I was looking at a web site and noticed that the group wuses a product called “Tiger Tail” for the back stay. “Tiger Tail” is a braided wire used in jeweler making.

In the article they mention leaving a long tail of the wire and attaching it to your antenna. I believe the idea is to increase the length of the antenna.Would this work?? Would it increase the reception?

Currently the antenna on my boat is looped under the deck(inside a straw), out of sight. I was thinking of placing it on the deck or running it up the mast. But after reading this article I am not sure which way would work the best. What is everyone else doing??


The first question I have to ask is why you want to do this?
Better range? Stronger signal?
Ask yourself this question. Have you ever run out of range? If not, then why change the set up? If you have, you either were sailing way to far away and your boat was a dot on the horizon, or you have a radio in need of a tune up.

Antenna position (vertical or horizontal) makes very little difference in overall range.
Having the antenna fully extended and not wrapped around itself is what will give you the best range.
Running the antenna around the edge of the hull inside the boat (as in your straw) should give you the same range as running it up the backstay or the mast.
There are several base and center loaded antennas that claim to increase range, but to my knowledge none of them have ever proven their claims.
In my opinion, boats that have the antenna coiled up the backstay or mast are just plain ugly.

Peter R.


if the aerial is next to a metal object like an aluminum mast,doesnt that affect the gain of the aerial? just curious cause from what i know, ham radio directional antennas are configured in a similar manner. a driven element in front of a reflector element. can this create like a strong signal on one heading and a weak or blind side on the opposite heading?

thanks for the thoughts. Reason I asked the question was I was wondering if the aerial placement makes a lot of difference (under the hull versus above) When I placed the straw in my hull it is held above the water line small velcro patch. due to reading that the higher it is the better.

Also as Ed mentioned I wonder if a stronger signal would be made b\y connection to the backstay. Now I wonder how a person would test this. I remember a time when we were on Lake of the Woods (hit a dead head and tore the propeller off the boat.and could not contact the camp I worked at by radio. I placed time foil (in a dish shape) behind and touching the arial on the boat and was able to trans. and recieve. Lord knows if this is the same thing as connection to a single wire. Not that smart when it comes to how radios work.

Thanks again

According to Tony Stillman at Radio South NEVER add or subtract from your antenna. You can follow the directions on a good quality base loaded antenna that will allow you to have just a small antenna sticking up above deck. On carbon boats in many cases this is the best solution since if the antenna is inside an all carbon boat it won’t work. You can run the antenna up a stay but do not wind it around; its best to stay away from carbon or aluminum masts for airflow reasons as well as electronic reasons.

Doug Lord
–High Technology Sailing/Racing

I have put my antennas up the mast, the sidestay, backstay and under the deck with no difference in range. I did notice that with the antenna under the deck, I MUST keep the Tx antenna pointed up, or I will lose control.