submersible handheld vhf radio recommendations? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electronics
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Old 08-17-2009
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submersible handheld vhf radio recommendations?

I just posted an account of my first capsize in which it would have been handy to have a vhf radio to call for assistance.

That said, it appears that there are quite a few handhelds on the market, which are water resistant or submersible. Because I'm on a performance boat that gets a fair amount of water in the cockpit (and apparently occasionally capsizes!) I want one that's fully submersible. But from reading the limited reviews out there, it seems that some survive submersion better than others.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I sail on a relatively small (11,000 acre) lake in Kansas, so I don't think I need a huge amount of power. And I'd ideally keep it on my person (in a zipper front-pocket of my lifejacket, or clipped to my lifejacket?) so I'd like it to be fairly small. But most of all, it has to be reliable, even after being fully submerged.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have!
~Dean
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Last edited by 0verdrive; 08-17-2009 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 08-17-2009
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icom makes one that also floats and i can testify to the being waterproof and to its floating ( 12 yr old grandson, you can fill in the rest)
the price is reasonable too, i picked mine up on sale at west marine for under $200 Cdn
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Old 08-17-2009
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I have the Standard horizon HX750S 6 Watt FLOATING Handheld VHF. Although I haven't tested the floating part yet it is water proof, easy to use, and the price was around $150.

Would I buy another.... YES. I bought mine from "thegpsstore.com"
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Old 08-17-2009
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I cannot help myself so i will say this anyway ..

There are two problems with submersable VHF

1. Most of us cannot speak clearly underwater

2. Once the darn thing is overboard we often can not retrieve it


OK - I feel better now that that is out of my system. I also understand your question but it has been a long day and I felt the uncontrollable urge to contribute .....
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Old 08-17-2009
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Laugh - you don't think you'd understand a "Mayday Mayday May grgl grgl grgl" distress gurgle?

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Old 08-18-2009
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I brought the ICOM IC-M33 earlier this year which is marked "waterproof" on the front. Works fine, fairly easy to use.

Ilenart
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Old 03-11-2010
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I recommend that your VHF have two features:
1-Waterproof to IPX-7 (1 meter of water for 30 min) or better.
2-Floating - as has already been observed, it is difficult to transmit from the bottom of the pond.

I would also look for one which transmits and receives CLEARLY. Conduct a radio test to and from the unit with a fixed VHF.

I have an iCom M34. Like most other floating VHF radios, it floats with the antenna pointing down. I have added some red SOLAS tape to the bottom of the unit, so that when I drop it overboard, I can find it again.

I suggest that you do not need GPS functionality built into the VHF. I presume that you are familiar enough with the lake that you are sailing, that you can give a reference coordinate.
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