Join Date: Nov 2002
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 14
I prefer Icom VHF's. They're a big player in 2-way radio in general. Avoid Panasonic. My first VHF was a Panasonic, and it failed three times without warning in my first 5 years with the boat. Icom got good marks in Practical Sailor, too. I like the models with the remote speaker/mic. My remote is mounted at the helm, so I can use the radio (such as when coming into a marina) without having to give someone else the tiller.
Consider getting an handheld VHF as well. I've got an Icom handheld and an adapter that will connect the coax for the mounted radio where the rubber ducky on the handheld would normally be. Good backup system, because antenna height is a big factor in your transmit/receive range on VHF. (A handheld with its rubber ducky is only good for a few miles.)
I've got a 10 year old Magellan handheld GPS, and a five year old Garmin. The newer technology makes a big difference in time to first fix. Newer unit is much easier on batteries, though real-world battery life is much less than advertised.
If you're considering a GPS with charting functions, something to think about is to use a notebook PC with nav software instead of a chart plotter. It's a much more versatile setup, IMHO.
Hope this helps,
One Step Closer
Lake St. Clair, MI