SSB Antenna Deliberations

Dean Gillies

Hi All,

While I am away from the boat, I am working through the design of the new SSB installation for Stella, our 54.

One of the design area where I still find myself fence-sitting is in the choice of either a Whip or Backstay Antenna.  I prefer the simplicity, aesthetic and ruggedness of the backstay antenna, but I dislike the awkward antenna feed-in solutions.

For safety, the lower backstay insulator needs to be above easy reach height, say 2m off the deck. This means that the antenna feed cable needs to be offset from the lower section of the backstay, and also kept away from the stern rail, davits and solar arch. This offset is often a rather ugly and awkward arrangement.

To try and clean this up, I am contemplating the use of something like Dyneema on the lower section of the starboard backstay.  This would enable the antenna feed cable to be fixed neatly to the dyneema part of the backstay, ensuring it stays in-place and out of harms way.  This kind of backstay arrangement is very common and effective on racing yachts as it gives the ability to tension the backstay as desired for sail-shaping. 

There is little chance of the backstay being flogged or chafed when sailing, so that particular advantage of stainless steel standing rigging is irrelevant.

I'm just wondering if anyone has seen this kind of arrangement on an Amel?

Am I just being over-fussy with my dislike of the whole stand-off thing?

Is there a better way to make that backstay antenna lead-in?  Maybe just using a single insulator near the top of the backstay is acceptable, and install a plastic sleeve over the lower (reachable) section for safety? Has anyone done that?

So many questions. I do find it difficult trying to visualise this when not standing looking at the stbd aft quarter of the boat!


SY Stella

AMEL 54#154 



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