If you own a boat having a television can be a luxury. If you live on your boat it could be a necessity. In general, boats do not have cable TV and installing a satellite dish can be very expensive. The best option would be to install an over the air antenna to get free terrestrial broadcast television. There are many different types of marine over the air antennas each vary a bit. In this article, we will discuss the best mounting position and which antenna is the correct option for your type of boat.
Over The Air Antenna on a Boat
There are several choices to consider when buying an OTA antenna for a boat. The three most important things to consider are the size of the antenna, where it will be mounted and how close you are to a port or major city. Remember that the further out you are on the open water the fewer chances you are to receive channels.
Almost all of the marine or boat antennas will be 360 degrees or omni-directional. This will allow for a reception in all directions. There is no need to point the antenna. Having an omni-directional antenna is useful. Broadcast signals will be transmitted differently depending on your boat’s location. Each city and port will be unique.
Size and Height
The size and height of the antenna can make a difference in what channels can be obtained. The larger and higher the antenna the better chance you have of receiving more channels. Consider using a larger antenna if your boat has space.
When mounting a boat antenna make sure to stay at least four feet away from the radar and communication gear, which will diminish interference. Most marine OTA antennas will come with a full mounting kit. Just follow the instructions. When mounting the antenna to a mast be sure to take all safety precautions. If your antenna does not have a mounting kit consider some of these.
Depending on the size of your boat, cable runs should be straight forward. Just snake the antenna’s coaxial cable along with the existing communication cabling. If you have a television already installed then snake the antenna cable to the desired location. If the boat’s TV antenna comes with an amplifier then you will need to plug it into a wall outlet or provide it power.
Here is a list of marine OTA antennas that we recommend. A good boat antenna should be watertight and made of a material that protects it from UV sunlight and corrosion.
ANTOP UFO Amplified Marine Antenna
The ANTOP UFO Marine Antenna has a range of 65 miles. It is an omni-directional antenna that will receive broadcast signals from all directions. This antenna is anti-UV and has a waterproof exterior. It is constructed from a hard ABS plastic casing so it protects internal elements from any weather conditions.
1byone Amplified Marine Antenna
The 1byone Amplified Marine Antenna is a 70-mile range omni-directional, 15-inch antenna. It comes with a stainless steel base for easy mounting and has an anti-UV coating to protect the antenna from the sun. This antenna comes with an ajustable amplifier and built-in 2-way splitter. It is a compact and sturdy boat antenna.
Shakespeare 3019 SeaWatch
The Shakespeare 3019 SeaWatch is a 19-inch omni-directional OTA antenna. This antenna has a built-in low noise amplifier to help with antenna reception. It is designed to fit common 1”-14 threaded mounts. It also comes with AC, DC and USB power adapters.
For a larger selection of boat antennas and marine electronics head on over to Solid Signal. They have a huge selection of antennas, mounts, and cabling for all your boating needs.
If you are installing a new television consider using a good mounting bracket. This will ensure that your television will stay put in choppy seas.
Make sure when you are moving from port to port to rescan your channels on your television. This is an important step. It will ensure that you have all the local broadcast channels for that area.
If you are having trouble installing and mounting your marine antenna these forums can be very helpful.
Watching television on your boat is a nice luxury. Installing an over the air antenna is not a complicated project. Any DIY person can handle the job.