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milkmania
01-24-2006, 10:50 PM
DrNautica made me think about VHF radios in one of his posts....

anybody got one? portable or mounted?
what does a person look for in purchasing one?

what about license?

erkoehler
01-24-2006, 10:51 PM
Anything for another thread :D

milkmania
01-24-2006, 10:52 PM
Anything for another thread :D

but, it is a valid thread8p

DrNautica
01-24-2006, 11:11 PM
DrNautica made me think about VHF radios in one of his posts....

anybody got one? portable or mounted?
what does a person look for in purchasing one?

what about license?


Dang it! I certainly didn't mean to make you think in January.

As far as I am concerned, a reliable VHF transceiver should be considered mandatory safety equipment. Of course, it won't do you any good unless someone else is listening to hear your call. If you boat on any body of water big enough to have more than 30 boats at the same time, then I think a good quality VHF is a worthwhile investment.

Two brand names get my nod. Icom and Standard-Horizon. I prefer the Icom models but Standard is good too. Within those brands, you have a choice between handheld and fixed mount. Many boaters have both.

The handheld is nice for around the dock and nearby communication. You can carry it with you if you're walking down the dock to a friends boat and someone can still contact you. Handhelds are also nice if you have multiple boats and want to use a single handheld to use in all of them to communicate with the "mother ship".

Fixed mount units, with their higher wattage output, better audio and much superior antennas, are where you will realize your safety benefits of being able to get help when you need it. The largest single key in quality VHF transmission and reception is a high quality antenna and a flawless installation.

VHF signals are "line of sight" transmissions so, the higher your antenna above the water (both transmitting and receiving) the farther you can communicate. Most handhelds transmit on a max of 5 watts on high power which, under ideal conditions, will give you about 2-4 mile transmission range subject to a few other factors. Fixed mounts, on the other hand, transmit at 25 watts on high power and are generally good for 10-15 mile communication.

As far as licensing, it is not required these days. There are, however, regulations governing VHF use. Certain channels are set aside for emergency, commercial and other uses while some are designated for recreational use. Marine VHF radios however are NOT a toy where idle chit-chat should be engaged. They are for purposeful communication and emergency operations.

milkmania
01-24-2006, 11:22 PM
thanks for the feedback

I didn't realize you could communicate other than official communications.

you mention idle chit chat.... what I see a problem with for our family is we go out in 2 or 3 boats in different directions, and when we try to find each other....all those boats look alike at a distance:(

short communications for directions should be acceptable then?

so, you think I should stay away from the Uniden handhelds & mounted systems from Overtons?

or boatfix
like this:
http://www.boatfix.com/bypartnofrog.asp?partno=UNIMHS350

DrNautica
01-24-2006, 11:40 PM
Milk,

As with most things in life... you get what you pay for. I'm not going to bad mouth any particular brand or anything. But I personally have 7 VHF radios, four fixed mount and three handhelds, and can tell you from experience with my own and many others, that the brands I mentioned are the only ones I will buy.

Yes, VHF use for the type of situation you listed above is perfectly OK.

SkySkiSpokane
01-26-2006, 04:39 PM
I have an Icom handheld and it has bailed me out twice on a larger water lake. I won't say why but needless to say it was not the Prostar's fault. ;)

rodltg2
01-26-2006, 04:46 PM
I have an Icom handheld and it has bailed me out twice on a larger water lake. I won't say why but needless to say it was not the Prostar's fault. ;)


did you drive over the rope?

Gofast
01-26-2006, 04:56 PM
I have 2 of the cheap Overton Specials. $99.00 I think. I use them for boat to boat chit chat. Works good for my needs.

rodltg2
01-26-2006, 05:04 PM
i have one on the houseboat, luckliy have had to use it yet.

Sodar
01-26-2006, 05:49 PM
I have a handheld Standard-Horizon HX370. I bought it because it is waterproof to 3 feet, so you do not need to buy a clumsy waterproof bag. I just attached a little floatie to the wrist band and it floats if it is ever to fall overboard.

Reception is great, I have been picked up by other boats over 7 miles away!

lsupcar
01-26-2006, 08:42 PM
Yeah, I'm a safety freak, but when I boat alone I use a pfd with the kill lanyard and submersible Standard vhf radio attached. Bill Z