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natejount 04-22-2003 05:28 AM

Clueless: Handheld Radio advice needed
Just bought my first boat, a Kells 23, will be sailing in Narragansett Bay from Newport, probably not even out of the bay, at least this season. Can anyone give me any advice or links that might compare handheld radios? I do not even know where to start, or how much to expect to spend. Do not need many bells and whistles, just a good signal. Any advice would be appreciated.

petercra 04-22-2003 07:56 AM

Clueless: Handheld Radio advice needed
Check out the May 1, 2002 issue of Practical Sailor. There is a review of 13 handheld VHFs. The Icom IC-M1V comes out on top. I bought one based upon this review and am very pleased.

Most of the handheld VHFs still use nickel cadmium batteries which are inferior to the lithium ion battery ised in the IC-M1V. Nickel cadmium batteries tend to go bad quickly if you overcharge them and don''t have as much capacity. You can easily spend a lot of money replacing the batteries. These batteries used to be standard for cell phones and laptop computers, but are seldom sold for these applications today.

The IC-M1V is also submersible. Cost is around $200 vs. as little as $100-120 for a low end radio which is not submersible and doesn''t have as good a battery. In my view it''s worth the difference.

mrb2222 04-22-2003 09:06 AM

Clueless: Handheld Radio advice needed
When you decide on a unit, I have found Ebay to be a great source for marine electronic gear. Take a look at completed sales for the item you want, to get an idea of cost. VHFs are common items.

hamiam 04-22-2003 09:34 AM

Clueless: Handheld Radio advice needed
I would 2nd the recommendation on the IC-M1V. Its a great radio, has all the features you could ever want, is highly portable, and the battery life is stunning. I sail out of Newport as well and have never had a problem with range or clarity. I bought mine at Defender. Not to scare you away from Ebay but some of the electronics on their are last year''s model or are factory refurbished and may or make not carry the manufactures warranty.

mrb2222 04-22-2003 09:49 AM

Clueless: Handheld Radio advice needed
hamiam, good point. You must read the ad and ask questions if needed. I''ve gotten one vhf and 2 GPSs at great prices.

BTW, the VHF was used but seller had high rating so I took a chance. Turned out to be a fine, hardly used unit for $75.00. Just used it for 400 miles on ICW.

RobGallagher 04-22-2003 05:14 PM

Clueless: Handheld Radio advice needed
I would second the Practical Sailor Issue. I went with the Standard Horizon. Safety is first and if you single hand you need a radio that will be work AFTER you fall in the water AND will transmit a reasonable distance AND has a long battery life.
My first hand held was a 100 bucks and it was not water proof and did not transmit worth a damn.

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