Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?
Can't wait to hear what you got.
I'm a big fan of the RAM mic in the cockpit. Big tip...... remove it and put it away when not in use, they usually have a twist off connector. UV kills them.
Hailer is nice, but not mandatory.
If you are daytime sailing in reasonable viz, there is no need for AIS. Where there is a need, such as at night, in dense fog, bad weather or offshore, you really need a transponder, not just a receiver on a VHF. Someone asked about the ICW. I can not imagine being in conditions on the ICW that would make AIS all that necessary. If you can't see on the ICW, you should probably have the hook down. Then, you would more likely need to transmit your location, rather than receiving others.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.