Should I Put a Cell Antenna on My Masthead?

Question:

Hi Jeff. I have the mast off my Channel Cutter. I was wondering what you would recommend for a WiFi or maybe a cell antenna for the masthead?  Is it possible to have connections about 4-6 ft after the base of the mast for ease of mast removal.  I am finally going to add the wind sensor, that gave us so much trouble...remember be stuck up the mast?  Can I splice that cable 4-6ft aft of the mast base.

I would like to put a small junction box in for splicing the speed/ temp sensor, since I have to replace that every 4-5 yrs, rather tired of chasing that cable throughout the boat.  Thanks for your help.  - Rick

Answer:

You can definitely install a splice at the bottom of the mast. Another option is to install a service loop (12” – 24” of extra cable), that can be cut and spliced next time you actually remove the mast. This option, allows you to benefit from a splice free connection until you actually remove the mast later down the road.  

Regarding cell and Wi-Fi antennas. This really depends on the length of your mast. Because at one point the benefit of the extra height is offset by the signal loss along a longer cable.  Very few boaters have a Wi-Fi or Cell Antenna on top of their masts. Also, you have to consider the proximity to your VHF antenna which is also located on top of the mast. - Jeff

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