View Full Version : Handheld Marine radio

02-25-2008, 12:24 PM
I know most of your houseboats, cruisers and such have VHF Marine radio's, but how many of you guys carry one one your ski boat? I was thinking of picking one up to have just for safety issues such as getting stranded out on the lake. I know that probably won't happen now that I have a MC, but I have got out there and ended up with a dead battery before. Luckily we had a tad bit of cell service and the dock brought me out a battery.

02-25-2008, 12:26 PM
Nope just use my cell phone.

02-25-2008, 12:30 PM
Just a phone for me....I have thought about a radio before though. I never got one thinking what are the chances that another person on the lake will have one, or listening to one.

02-25-2008, 12:37 PM
My experience has shown that people/marinas on the small inland lakes do not monitor them very well. On the larger lakes around here there is a little traffic on the VHF, but I would not completely depend on it in the case of an emergency. Plus, I believe that the range on a handheld VHF is fairly short - typically a little further than line of sight, but not much further. Coastal and blue water usage of VHF is a different story - usage is very predominant.

02-25-2008, 01:24 PM
cell phone here volfan!!!!
i do not need another item to keep up with in the boat!! heck i got 4 kids, wife , and gear to keep up with!!!!

02-25-2008, 01:31 PM
I drag my VHF along when we houseboat, but other than that, it stays. You were dead on, when you said that the inland lakes & waterways do not monitor them.

Now, if you were on the ocean, I would say do not leave the dock without it! I even take mine when I take the sea-doos out!

02-25-2008, 01:40 PM
DNR and local sherriff's monitor them.

02-25-2008, 08:34 PM
Cell phone on the lake. But I bought a handheld VHF for the fishing boat for when I go offshore. Cell phone coverage only goes about 5 - 10 miles offshore in our area.

One advantage of the VHF is that it is easier for rescue people to find you in an emergency - easier to home in on your VHF signal than on your cell phone. Again, probably not much of an issue on a lake.

Doug G
02-25-2008, 09:04 PM
Holidays and busy times I take the VHF. There is a volunteer lake watch type of thing that monitors. Other than that cell phone.

02-25-2008, 09:53 PM
I already have one. I do not have anything in it and figured I would just keep it in the glove box. I was just kinda wondering if anyone else actually kept them on board their ski boat. On our lake from what I have see most houseboats monitor them along with the docks. I figure it wouldn't hurt to have just in case.

02-25-2008, 10:31 PM
yes but u have to keep it charged!! just keep ur cell phone with u!! if that does not work yell the center hillbilly in distress call and we will come running!!!

02-25-2008, 10:59 PM
yes but u have to keep it charged!! just keep ur cell phone with u!! if that does not work yell the center hillbilly in distress call and we will come running!!!

I know I will always be able to count on you Sham.

TI Skiier
02-27-2008, 12:00 AM
Cell phone only. I suppose I would have a backup if I owned any of the brand X's. Never had a down day in the MC!

02-27-2008, 02:54 PM
Having come from boating in Puget Sound in WA, I bought a iCom HandHeld VHF 6 years ago when I bought my boat. But in OR we only boat lakes and rivers, and I've never used it except to listen to the weather forecast. I still keep it in the boat, along with batteries and a charger cable though. All my friends have FRS radios so we use those for boat-to-boat comms. I keep a flare gun on-board also...

02-27-2008, 02:54 PM
If you already have one then I would bring it. In an Emergency you will be talking directly with the rescue crew and not having 911 try to relay the call. Besides the slight chance someone else is out there to help. I ride in salt water and vhf is the only way to go. The range on vhf is up to about 30 miles. I don't know about inland lakes but the coast Guard requires you to monitor channel 16 when your underway. I only know this because I'm in the middle of taking The Power Squadron course. Now if you need to know how to tie a knot call me next week thats the next chapter.:confused:

02-27-2008, 08:05 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. I am going to have it in the glove box just in case.