HF antenna suggestions for a houseboat

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by KM6ZQV, Aug 14, 2019.

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  1. KM6ZQV

    KM6ZQV Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Everyone,

    I am making the move to a 45 foot fiberglass hull and wooden superstructure houseboat on fresh water and want to set up my shack. I am currently licensed as a Technician class, but my General class is scheduled for October. Can anyone recommend a serviceable HF multi-band antenna? I know it will be a compromise. Watching numerous videos and reading numerous threads already so have an idea, just wanted to see if anyone had first hand experience with this. Height wise I can probably go up to 20 feet above the water, not much room for radials I would assume. Currently have a Yaesu 2m/440 for local repeater work with a copper J-Pole that works well. On the HF side I have an IC-7300 but haven't hooked it up yet. Any recommendations would be appreciated.
  2. KE0EYJ

    KE0EYJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are you wanting something you can put up and take down? Or permanent?
  3. KM6ZQV

    KM6ZQV Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would prefer something that I could at least lower for the occasions that I would be out and about so probably something that was either on a telescoping pole or could be put on one. Maybe something like an MFJ cobweb or am I better off with a Buddipole system?
  4. AF7XT

    AF7XT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Photo ?
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Probably something like this, along with the proper mount, would be appropriate: http://shakespeare-ce.com/marine/product/5390-hfssb-antenna/

    Such antennas all rely on "a tuner" to load it across all the bands, but if you keep the coax line short the tuner in the IC-7300 might actually do the job. If it doesn't, a more serious tuner will: https://www.sgcworld.com/230ProductPage.html

    The Shakespeare marine antenna mounts allow you to swivel or lower (not retract, just lower) the antenna at will, in seconds.
  6. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I may not have the boat terminology correct , but one of the common sail boat antennas is using one of the mast stays / cable as a end-fed single wire , with a auto-tuner .
    Being a houseboat , some type of telescoping mast to get you higher 30' - 45' , weather you use the guys as the wire-antenna of the mast is just a choice .
    I would try for higher than your 20' , tilt it over when needed , but higher .
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  7. K2CAJ

    K2CAJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What bands are you looking for? Is there any particular time of day or night you expect to be operating?

    I agree that it would be good to see a photo or some general idea of how this houseboat is laid out, and what wires or guys can be laid out.
    AK5B likes this.
  8. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Boat Antenna

    That kind of , non-metalic" boat has no ground counterpoise so a vertical would not work well.
    I would even think a trap dipole for the bands you want to work would be much better,
    Use a tall fiberglass mast in the middle and tie the ends off front and back (bow and stern) to form a steep inverted "V" config.
  9. WA7ARK

    WA7ARK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The big problem on that houseboat is that there is no "ground", so the antenna has to be self-completing. I favor a "loop" type of antenna, but much bigger than a "Small Transmitting Loop". Likely will be difficult to get one big enough to work below 7MHz.

    Here are some examples of less than full-size loops.
  10. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    That 17 ft wire in a fancy fiberglas sheath is going to be ok on 20 M but forget below, even 30 or 40 M !!s ! PLUS the boat is fiberglass and has no metal hull for a counterpoise for any vertical nntenna ! Shakespeare worte great fiction !

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