The handheld is a usually a backup, but if I'm working the foredeck, I'll have it with me. All the VHF radios that are DSC capable on a boat get the same MMSI number generally. If you were to get one specifically for use with your dinghy, I am guessing that you could apply for a separate MMSI for it, but I don't really see the point in that. If conditions are that bad, I won't be heading out in the dinghy anyways. Besides, the GPS information is gotten through the handheld's cradle, so it is dependent on the GPS from the main boat anyway. I have a second, non-DSC handheld that is usually used in the dinghy.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.