Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
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The 718 is a good entry-level ham radio. It does email very well with Pactor modems. It is ILLEGAL to use this radio on the marine bands or, e.g., with SailMail as this service uses the marine bands.
The AT-180 is not a suitable tuner for the 718 in the marine environment. Quite apart from the environmental issues, it has a limited tuning range and is unlikely to work well with the typical end-fed wire antenna (backstay or vertical) found on a boat.
For a more suitable tuner, I'd consider an SGC SG-230 which will work with ANY HF radio and has other functional and mechanical properties compatible with a marine installation.
The "144-148 mHz band" is the amateur radio 2-meter VHF band, located just below the marine VHF band. You wouldn't normally use a tuner for this band.
There are lots of ways to implement a relatively low cost marine SSB system, but if you want or need HF email that's going to drive the costs up considerably. At a minimum, it will mean a newer, more expensive marine radio (e.g., Icom's M700Pro, M710, or M802...a minimum of $1,100) and a Pactor modem with the PIII license (about $1,200).