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Portable VHF Marine Radios

2997 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  justcrusin
Hi Occy,

I have been looking around for radios so that my son (Eamon aka Froggy) can communicate while on the water. UHF seemed to be the answer, as while I am keen on a VHF for the open sea, the main criteria was for us to keep in contact. Tried a UHF wrist watch radio that looked ok from the specs and stated to be splashproof but were dismal on the water. Just returned them today. Currently looking at GME 1 watt UHF models, one model is around $140 for two units and charger.

The issue with the radio you mention is that it is only JIS4 which means it is only splashproof. So a waterproof bag is necessary for use on the water in our type of usage. (Same as the UHFs..have only found one that is JIS7 and that was pricey).
I think if your serious about VHF then a JIS7 waterproof rating is a requisite spec. These seem to start around $350 dollars up. Add to that $150 I was quoted for the course and exam for a Proficiency Certificate and you have a reasonable investment. Currently I dont think I can justify the outlay currently.

Hope my comments are useful.

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We found Uniden to be one of the lesser performing VHFs in the bigger sets, but know nothing if the handheld unit..GME were superb

The GME UHF is the way I would go if the second radio was along with you on a second boat each outing offshore; personally I propose getting a couple of the lesser quality ones about $80 pair just for contact on the dams [not really safety].
When I started offshore 30 years ago we got 4-5kms line of sight with 1 watt 27Mhz walkie talkies but they never shut up non stop garbage by some users
Hi Occy
I bought an Icom IC-M32 marine radio and it is fantastic. Bought it in Singapore in May 2005 for around $290 Singapore dollars. A steal considering what they cost here. They are excellent radios and are fully waterproof.
Check out their website at:



Prowler 15

I've heard lots of grumbling about the quality of Uniden radios. If you're looking for a high-quality, durable radio I would look at Icom or Standard Horizon (Yaesu). They are expensive but well worth the cost. Just make sure that you use a tether to keep it from falling overboard.
I've had a Standard Horizon since 2002 and it is still in great shape.
How about a VHF handheld that is also a GPS and chartplotter!

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templ ... hasJS=true

Combining the best highlights of handheld marine radios and global positioning systems, the Mystic keeps you in contact with other boaters and reveals your exact position, no matter what body of water you're on. The 12-parallel channel receiver is WAAS enabled for accuracy within three meters. The large data display has a chart-plotting map with MapSend Streets and Destination CD included. You also can send your GPS coordinates to other Mystic users, so they can lock in on your signal and find you without the use of navigational buoys or other visual markers. It's also compatible with Magellan Blue Nav charting software. These handheld, waterproof units offer 1-watt/5-watt output for maximum communication over longer distances. It's programmed with all U.S., Canadian and international marine channels and has an NOAA weather alert. It also has a full backlit keypad and LCD display for low and no-light use, and you get instant access to emerency channels 9 and 16. It also has a memory channel scan, and it operates on rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries (included). Includes DC vehicle adapter and flexible antenna, along with a swivel belt clip. A drop-in charger with data port (12-volt and 110-volt chargers) also are included. Three-year warranty.
Dimensions: 4.8" x 2.5" x 1.26".

How cool is that.
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occy said:
Thanks guys, seems like there's a lot more too it than I thought. Back to the drawing board. :roll:
Paul you wouldn't go far wrong in looking at any of the GME range of products made for our local conditions and good warranty backup, and a local to you at Greenwich, notice they dont appear to have a VHF handheld

I rather liked the GME VHF setup on the kiwi Swing, the unit removes from a cradle [like FF] so only a cradle and aerial would remain on the kayak, and looking at the Whitworths catalogue would come in at about $310 with aerial, so more than competitive with Icoms handheld
Hi guys, The VHF are very good but you do need an Radio Operators Certificate of Profiency (ROCP) to offically operate one. They changed the laws a few years ago so the set doesn't have to be liscenced but to push the button and talk you need to be.
These are available usally through a weekend course from your local volunteer rescue base.
They don't bother checking anyones liscence till the S*** hits the fan but if its used to create false mayday situations or just to get up to mischief the penalties are up to 2 years goal. Pretty steep for pushing a button.
Just something I though everyone should be aware of. :cry:
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