Best Marine GPS Antenna for 2021 – review by a Radio Engineer

While sailing across the sea, safety should be your primary concern. A reliable and robust marine GPS antenna is key to receiving radio signals and determining your location. We have done the detailed research to determine that the Raymarine RS150 is the top antenna while the Standard Horizon SCU-31 came in a close second.

In this article, we will show you the best marine GPS antennas under different categories.

Detailed Reviews

Editor’s Pick – Raymarine RS150 GPS/Glonass Antenna/Receiver

When it comes to ruggedness, durability, and functionality, Raymarine RS 150 is one of the best GPS antennas you can get today. It functions both as a receiver and an antenna. Although you can buy an additional pole mounting kit from the manufacturer, you can save money by mounting Raymarine RS 150 on any pole or surface in your boat.

This tool is compatible with NMEA2000 as well as SeaTalk-ng. Also, it is suitable for various satellite types such as EGNOS, WAAS, GAGAN, and MSAS. It can be operated at different temperature ranges from -13°F to 131°F. With a speed accuracy of 95%, you can count on this waterproof marine GPS antenna whenever you want.

Note that this is an antenna receiver combination and if you’re looking for an antenna without a built-in receiver then Raymarine A80288 GPS/Glonass Antenna, A9/A12 Series GA150 is a worthwhile pick.

PROS

  • Integrated receiver with 72 channels.
  • Works with different satellite types.
  • Low power consumption that allows it to be used for several hours without any worries.

CONS

  • When compared to many other products on this list, it is too pricey.
  • Another adapter cable and NMEA2000 backbone system are needed to enjoy the features of Raymarine RS150.
  • Its 3m cable is relatively shorter than most other products with a similar price tag.

Customer feedback

Customers have largely provided positive feedback on the RS150. However, there are some complaints about the non-responsiveness of the tech support team of the manufacturer when assistance is needed.

Runner-Up – Standard Horizon SCU-31 GPS Smart Antenna

The second marine GPS antenna on our well-researched list is the Standard Horizon SCU-31 GPS Smart Antenna. Made in Japan, this marine antenna comes with a 15-meter routing cable that guarantees reliable connectivity wherever you go. The ivory white color of the SCU-31 ensures that it is protected from the damaging effects of the UV rays.

This marine GPS antenna is compatible with NMEA0183 data input and output. It has a rapid GPS acquisition duration and is protected by a 3-year waterproof warranty. Even though Standard Horizon SCU-31 GPS Smart Antenna also has a receiver, it doesn’t have as many channels as the Raymarine RS150. Nevertheless, this doesn’t take anything away from its quality.

PROS

  • It has one of the longest cables you can ever find in a marine GPS antenna.
  • It has a 3-year waterproof warranty that can assist you to maximize your investment in the product.
  • It is sensitive and easy to install.

 CONS

  • The engineering of the product is not top-notch, so you may have issues with its durability.

Most Portable Marine GPS Antenna – Furuno GPA017 GPS Antenna

If portability is a major concern for you, the Furuno GPS antenna is your best bet. This antenna has dimensions of 27.94 x 20.32 x 27.94 cm and weighs only 1 pound. As a result of these specs, Furuno GPA017 is easy to carry around without any additional burden.

The manufacturer of this antenna used the highest standards of engineering. In addition, it is made with top-quality materials that ensure that you can use this marine GPS antenna for a long period. Besides, the GPA017 is highly sensitive and accurate in its readings. This antenna has over 80% five star ratings. This tells you a lot about its overall quality.

PROS

  • Made by Furuno, one of the best and biggest marine electronics makers in the world.
  • Features a 10-meter long cable that enables flexible mounting options
  • Materials and engineering quality guarantee long-term use.

CONS

  • Slightly more expensive than other products of similar quality.
  • Doesn’t come with a mounting mast. So, you may need to spend extra money on it.

Most Affordable Marine GPS Antenna – Waterproof GPS Active Antenna

Waterproof GPS Active antenna is very cost-effective. Despite its affordability, it has great features. As the name suggests, it is waterproof. Tests have shown that it can stay in water for as long as 4 hours. So, you don’t have to worry about using it as you are sailing anywhere you want.

It has an SMA connector and is kept inside a black housing. Waterproof GPS Active antenna also offers 28 dB of gain, which increases the range of GPS signal reception.

Also, the antenna has a magnetic base – hence, you can easily and conveniently place it on the roof or other parts of your Pontoon boat or another vehicle. Furthermore, the Waterproof GPS Active antenna boasts of having a 3-meter cable that increases the range of where you can place it.

PROS

  • One of the cheapest marine GPS antennas you can get today.
  • Easy to install. All thanks to its magnetic base
  • Works over a temperature range of -40°C to 85°C.

CONS

  • Build quality is low. So, it is not durable.
  • Cable is short.

Customer feedback

Based on customers’ ratings, the Waterproof GPS Active antenna is a good and affordable product. However, there are complaints about its durability as it tends to need replacement sooner than most others. But for only $15, only a few customers will be bothered.

How We Picked the Best Products

Perhaps you are wondering the factors used for selecting these best marine GPS antennas. These factors are highlighted below

Frequency range

The frequency range is a crucial factor that will determine whether an antenna will be able to connect to one or more of the most popular satellite systems. Most GPS systems operate on GPS L1 which is 1575 MHz as will the antennas we have selected.

Size

Antennas are available in varying sizes. We have handpicked antennas that are easy to take from one place to another or handle during the mounting process. Besides, all the selected antennas can fit into vessels of different sizes.

Popularity

This is another important indicator. A popular product has a critical mass of reviews and user feedback. Perfect material for in-depth product research, what works, what doesn’t and more.

Build quality

All of the products on this list are well designed and constructed. Although the build quality differs from one antenna to another, you can be certain each product is worth its price tag.

Customer reviews

All antennas on our list have been reviewed multiple times by different customers on Amazon. This is a pointer to the quality of the products as well as the community support you can get if you have any issues with them.

Summary

In conclusion, the marine GPS antennas described on this list are some of the best you can get in the market today. They have been carefully handpicked by our trusted reviewers with a vast wealth of experience.