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post #11 of 63 Old 11-17-2012
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Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit

I just ordered a Standard Horizon gx1700. It has a GPS built into it, and can accept a remote mic (RAM3). Once I get it installed, I'll make the decision about getting the RAM3 mic for the cockpit. However, such a mic should have two advantages: it will essentially give me a 25W VHF in the cockpit; and it will also give me a new "handheld" GPS receiver, that basically has unlimited battery power and is always tethered to the boat (don't ask). Of course, this particular radio also has the advantage that the GPS is already wired into it, so it's automatically integrated with the DSC.
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post #12 of 63 Old 11-17-2012
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Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit

If one does choose to mount a VHF in the cockpit, Where does one put it? I had thought of getting one of those smoked covers you put over a stereo in like a ski boat, but the mic wouldn't fit in there.

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post #13 of 63 Old 11-17-2012
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Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit

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Originally Posted by Ritchard View Post
If one does choose to mount a VHF in the cockpit, Where does one put it? I had thought of getting one of those smoked covers you put over a stereo in like a ski boat, but the mic wouldn't fit in there.
Traditionally, sailboats have had their radios in the cabin to keep them dry and safe. Nowadays, most new radios are "waterproof" (note the quotes), making it tempting to install the VHF in the cockpit. However, "waterproof" is a relative term, UV always takes its toll, and having electronics visible and somewhat accessible to every ne'er-do-well in the marina is tempting fate, IMHO.

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post #14 of 63 Old 11-17-2012
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Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit

VHF extension speakers in the cockpit are worth having. As long as you can hear you're being called it's no big deal to go below to answer it.
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post #15 of 63 Old 11-17-2012
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Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit

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VHF extension speakers in the cockpit are worth having. As long as you can hear you're being called it's no big deal to go below to answer it.
I respectfully disagree. A narrow channel with cross wind or current, a congested area with a bunch of Saturday afternoon six-packers "buzzing" around, following seas where controlling the boat is a full time job. The last thing I want to do is leave the cockpit. Dan S/V Marian Claire
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post #16 of 63 Old 11-17-2012
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Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit

If you mount a remote mic near the helm, make sure it doesn't interfere with your compass.
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post #17 of 63 Old 11-17-2012
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Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
These days, there are several VHF Radios available that allow the use of a wireless RAM Mic (several in some cases) which is an improvement over ours considering what a PITA running wiring to a cockpit might be. FWIW...
Thanks HyLyte! That's a great nugget of info...I've never heard of a wireless RAM Mic. I'm going to have to try to find one of those. What a great invention. Running cable is a pain but, even worse, I hate drilling holes in my boat. Nice to avoid both.
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post #18 of 63 Old 11-17-2012
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Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit

I had the same problem of not having a fixed radio in the cockpit, but only a handheld. The cheapest solution was to buy an extension speaker, about $10 and wire it to the nav station VHF. The wire goes accross the floor and out into the cockpit, a bit messy but it also means I can take the speaker to wherever I am sleeping, normally the forward cabin.

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post #19 of 63 Old 11-17-2012
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Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit

RAM is sweet! I added a remote speaker out of sight in the coaming space.

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post #20 of 63 Old 11-17-2012
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Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit

I moved my VHF to the companionway where it can be operated from inside or outside. Recently though, I've been re-thinking how I will use the radio.

I always monitor 16, because I think it's the right thing to do, but fortunately/unfortunately for me the previous owner did a great job with the antenna and wiring and I have a really long range. What that means is that in the summer I hear every Tom, Dick & Harry calling each other on the radio all day. I find that the constant radio chatter interferes with my wanting to be at one with nature, enjoy the peace and quite of sailing etc.

What I will try next summer is have my handheld attached to my PFD and use that to monitor 16. My thinking is that I can receive all the coast guard broadcasts on this (because their antennas are on the tops of mountains) and any boat that wants to call me, or is in distress but CLOSE enough for me to actually be able to help can also be received with this radio.

Basically, I don't want to receive any transmissions (except the coast guard) that originated, say, more than 15KM away. A boat hailing me would likely be line of site, and any mayday beyond that distance is 2-3hrs motor away and I would not likely be of any help. Besides, most maydays are re-broadcast by the coast guard anyway.

Hopefully this will reduce the unnecessary chatter, but still allow me to keep an effective radio watch. The main unit can be used for my own mayday call if needed.

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