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Old 02-10-2013
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Re: Choosing/spec'ing VHF radio?

Don't worry about loudhailer capability. If the radio that you like has an output, it's a bonus, but don't focus on it- you'll never use it.
a RAM mike is a great idea, but the same purpose can be served, arguably more reliably, with a longer mic cable and an external speaker, at a lower cost. Mount your radio close to the companionway and a RAM on a small boat is almost unnecessary, because the mic will be close at hand. A radio with controls on the mic is a great idea.

Regarding superior transmit/receive range with fixed mount vs. Handheld: Consider how you use your radio. Will you regularly need to contact vessels or marinas more than 5 miles away? if so, then range is important. If not, then the extended reach of a fixed mount over a handheld is of little value.
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