Ask SAIL: A Low Cost AIS Test - Sail Magazine

Ask SAIL: A Low Cost AIS Test

Author:
Publish date:
Switch out an AIS antenna as a means of checking it

Switch out an AIS antenna as a means of checking it

Q: Do I need to buy an expensive VHF test meter to check my AIS antenna, which is separate from my normal VHF antenna?

T. Rabie, Norfolk, VA

GORDON WEST REPLIES

First of all, VHF antenna test meters are not all that expensive. Check out the Shakespeare ART-3, which I’ve seen on sale for under $100. Beyond that, a simple no-cost VHF antenna check is to tune in some VHF (wx) channels, and find one of the stations coming in weak with noise. Now remove your normal VHF antenna connector and attach the AIS antenna lead-in connector. If that same weak weather station is no longer received and you aren’t even picking up your usually strong normal weather station, then you do, indeed, have a problematic AIS antenna system. Most likely, the AIS antenna is fine, but it has a bad connection in the coaxial cable.

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

April 2016

Related

Outremer45

Boat Review: Outremer 45

It’s funny the way things that work right almost inevitably tend to look right as well. Case in point: the Outremer 45, a catamaran that can’t help but turn heads with its large rig, nicely sculpted cabintrunk and narrow, purposeful bows. Better yet, under sail the boat more than ...read more

Sunset-Tyrrel-Bay

Charter: Glorious Grenada

In the wake of the hurricanes that devastated the Virgin Islands last year many charterers ended up going farther south to Grenada and the Grenadines where they found the sailing excellent and the vibe just fine“God must have been a sailor when he created the Caribbean,” a friend ...read more

WaterLinesNov

Waterlines: Tangled Up in Pots

I learned to sail on the Maine coast as a boy, and one of the things my elders taught me was to respect fishing gear. If you got caught up with a lobster pot, you did everything you could to get clear without cutting the pot warp. It represented a family’s livelihood and thus was ...read more

7353

Harken’s Reflex 3 top-down Furler

Furl PowerAre you afraid of flying—spinnakers, that is? Harken’s new Reflex 3 top-down furler will tame A-sails on monohulls from 44-58ft and multis from 39-55ft, and Code 0’s on 39-54ft monos and 36-50ft multis. All you do is heave on the furling line and the sail will roll up ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comDitch the stress Owners of high-freeboard yachts best boarded via the stern sugar-scoop like to back them into a slip, but the process can be fraught on a windy day or when there’s a current running, ...read more

Sun-Odyssey-490-Bertrand_DUQUENNE-aft

Boat Review: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490

True innovation in monohull sailboat design can be a bit elusive these days. That’s not to say that there are no more new ideas, but it does seem that many new tweaks and introductions are a bit incremental: let’s say evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Just when it seems ...read more