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post #8 of Old 02-10-2013
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Lightbulb Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?


I see you sail a 1980 Watkins 27 footer with wheel steering and sail the upper Chessie. How you plan to use the boat (day sailing or multi-day cruising) can affect what you get for a radio. If you plan to sail solo vs. with crew most of the time can impact our recommendations too.

In my opinion, get anybody’s handheld that floats if you plan to day sail by yourself most of the time. If you want to spend a little more, get a fixed VHF in the cabin with RAM at the pedestal. If you sail at night on a regular basis, then a VHF with AIS is a real nice safety feature.

We’ve had both icom and standard horizon units and have been happy with both. We sail the Great Lakes, often at night, often in/across shipping lanes, often just the two of us or me solo. There is nothing like having a big freighter pop out of the fog, mid-Lake Michigan, to help you spec out you radio and navigation package. We currently have the Standard Horizon GX2150 with built-in AIS receiver in the cabin wired to a RAM and GPS chart plotter at the pedestal. The combination sounds an alarm when a big boat is within our sailing area and shows where it will be at its closest approach.

I guess, in the short run, how you will use your boat should determine what you get now. How long you plan to keep the boat can also drive your choice as I seldom see people yank out their radio when they move up to the “next boat” (and you know that will happen one day).

`99 Beneteau Oceanis 352, #282 WiTCHCRAFT
Milwaukee, WI
Sailing Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes
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