RF propagation over water benefits from not having to overcome obstructions that are found on land such as dense vegetation and changes in elevation (mountains and valleys). This allows radio waves to travel up to 140km before being significantly affected by factors like the curvature of the earth and thermal fading due to heat and humidity.
Communication masts used on seagoing vessels must be adapted for the purpose as they experience extremely abrasive conditions, salt spray in particular. In order to keep the amount of maintenance required to a minimum naval masts are designed with these conditions in mind and often incorporate different means of protection as a way to ensure the integrity of RF equipment. It is standard practice for protective radomes to be installed over equipment mounted to naval masts particularly for antennas that must be able to realign like those used for maritime satellite communications where dish antennas are continuously tracking fixed satellites while compensating for the ships pitch, roll and yaw movements.
When on the water the height an antenna is mounted is not as crucial as it is when over land it is always beneficial to mount RF as high as reasonably possible.
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