Range of a portable vhf

GPS, Sonor, Radar, Fish Finder, etc. Discuss electronics installation and upgrades.
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First Mate
First Mate
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Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:07 pm
Home Port: Groton Ct

Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:55 am

Since replacing my antennae and fishing the new one through the Gunnel wire bundle seems to be a winter project I need to know how far a portable vhf reaches?

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Gold Member
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Home Port: Safe Harbor - Essex Island Marina, Essex, CT
Location: Essex, Connecticut

Wed Aug 31, 2016 1:11 pm

See this write up for a good, practical explanation of VHF range.


Bottom line - approx. 3 miles to another hand-held. Further to a shore station (like the CG) with a tall antenna. Power adds clarity but not as much range. That comes from antenna height.
Sonny IV
2006 35TE Convertible, Volvo D6-370's
Former owner - Sonny III, 1997 28TE with "The BEAST"

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Home Port: Apalachicola Florida

Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:03 pm

VHF radios, whether Marine of Ham 2 meter are line of sight. Thus the higher you get the antenna the further you can broadcast and receive. So you can hit the horizon and maybe just a bit further since VHF radio waves will curve over the horizon just a tiny bit. VHF is pretty much all about the antenna, not so much the power.

Ham radio VHF's use repeaters normally located on the tops of tall buildings or mountains to gain range. I do not think that marine VHF repeaters exist, maybe the Coast Guard has some though.

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