floating handheld VHF recommendation? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 08-20-2010
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floating handheld VHF recommendation?

I'm looking to buy a handheld VHF. My requirements are that it floats, is rechargeable, and doesn't cost too much... I'd like to spend less than $100, but I could perhaps go up to $150. Additionally, I'd like it to have a GPS, but that isn't required. Any suggestions of radios and/or places to buy them with good prices (I'd prefer ordering online)?
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Old 08-20-2010
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Icom M34

ICOM M34 is what I have, or maybe a slightly older model. The feature of an optional battery pack with AAA batteries gives you backup too. Typical ~$150.

Last edited by TaylorC; 08-20-2010 at 06:55 PM.
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Old 08-20-2010
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Picked up this Cobra at the Defender sale this Spring. Great battery life (built in Lithium as well as AA backup). The reception has been good for cruising around Boston. I ended up with the Bluetooth version but never use the feature.

Floating Handheld VHF Radio
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In June I got a Standard Horizon HX751 for $129 from Anchor Express--the best price I could find at the time. It floats (haven't tested this!), has glow-in-dark gasket around outside, lithium batts, comes with 110 and 12 volt chargers.

Happy with it the few times I've used it so far.
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Old 08-24-2010
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arf145, I like the looks of that HX751 a lot. I note they also have the HX850S, which appears to be that unit's big brother (it includes GPS and some DSC features). Do you think the price increase to $169 is worth it? I'm envisioning having this thing attached to my life vest so that if I fall overboard while single-handing, I can call for help and give my position (or, more likely, I'll be sailing with inexperienced guests who can't come back and get me, but same endgame). There appears to be a $20 rebate on the HX751 which would make the price $109... maybe not worth $60 for GPS.
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Old 08-24-2010
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Icom M-36, right in your price range if you look for deals and or rebates; and it does float and I have tested it, by accident. Kicked it out of the dink, it went down about 2 feet and popped right back up still scanning away.
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Old 08-24-2010
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My vote is also with the Icom M-36. It is rock solid.
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Old 08-24-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeador View Post
...they also have the HX850S, which appears to be that unit's big brother (it includes GPS and some DSC features). Do you think the price increase to $169 is worth it? I'm envisioning having this thing attached to my life vest so that if I fall overboard while single-handing, I can call for help and give my position (or, more likely, I'll be sailing with inexperienced guests who can't come back and get me, but same endgame). There appears to be a $20 rebate on the HX751 which would make the price $109... maybe not worth $60 for GPS.
That's your call, rmeador. For your purpose, the GPS sounds useful. I was just looking for a handheld for the cockpit to be handy for calling drawbridges, and as my backup to the nav station unit.
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Old 08-25-2010
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you might want to check your local pawn shops... i got lucky and got one of these new in box for 40 bucks and am very happy with it. IIRC doesnt float but is waterproof, and its the smallest one they make so for lifejacket clipon very functional.... good rx/tx and the battery life is better than advertised. no affiliation with the co. just like the product...

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Old 08-25-2010
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I have a HX850s w/GPS. When I first got it I threw it over the side just to see what would happen - if floats but it's hard as hell to see. Otherwise, it's a real good radio and does as advertised. I use it mostly on my speed boat so its in the weather all time and the grand kids like playing "Star Trek" with it. It takes a beating.

It's a good buy.
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