Best handheld radio under $250 - opinions please - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-07-2013 Thread Starter
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Best handheld radio under $250 - opinions please

Ok. What is the best handheld that you have that was under $259 and what makes it the best?

Thanks

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post #2 of 12 Old 07-07-2013
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Re: Best handheld radio under $250 - opinions please

Define best. What are you looking for?

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post #3 of 12 Old 07-07-2013
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Re: Best handheld radio under $250 - opinions please

Built in GPS, floating, submersible. Those would be on my list.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Best handheld radio under $250 - opinions please

I really like my Standard Horizon 851 and it has all those features. However it has one major downfall : bulk. If you have this clipped to your lifejacket, you know about it.

So my perfect radio would be the SH HX851 but half the size and weight.

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post #5 of 12 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Best handheld radio under $250 - opinions please

The 851. GPS, DSC, outstanding dinghy radio, great back-up handheld for cockpit and around the docks. Fine main radio on smaller boats. Comes with charger that runs off 117VAC and 12VDC. Not really very big at all. Downside is battery life is only good for about a day due to GPS drain.

I have the older 850 radio and it's great.

Currently $249.99 at West Marine.

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post #6 of 12 Old 07-08-2013
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Re: Best handheld radio under $250 - opinions please

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
The 851. GPS, DSC, outstanding dinghy radio, great back-up handheld for cockpit and around the docks. Fine main radio on smaller boats. Comes with charger that runs off 117VAC and 12VDC. Not really very big at all. Downside is battery life is only good for about a day due to GPS drain.

I have the older 850 radio and it's great.

Currently $249.99 at West Marine.
Ditto!

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-08-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Best handheld radio under $250 - opinions please

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Define best. What are you looking for?
Thanks Mark - the reason I asked for "opinions please" is because I wanted input. Too often all we want is to have our own prejudices confirmed.

Me - I really wanted to dip into the collective experience of this group. I had "picked one" but I have already got some ideas I had not thought of.

Thanks all.

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post #8 of 12 Old 07-11-2013
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Re: Best handheld radio under $250 - opinions please

Can agree with the Standard Horizon. I've had many different ones over the years, although not any Icoms (though I hear some negatives about them within the past three years). We like our SH very much. Reliable, easy to charge cradle with two different inputs - 12V and 120V, good features.

The real thing you need to evaluate is what you want and/or need it to do.

There have been many discussions about this, but they basically come down to this:

1. Simplicity is favored for longer battery life, save the bells & whistles for your down-below big radio, HH are good for most uses unless you sail on LARGE bodies of water all the time and need long range.

2. Gee, the bells & whistles sure are neat, AIS, GPS, etc, at the expense of battery life.

Anywhere in between are lots of radios.

Your boat, your wallet, your choice.

Good luck.

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post #9 of 12 Old 07-12-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Best handheld radio under $250 - opinions please

Thanks Stu

We have all the bells and whistles down below and at the helm, however, we do not have a marine VHF hand held (sold it when we sold the last boat). (I have a Yaesu VX-150 down below that is bullet proof, but not water proof) I thought a nice marine hand held would be a good addition.

I am certainly leaning toward the SH - HX851 at this point.

Cheers

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post #10 of 12 Old 07-14-2013
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Re: Best handheld radio under $250 - opinions please

I have decided to add another hand held. Both the "old" Garmin 12 gps and our current icom vhf are solid, waterproof and functioning properly. They are "old", large and do not float.

With a couple of different sailboats we venture into the Atlantic Ocean aboard and a couple of canoes that do service in Maine's coastal waters I have decided to add the Icom M92D VHF Marine Transceiver. Combining the two older units into one that floats seems to make sense. I have decided to stay with icom. I have two of their radios and they have been reliable for years.($269.00) at Hamilton Marine. $10.00 over your requested price limit Rik.

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