Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Thanked 85 Times in 80 Posts
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IMHO most radios are about the same. Major brands are Icom, Standard Horizon, Uniden, Raymarine, Uniden, and a few others.
All units will be DSC (it's been required by law for a few years now). Make sure you connect your GPS to the radio so has the location information required for DSC to work.
Most units support a remote mic. Some run on batteries, others are hard wired. Think about which is better for you.
Some units (when connected to a GPS, you're going to connect yours, right?) will display speed, course, location, etc. on the radio display. This can allow the radio to function like an instrument repeater.
Some units can display AIS information, which can be handy if you sail in a area with large ships. Standard Horizon was first (I think) but others do it too.
Lastly, most radios support data input and output via NMEA 0183 interface, and old serial interface similar to RS232. Some newer radios support NMEA 2000, which makes it much easier to connect the radio to GPS. Of course, this is only important if your GPS uses NMEA 2000.
You can pay $100 for a decent unit (and another 75 or so for the remote mic) all the way to $1000 for a NMEA 2000 unit with all the bells and whistles.
Last point: I've had some crummy Uniden radios that had awful audio quality. What good is a fancy radio if you can't understand what is being said on it? Personally, I like Standard Horizon. Oh yeah, a good radio with a crappy antenna makes for crappy performance.
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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