Author Topic: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio  (Read 517 times)

Offline Razor

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Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« on: May 30, 2017, 06:09:24 PM »
Hello,

I recently purchased a 1994 Com-pac 23 and will be sailing sounds/rivers of eastern NC. The boat does not have a vhf radio or antenna installed. I am wanting to start with a handheld radio. Checking the West Marine, Defender Marine, and Amazon websites, there are only 28,000 different units listed for sale. Has any one purchased one recently they would recommend to help narrow my search?

Thanks!
Terry
"Cool Change" - 1994 Com-pac 23

Offline HeaveToo

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Re: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2017, 07:06:40 PM »
Icom is an excellent handheld.  Get a waterproof radio if you can.

Last year I went to route of adding a house radio to my Compac 23.  I didn't regret it.  I bought a Standard Horizon 2150 with AIS.  It is networked with my GPS so I can see AIS targets on it.

It wasn't a bad install.  The cable was easy to run with the mast down.  I did a deck pass through near my wiring for the mast (rewired the mast and the deck pass throughs at the same time).

The house VHF works so much better than the handhelds.
Døyr fe, døyr frender
Døyr sjølv det sama
men ordet om deg aldreg døyr
vinn du et gjetord gjevt

Offline ChuckD

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Re: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2017, 08:45:09 PM »
Terry,
I've owned this one for a year - and love it. Lots of nice features, like scanning those channels I monitor most often.

Chuck
https://smile.amazon.com/Uniden-Atlantis-Handheld-Floating-Marine/dp/B00FPQR7KK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496191412&sr=8-1&keywords=Uniden+Atlantis+270
s/v Walt Grace (CP16)
Sequim, WA

Online BruceW

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Re: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 11:15:44 AM »
Terry,

Congrats on new to you boat!

Pay attention to how the unit is charged. I recently lost my charging cradle for my ICOM 72, and now I can't charge the thing, even with the 12-volt adapter, because that adapter has to plug into the now missing cradle. They obsoleted the cradle; I can get a compatible one for about $75 bucks. Ugh.

They do have a new one, the model 25, that uses USB to charge. I'd get something simple to charge like that, now I have had my issue. Also, some units allow for AA or AAA batteries to be used optionally instead of the re-chargeable battery.

Let us know what you pick!
Bruce Woods
Raleigh: WR 17
New Bern: CP 23

Offline marc

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Re: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 11:32:41 AM »
Last September I bought a West Marine VHF85. This is their low end model but I'm very happy with it. What I particularly like is that the squelch and volume controls are knobs on the top of the unit. They can be adjusted with one hand while the vhf is still in its holder in the cockpit. I had initially purchased a more expensive model with the squelch and volume controlled by buttons on the face of the unit. Whenever I wanted to adjust the volume I had to take the vhf out of its holder and then it required using both hands to make the adjustment.  The vhf85 makes volume adjustments quicker, easier & a one handed affair. Got it on sale for less than $100.
Marc

Offline brackish

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Re: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2017, 12:30:03 PM »
I think you are wise to go with a handheld until you see how much you actually need it.  I installed a fixed unit with a masthead antenna in 2010.  I immediately did a radio check with Bay Springs Marina to confirm function.  That is the last time I've used it other than to monitor.  The masthead antenna does make a really nice mount for my wind vane though.:)

I guess in high traffic areas, especially at night and if you have to lock through or have bridges raised it is necessary.  However a lot of that can be done with cell phones in this day and age.

Offline Sunapee Sailing

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Re: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2017, 06:25:54 PM »
I was wondering myself how much can be done by cell phone especially in lakes or venturing into the ocean BUT hugging the shore.
Cell phone okay?
Susan
Dreaming of a SunCat
A Horizon Cat would be great too.

Online BruceW

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Re: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2017, 07:32:57 PM »
Susan,

I have had almost no radio use in the past few years; however, recently, I have been on a regatta and a cruise where the coodinators used radio to broadcast to the group. It works really well for several boats to hear the broadcast, and for groups to hear the conversations.

The phone has worked better and better where I tend to go, and has become the main point to point communication method.

Bruce
Bruce Woods
Raleigh: WR 17
New Bern: CP 23

Offline pgnyc

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Re: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2017, 10:09:52 AM »
when i bought the  Saturn, i also bought a Uniden waterproof MHS126 radio.
i attach it to my life jacket so i have it in case i am threw overboard.
i listen to the emergencies channels and to the noaa weather channel.

But if i have to to do it again , i would by the one with the gps.

Pascal

Offline Bilgemaster

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Re: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2017, 09:03:58 AM »
While it may not technically be entirely legal to transmit with it, for monitoring that Channel 16 while listening to normal broadcast FM radio in the cockpit or getting those NOAA Weather Reports, it's hard to beat one of those little programmable Chinese Baofeng UV5R units, and it won't be so much as a blip in the boating budget.  I use one in addition to my Standard Horizon cabin-mounted "real" marine transceiver.  For more details, see: Marine FM and NOAA Weather Radio for less than $30 on these forums.

Offline Yamaha33410

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Re: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2017, 01:25:42 PM »
I use the Standard Horizon HX300. It floats and the most important part is it recharges off a usb cable. I don't run a standard 12v battery system in my boat. Also I was on another boat that capsized and we got my vhf radio back I had with me later on because it was floating in the water... An extra, added benefit that is very useful shall you ever need it.

https://www.westmarine.com/buy/standard-horizon--hx300-compact-floating-handheld-vhf-radio-with-usb-charger--13130844?cm_mmc=PS-_-Google-_-GSC%2520-%2520Product%2520Type-_-13130844&product_id=13130844&adpos=1o1&creative=108421552444&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI3_2RktTy1AIVTB2BCh3dFgPjEAQYASABEgJBN_D_BwE
1981 Compac 16

1979 Compac 23

-West Palm Beach, FL

Offline alsantini

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Re: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2017, 12:57:24 PM »
I second the recommendation of the Standard Horizon HX300.  Excellent battery life, loud speaker, USB charging, a really strong oversized belt clip.  It also seems to charge much faster than my previous ICOM (although it was old and tired).  It is super light and floats well (don't ask how I know....)  I bought it on sale for $100 at West Marine last fall.  Sail On.    Al

Offline Razor

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Re: Recommendation for Handheld VHF radio
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2017, 09:15:37 PM »
I looked at several radios hard including the Standard Horizon HX300, the Icom M25, and the Uniden Atlantis, but ended up purchasing a Cobra HH350 handheld radio. Looking forward to trying it out at the coast.

Thanks for all the recommendations!

Terry
"Cool Change" - 1994 Com-pac 23