VHF Handheld Radio - SailNet Community
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post #1 of Old 07-15-2007 Thread Starter
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VHF Handheld Radio

I am in the process of buying a 1994 Catalina 270, and the boat does have a mounted radio in the cabin area / Nav Station. However, I'd also like to have a handheld to keep at the helm area, or on my person if the need should arise.

Any advise as to which make or model is the best?

Thanks,
Mark
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post #2 of Old 07-15-2007
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Icom is a great one, I use their ham gear as well. I recently purchased the IC-M72 it is great, small yet pwoerful, has weather. Can't go wrong.

dave
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post #3 of Old 07-15-2007
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Try cobra
they are cheap a 2 pack cost around $80.00
get 4 for the price of one expensive one so if it dies or davy jones grabs it just go below & get the next one
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post #4 of Old 07-15-2007
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Because I sail OPB, I purchased an Icom M34 (the floating VHF). I clip it in somewhere in the cockpit so that I can hear it. Sound quality is good, and Icom has a great reputation. When sailing to Scituiate this weekend, I was able to make arrangements for a mooring over 3 miles out from the harbor.

So far I have been happy with it, although I wish it came in yellow. If it ever went overboard, the black would virtually guarantee that it would get lost (maybe that's the manufacturer's idea?). I solved that with some SOLAS reflective tape on the bottom of the unit. I haven't tried practicing MOB drills with it yet, but I'm sure that day will come. ;-)

I never understood why people mount the VHF at the NAV station, unless they have a remote, or a speaker in the cockpit.

Ed
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post #5 of Old 07-15-2007
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I'd second the Icom M34. I personally use a Standard Horizon 471, and like it over the Icom, which wasn't available when I bought it, because of its size and features.

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post #6 of Old 07-15-2007
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I have an Icom M34 and it's a great handheld. you can't go wrong with it.
Tom Shannon
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post #7 of Old 07-15-2007
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I have an hx370s by standard horizon

The pros:
* VERY good battery life
* Comes with many accessories (AA battery tray, 12v cig light charger and some other stuff)
* Works well, gets good reception
* Easy to read display
* Many different scanning options
* Does weather alert well and receives the weather channels of course
* Good value money wise

The cons:
* The belt clip stinks, I don't trust it (I got a case)
* There is no spot for a lanyard (don't know what this is all about)
* It's a BIT bigger, heavier than I would like
* Kind of a con: doesn't float...but most don't other than the icoms listed above

Hope this helps! I have heard a lot of good things about Icoms as well but the Standard Horizon is a good value.

I sail.
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post #8 of Old 07-15-2007
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I got the Icom ICM-32-LI which I think is exclusive to West Marine. IT has a Lithium Ion battery and also has a battery pack that takes AA batteries as a backup to the L-ion battery. It's been great for me.

West Marine: M32LI Radio with Long-Life Battery Product Display
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post #9 of Old 07-15-2007
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I have the Standard Horizon 260HX and the newer S-H 471SX, both submersible. The former is twice as big, but has more juice plus an alkaline "back-up" battery pack, so I use it in the cockpit. The latter has DSC, is about the size of a pack of cards, gets VHF, Family Band, Air traffic band, FM, AM and MURS, has a strobe and probably does laundry. That one clips onto my PFD, and is the one I would take into a liferaft.

If you like cheap, basic but well-built, like strictly lake or coastal, Uniden is a good choice.
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post #10 of Old 07-15-2007
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Hello,

I bought the West Marine VHF150. It's a nice unit, good audio quality. It's always on sale for $150.

Don't buy the cheap Cobra units. The audio is so bad you will never be able to understand what people are saying.

Some features I have found useful:
-Ability to select low power (1 watt) and high power (2.5 or 5 watts). This will make your batter last longer and still give you long(er) range when you need it.
-Weather alert. If NOAA broadcasts an alert, the radio will automatically switch to weather mode
-Dual watch. You can monitor channel 16 while staying on another channel.
-Battery pack with 'standard' batteries (AA or AAA). My West Marine unit comes with a Li-On battery pack for long life. However, if the battery dies, I have another pack that can accept AAA's.

Good luck,
Barry

Barry Lenoble
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY

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