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post #1 of 13 Old 09-15-2011 Thread Starter
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best VHF ?

Hello !!
I'm looking to buy a good VHF dsc for my boat . Any advise? Best brand ? Thanks a lot to anybody!
Gab
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-15-2011
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I want to buy a decent VHF for my boat as well, but I wants one I can get a RAM microphone with. Suggestions? I am planning on hitting the Annapolis Boat Show. Should I buy there?
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-15-2011
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-15-2011
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Hard to beat an ICOM M-504.

The radios with the integrated AIS receivers are nice but having an AIS transceiver is much better and the prices have come way down. It was very useful on our recent 2+ week cruise. Other boats with AIS actually called us by name to discuss safe navigation around each other. I also called many commercial vessels(by name) to discuss the same.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-15-2011
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I agree with treilly that a separate AIS is better, however, if you were bolting on a new VHF and didn't plan to get the separate box, the integrated radios are the way to go.

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post #6 of 13 Old 09-15-2011
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Hey,

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.

Barry

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post #7 of 13 Old 09-15-2011
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I've been very happy with my Icom and RAM mic. A charter company here used to run the same but has begun switching over to Raymarine because so many of the cords on the RAM mics have failed repeatedly. Granted, charter guests are generally hard on equipment. The Raymarines have held up well to the same abuse. I do not like the RM RAM mics as well as the Icoms but they do seem to be tougher.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-15-2011
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I've also had an Icom RAM mic cord disintegrate on me. I bought a replacement mic (as I could not find just a cord) and now take it off and put it away when not in use. I will be curious whether UV exposure is predominantly to blame. The old white mic was completely yellow by the time it was done.


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post #9 of 13 Old 09-15-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regatta View Post
Hello !!
I'm looking to buy a good VHF dsc for my boat . Any advise? Best brand ? Thanks a lot to anybody!
Gab
Gab,

Before offering any advice, let's get a few more details. There are tons of decent radios out there -- but like cars, some are better for some jobs than others.

What type of boat?

What type of sailing are you planning: Inland? Coastal? Blue water?

Do you think you'll be sailing in proximity to large commercial vessels?

What type of installation are you planning: Nav stn or cockpit?

What features do you prefer?
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-16-2011 Thread Starter
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Hello! PorFin!
Thanks for your interest.
1-) My boat will be Mariehom 26 Folkboat,
2-)my navigation will be costal and after bluewater.
3-)Large commercial vessel? yes could be sometimes,
4-)installation: nav stn
5-)money is not a problem ..at least many features as possible!
Thanks a lot for your advise!
Gab
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