Innexpensive handheld VHF/GPS saves lives - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 30 Old 03-12-2009 Thread Starter
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Hello again from Big Moe:

The following is the West Marine number for the VHF/GPS unit with MMSI.

STANDARD HORIZON
HX850S Floating 6W Handheld VHF with Integral GPS
WM Model #: 9457433

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post #12 of 30 Old 03-12-2009
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A semi-related question. Do search aircraft monitor marine VHF? I agree that the short range/line of site issue is a problem for handhelds, but with the aircraft well above the horizon and moving fast eonough to get close a handheld might be of some benefit.
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post #13 of 30 Old 03-12-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baboon View Post
... Do search aircraft monitor marine VHF?
Yes, they do.


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post #14 of 30 Old 03-12-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baboon View Post
A semi-related question. Do search aircraft monitor marine VHF? I agree that the short range/line of site issue is a problem for handhelds, but with the aircraft well above the horizon and moving fast eonough to get close a handheld might be of some benefit.
Yes, they would be monitoring channel 16. That would be exactly what you would be using a handheld for! "Hey, do you see me down here."

A long distance distress call is best made by other means.


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post #15 of 30 Old 03-12-2009
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Be aware there is a recall on this particular model, due to possible cracks in the casing that compromise the unit's water tight integrity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoe View Post
Hello again from Big Moe:

The following is the West Marine number for the VHF/GPS unit with MMSI.

STANDARD HORIZON
HX850S Floating 6W Handheld VHF with Integral GPS
WM Model #: 9457433

Big Moe

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post #16 of 30 Old 03-12-2009
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Be aware there is a recall on this particular model, due to possible cracks in the casing that compromise the unit's water tight integrity.
SD,

I have gone back and modified my post on this issue, to read that there is a "Voluntary Safety Check" rather than a "recall" per se. Sorry about the ambiguous info on that.

Incidentally, Standard Horizon did not hesitate to point that out to me. I plan to provide an update as soon as I get some additional info from them. I will post that info to the thread where I originally mentioned this issue.


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post #17 of 30 Old 03-12-2009
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Well, I don't sail offshore, I sail in the protected waters of the Chesapeake Bay. When I sail alone or when weather picks up, I wear a PFD and have my floating VHF clipped on. This year I was given a SPOT and will wear that too. The SPOT will NOT be used as my primary means to reach help, but it will be in the lineup. My limited experience with the SPOT is that it works well. In case you want to learn more have a look at findmespot.com

Joe McCary,
Sailing on The Central Chesapeake Bay, West River, MD on my Catalina 27, Aelous II with my wife and friends.
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post #18 of 30 Old 03-13-2009
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Man I just love this devil-may-care attitude. It's only a 5-watt radio, it won't be any good at sea. Tell ya what. If you ever get into a similar situation, and you have a 5 watt handheld, just drop it. Don't even try, okay? Over open water, signals travel much further than they would inland, but nevermind that. And there's no chance someone else might be out in their boat, and much closer than shore. What gets through might be just enough to direct a rescue. I'll take a slim chance over none any day.
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post #19 of 30 Old 03-13-2009
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lets see on my little 27 foot bay bound boat i have a mounted 25 watt radio , a water proof floating handheld in the cockpit, a cheap hand held radio. 2 flare guns with 16 flares, a mirror, 4 hand held smoke/flares, an emergency blanket that is orange on one side and silver on the other and a cell phone with a charger on board. the stuff kept in the ditch bag listed below

the ditch bag has the cheap handheld, batteries, flash light, flare gun with 8 flares, 4 hand held smokes/flares, 4 bottles of water, 4 candy bars, the mirror, a few large ziplock bags with stuff in them, and an emergency blanket that is orange on one side and silver on the other

the sad thing is i want more, a SPOT, and more inflatable pfds, right now i have one inflatable and 10 regular orange pfds
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post #20 of 30 Old 03-13-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seabreeze_97 View Post
Man I just love this devil-may-care attitude. It's only a 5-watt radio, it won't be any good at sea. Tell ya what. If you ever get into a similar situation, and you have a 5 watt handheld, just drop it. Don't even try, okay? Over open water, signals travel much further than they would inland, but nevermind that. And there's no chance someone else might be out in their boat, and much closer than shore. What gets through might be just enough to direct a rescue. I'll take a slim chance over none any day.
VHF Radios depend on two things to get a transmission out.

(1) Height of the antenna. A VHF radio wave is a flat line wave meaning straight. If you are bobbing around in a life vest your antenna hight may be what, 2 feet off the surface of the water. A severe limitation. Again, if you can't see them and all you have is a handheld, save your battery!

(2) Power, meaning wattage. A good rule of thumb to go by, is under "good" conditions a watt is good for a mile. When you need a radio the most usually conditions are not "good."

There is a reason that all US commercial vessels operating 20 or more miles offshore are required to have EPIRB's. In side 20 miles they are required to have a fixed mount 25 watt radio. A handheld does not satisfy the requirement, as it is considered a axillary radio to the ships fixed base station (25 watt) by the USCG. But, I will let you figure that one out for yourself.


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