Actually I had a look at the Shakepear Antenna, and the Vtronix (Great Hawk)
in a shop today. The Great Hawk has a quite superior solderless connection,
it appears to use gold plated parts, and has two sealing O rings, and is
quite clever in construction. I do take the point about a soldered
connection, but although I do have a nice weller soldering iron, it would be
interesting doing that at the top of the mast!
If we compare that with the Shakespear antenna, although the Shakespear
antenna itself certainly looks pretty robust, the connector is just a
standard RF type as far as I can see, and therefore less well protected from
the elements than the Great Hawk. There may be some grommet to cover it up,
but I couldn't see one in the Antenna pack.
A look around my Marina here in the UK, shows that Vtronix, both with wind
vane and without would appear to outnumber the Shakespear probably 4 to 1.
The main marine specialist here in Plymouth does not stock them, although a
smaller chamndlery did. So I think on balance I still have a good quality
bit of kit.
Any way it's up the mast now, and done. I have a VSWR meter in the post for
£29, which will also confirm my cable works fine too and the I have a
perfect matching antenna - Hopefully
The one thing I would say here in the UK is that no-one in the Marine
industry appears to let on that you can buy a cheap meter and test your own
set. The best advice I got from UK electronics dealers, is that if you
bring in the set, we can test it for £20, then if it's not the set, we come
out and test it, but that was an opene ended price. I guess they have to
make a living! I also suppose that's why I came to a newgroup.
Thanks everyone for all the information.