Recommendations for a VHF radio

Gianni

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#41
Just found this old thread. I had to remove my antenna last year because it broke. My radio is old as well. I dont go offshore, am i okay with just a hand held? They do make them pretty well these days
 

suzukidave

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#42
Just found this old thread. I had to remove my antenna last year because it broke. My radio is old as well. I dont go offshore, am i okay with just a hand held? They do make them pretty well these days
the issue with handhelds on boats is they have less power plus you are moving up and down rapidly with a very short antenna trying to maintain line of site. that's fine in calm weather but you can intermittently lose signal in bad weather when you need them.

that being said, i just switched to a 4 foot shakespeare antenna for my grady because i keep breaking the 8 footers. my understanding is the 4' will perform about as well as the 8' in the inshore waters i use in british columbia (supposedly it actually performs better at some things), but an 8' is better to go offshore in rollers to maintain a constant signal. i am no radio expert though and note also that up here the coast guard has repeaters on mountain tops which give them good line of site range. if you are in florida your mileage may vary.

i also just bought a shorty pacific aerial rubber coated whip antenna for a little 14' runabout and used circa 2002 icom fixed mount vhf (no dsc). this whip was very cheap and fits in a normal antenna mount. $25 iirc. i deliberately went that way for this boat instead of a handheld, because my experience with vhf on land is that any base station even with a short whip will crush a handheld vhf on performance. the whole setup actually ended up cheaper than a decent handheld.
 

Ky Grady

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#43
I'm running the Icom 504 with a 8' Shakespeare Galaxy antenna mounted on my hardtop. My radio is a little older, before AIS, but still works great. This is my 3rd Icom and when it dies I'll move to the Icom 506. As far as antennas go, I've had both the Digital brand and the higher end Shakespeare Galaxy series, I don't see/hear a difference in them, but I have no side by side comparison with them.

Icom fixed mount and good quality antenna is the way to go, handheld in your ditchbag to reach out when rescue gets close. 20171220_111817-755x755.jpg IMG_1763.JPG
 

bac0701

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#44
I went with a lowrance link 8 to add to my new electronics last season. I was the best priced VHF to get the added AIS tech with the simple nmea2000 network (i don't think anyone yet offered that from what i remember). So far so good no issues, AIS is great. Only issue I've had was once in a while it would loose my GPS. I never calibrated the point-1 compass so I'm pretty sure that was the cause. I plan on upgrading the antenna this season with one of the better models listed here. Also put another vhf and antenna for a backup in there. most likely a standard horizon or icom based off of reputation.