Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?
Ditto the RAM remote mic - without it we end up using a handheld in the cockpit, with its inferior range, or just not using (or simply not hearing) the cabin-mounted radio.
OTOH, if you don't have one, a VHF handheld isn't a bad idea either.
Personally, I like Icom radios which I have for HF and amateur. My boat came with a Standard Horizon VHF (with RAM mic), and I have to admit they offer a great set of features for the money. I'm thinking seriously of their GX2150 with built-in AIS receiver as my next upgrade, unless I go for a full transponder. Even then, my current VHF is SC101, not full Class D, so it will be upgraded one of these days anyway.
Last tip/suggestion/strong suggestion: any new VHF will be DSC capable. GET AN MMSI number and PROGRAM it in the radio. If you have a GPS, CONNECT it to the radio.
1998 Jeanneau SO45.2