Re: VHF AIS radios
I'd seriously consider replacing my ICOM 604 VHF with a VHF/AIS combo. The 604 is a nice unit but integrated AIS is a great feature, especially if the AIS data can be output to the plotter. Having to install a separate antenna or some sort of antenna switching unit for a standalone AIS receiver seems way too complicated if the same thing can be obtained from a VHF.
I hesitate when considering a Standard Horizon only because my old Standard Horizon handheld suddenly crapped out this year. It was never abused and very lightly used but some internal component just quit. Of course this occurred when I was in the Ditch and it was really needed for bridge communications. So I'm a little wary of SH products. In 40+ years of dealing with marine electronics, which seem to be pretty rugged, I have never had a unit burn out like this. Think I'll wait for ICOM to come out with a unit.
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.