2 way headset radios?? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 04-15-2008
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2 way headset radios??

Attempting to locate a source for headset radios that can be use for communications between the cockpit and foredeck. I know hand signals work sometime but not when your in final steps of mooring and using both hands and helmsman has no idea what to do.

I've see the expensive units $300 and up per headset... not interested in that.. anyone know a source for a set under something like $250??
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You can often get FRS radios fairly inexpensively and get headsets for them. Cobra, Motorola, and several other vendors make them.
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I love watching couples with those headsets. Everyone else in the anchorage can hear both sides of the conversation but they can often not hear each other. Makes for great entertainment. Maybe this could be a you tube hit!
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We use a headset from Cruising Solutions - Sailing Solutions | Cost effective equipment for life under sail . They are very inexpensive, somewhat hokey, full of noise, but I can hear my wife's normal speaking voice clear as a bell even in a 25 knot wind. And she can hear mine.

So if she's driving getting ready to drop the anchor I can communicate without yelling back to her. The hand signal thing just never worked well for us. Plus I like being able to quietly tell her there are lots of people watching her and waiting for her to screw up. Spice is important.

Another plus is I get a whine when the alternator belt needs tightening that I can hear when using the headsets with the engine running. That feature did not cost extra.

We ordered them when we saw a couple calmly anchoring in high winds using a set. It was sad because we had enjoyed watching two other boats try to anchor there beside us and drag away. They quietly and calmly kind of spoiled the free show. No matter what we did as we anchored, the yelling fore and aft always raised tensions a little. We are on the water to lower them unless of course we are tangling with other sailboats.

They work. We definitely recommend them. They come with a nice padded storage case which is a plus with our two kids.
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Here's an example of radios I mentioned previously.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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IMHO, SD is right on . FRS radios will work perfectly for the distance you're talking about (basically nothing). Also, you won't be mad if one goes in the drink since they're not too expensive.

Just make sure the one's you buy can take a headset accessory. I've had multiple motorola and liked them all. Also make sure they take the kind of batter you prefer (rechargeable or AA).
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RealityCheck,
If you have a Sportsman's Warehouse, Cabalas, Gander Mountain or any such sports stores where you are, they have handheld vhf radios that are 1 watt and an effective range over water of 26 miles, headsets are available. They have over a hundred channels and they scramble if you so desire. Best of all they are only 60 bucks for 2. They also have several models for different ranges. Besides, only you and yours will be in on the conversation.
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WD-

Last I checked, no VHF has over a HUNDRED channels. Most don't scramble, and the ones that do are fairly expensive. All of the handheld radios that are in the <$100 per pair are FRS or GMRS models or even cheaper "walkie-talkies".
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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walkie talki

If I remember right I read an article in one of those sailing mags and ran down to radio shack purchased a set of head phone style walkie talkies. After 5 or so years they are still in the original box some where Guess its more fun to YELL and gesture... Why change an ancient tradition.. Please I am not a charter member of the Cpt. B... sailing club so no letter bombs
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I've used the type that Dog linked and they work, although you should turn them on a bit in advance as you may find yourself picking up some commercial traffic from lord knows where-just change channels before anyone departs for the bow. Be sure to get the rechargable version as most of these use AAA batteries and they do not have a long lifespan in use. At most, I've gotten a few hours out of them and that's not in full time use.
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