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Just put my Precision 165 into the water and am in the process of acquiring the supplies I need for her, but I am unsure about the item in the topic. I will be only sailing her on an inland lake outside Dallas TX (Ray Hubbard if anyone is familiar with it) and was wondering whether or not it would be wise to get one of those handheld VHF radios from Overtons or West Marine?
 

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Courtney the Dancer
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3,971 Posts
I don't know your area but you could call the nearest CG office and ask if you will be monitored on VHF by them. If you are then I would recommend getting a radio; that will give you instantaneous contact to the CG in an emergency. A fixed radio with a masthead antenna will give you a much bigger range than any handheld, but it's a much bigger job to install it. If your area is not monitored get the CG's phone number and program it into your cell phone for emergencies.
 

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An Aussie Sailor
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122 Posts
There is always the argument that if your particular emergency was the mast falling down then your masthead antennae might not be so good.
A compromise is mounting a quality antennae on the pushpit rail.

For best radio reception you cannot go past getting the antennae up as high as possible.

Had I the budget (which I don't) I'd own both a ship installed and and quality hand held unit. A handheld you could carry with you in the water if that's where you ended up.

Mychael
 

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Like Mipcar has suggested a handheld and a ship installed would be the best way. I have both and regularly get 30-40NM range from the mast installed unit, and recently had clear communication with another vessel 80NM away. In comparison the handheld is almost a toy, I doubt if I would get a range of much more than 5NM (it is an ICOM IC-M33). Not sure how big your lake is, however if it was much bigger than 5NM a handheld will only reach other boats around you.

Another options is your cell phone. I am in the process of getting a phone with an external aerial. A friend recently had good (20NM) reception from using this option, however it's hard calling up the boat next door, unless you know their number.

Ilenart
 
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