Tips for installing a GPS on your boat
The most critical part of a GPS installation is the antenna. It should be installed where there is a clear view of the sky and no shadows from obstructions. Antennas should be located in areas least affected by multipath; this is picking up unwanted reflections from your boat's structures. However, GPS antennas should not be mounted on top of sailboat masts. The roll of the boat is exacerbated at the top of the mast, which makes it an unsuitable location for the antenna because the GPS will move as the boat tilts. If the antenna of a GPS or VHF receiver is in the path of the radar transmission beam, they are likely to be interfered. In some installations, the powerful pulses from the radar can cause serious problems and interfere with your equipment.
Your GPS may have a built-in antenna, or it may be designed with a separate antenna connected by a coaxial cable. The manufacturer should advise you not to cut this cable, as the cable length must remain the same for maximum efficiency. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Most recreational boats are relatively small, and even if the antenna is at some distance from the GPS, that distance may still be relatively short. On large ships, the antenna can be quite far from the GPS display, and the readings shown on the GPS will be relative to the antenna's position, not the GPS unit's position.
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