Re: Replacing old VHF
To MarkSF's question, I have had two radios with remote microphones over the past 12 years. They both offered superior audio quality compared to my Standard Horizon HX270S handheld, and being coupled to an installed radio with a masthead antenna, the overall performance was naturally superior to a quality handheld.
That said, my current ICOM HM-157 hand mike (coupled to an installed M422 VHF) is superior to a handheld--WHEN THE BULKHEAD CONNECTOR AT THE HELM STATION IS FUNCTIONAL. Unfortunately, the plastic bulkhead connector for this model is a flimsy piece of crap, IMHO. If you go for a remote mike/hand mike, check the quality of the connection and look for something that can take a bump without disconnecting (or worse). My previous radio was a Standard Horizon with a remote mic and I didn't have a problem for the 10 years it was in use in the same location.
Meanwhile, I am looking for a military-grade waterproof connector (8 conductor) to replace the ICOM HM-157 connector I now have. Suggestions welcome.