accommodate antennas using the 1″ – 14 threaded patterns. We suggest placing some protective material between the mount and the rail. Most rails are chrome plated and you want to ensure the mount will not damage the finish on the rail. Be sure to get this mount as tightly as possible around the rail to prevent it from slipping as you want to ensure the antenna is sticking straight up and not wind up horizontal to the boat’s deck.
These four great examples of marine antenna mounts cover most common locations and finishes that a boat owner typically desires.