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natejount 04-22-2003 05:56 AM

Handheld Radio advice Needed
I just bought my first boat, a Kells 23 I will be sailing from Newport RI around Narragansett Bay, probably not much out in the open ocean for now. I need some advice on a reasonably priced (i.e. cheap) handheld radio without any bells or whistles, just a good signal. Any advice, or links that compare different marine Handhelds, would be appreciated. (I put this same post in the Equipment section as well.)

WHOOSH 04-22-2003 08:36 AM

Handheld Radio advice Needed
Nate, here''s one data point you may find of use: the manager of the West Marine Repair Center, where all their sold electronics receive warranty repairs, was for many years(and perhaps may still be) Dave Wells. I asked him what observations he could make about the reliability of the different VHF brands and he stated that Standard Horizon''s reliability record was not beaten by anyone (tied by Icom but not beaten), even tho'' that brand is competitively priced.

This data may be scewed a bit since older units are likely to be junked vs. repaired. OTOH you''ll be buying new, so this should be relevant in your search. Good luck and congrats on the new boat!


maxcontax 04-25-2003 08:10 AM

Handheld Radio advice Needed
I use an Icom handheld, waterresistant, easy to use. Two cautions on handhelds, the range is less and the batteries don''t last forever--because it does not take AA''s it needs a charger and 110 current to keep it ready. Not sure what the range is, but it is definitely nowhere near a fullblown cabin radio and antenna running off a 12V system.

hamiam 04-25-2003 08:42 AM

Handheld Radio advice Needed
One way to deal with the range "problem" on a handheld is to remove the whip and connect it to the mast top antenna. a special fitting is probably necessary. that being said, i am able to reach the marinas in the harbor from most locations between, say, the war college and brenton point. on the battery issue; my lithium-ion battery in my Icom M1V has extraordinary long life.

sdegenhardt 04-27-2003 01:02 PM

Handheld Radio advice Needed
I just purchased the ICOM IC-M2A. I includes a rechargable (probably NiMH) *and* it will also take standard AA bateries as a backup. I paid about $160 through Sailnet. I have not had a chance to use it yet, but it seems like a nice unit.

marginal 04-29-2003 12:22 PM

Handheld Radio advice Needed
I have the same one. Actually I think the batteries are NiCADS so they work best if you fully discharge them before charging them up again. Accepting AA''s is a nice feature, and I always keep 6 on board in case I get caught short.

It worked fine last season, except the belt clip (to which the lanyard also attaches) is very poor and keeps falling off - don''t trust it!

pmills42255 05-05-2003 02:04 PM

Handheld Radio advice Needed
I have an I-com also. Its great, recharges on the 120v via the inverter. It was recommended to me that I get one, for the ICW trip I was taking, and it proved to be the most valuable piece of equipment aside from the depth guage. Most VHF communications seem to be within a quarter mile or so and these portables do fine. Bridges, boats, dredge bargers, etc, all communicate so everyone knows which way to go, stop or wait. Marinas also guide you into their slips with a portable. In some cases its the only way to figure out what one is to do. Buy it, you will never regret the money spent!

redbeard58 05-07-2003 02:11 PM

Handheld Radio advice Needed
I just bought a boat and wouldn''t really want to go out with out one! I got a Standard Horizon for about $ 160.00 also. I sail in a lake and it comes in handy, very handy. Remember one thing...It''s a line-of-site radio... meaning your antenna height will be where you transmitt from. Any objects in the way of this line-of-site will obstruct your signal...rb

smallchange 06-20-2003 05:14 AM

Handheld Radio advice Needed
I like the one I got from West Marine. It was about $150.and is waterproof,has NiMH,and AA batt tray. It recharges off 12volt and shore power. I''m not at the boat now and don''t recall the model number, I think its a 200 something. I''ll get back on this one later. The warrantee is good too.

Bluesmoods 06-25-2003 08:23 AM

Handheld Radio advice Needed
I keep the hand held in my Nav-Station and would only use it for back up. I do check battery condition about every two weeks or so.

I bought an HX350 from for about $180.00
It is a very nice full featured hand held.

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