Ask SAIL: Satellite Antenna Concerns

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Q: Do I have to place my satellite radio receiver antenna out in the open, up high, for effective satellite radio and weather chart reception?

B. Hathaway, Coral Gables, FL

GORDON WEST REPLIES

The latest generation of satellite radio pre-amplified antennas offers such great receiver gain that they may very well play just fine belowdecks. I once even had mine fall on its side during a reception test, and it still received the signal. I would try temporarily locating your antenna below—just under deck level—where the signal has to come in through the teak deck and fiberglass, and see how things go. As part of your test be sure to take a bucket of seawater and douse the deck above it to see if reception stays solid; some teak decks will absorb enough seawater in storms to block reception—just when you may need it the most. So try it, dry and then wet, and if your setup is like the one on my boat, it should work just fine.

July 2016

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