Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit
IMO you need to be able to hear and operate the VHF in the cockpit (and monitor 16, which many people don't).
Hearing CG securities (sp?) can be helpful! While sailing mid day, we heard a Securtitie concerning two 60 foot Dead Heads (floating pilings) near our marina. Sailing back at dusk, we spotted the dead heads directly in our path. I know for a fact, we would not have noticed them if we hadn't been warned, and would have T boned them, doing about 5 knots!
In addition, I have come to the aid of several Skippers in my area because I heard their communications with the CG on 16. I hope others will do the same for me if I ever am in need. You can't respond if you don't know a problem exists. BTW...If you assume the CG will come to your rescue, one might wonder why the aforementioned dead heads were still floating around in the bay at Six PM, when the CG was aware of them at Noon! Not judging, just saying that often we are on our own out there.
So, no matter how you do it (and no, a hand held doesn't count IMO), you need to to be able to hear and use the VHF from the cockpit. I moved my VHF from the middle of the Salon to inside the companionway for just this reason. Search my posts to see how I did it if interested (no easy task on my boat!).