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Which hand held radio do you recommend


Which hand held radio do you recommend

Old 03-13-2014, 09:25 PM
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Default Which hand held radio do you recommend

We plan on hitting Lake Michigan this summer (if it ever gets here) and I want to have a radio on board - but don't want to do the permanent mounting thing.

I need a recommendation which type would be best
a) must be waterproof
b) re-charge battery
c) weather channel

There are so many out there that I'm confused.

Thank you in advance

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Old 03-14-2014, 02:13 AM
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Always a good idea to have both...... I have been known in the past to run across Lake Erie with just a hand held. But have now gone with a perm mount radio as well. The hand helds only get about 5 mile range in perfect conditions........ Therefore in an emergency it is a possibility no one would be in range of your handheld. Given its limitations, still good practice to have a handheld as a back up to a fixed radio......
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:07 AM
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I have a Standard Horizon but agree with low_psi...its only a backup to my fixed mount radio which is an iCom M412..
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:29 AM
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Man I was seriously just thinking this would be a good topic.. lol.

I also use the Standard Horizon HX280S. Picked it up after reading all the reviews, cause it lives up to them. I love that radio, and all my buddies working the river boats swear by them. True range is about 5-miles without a line of sight. The battery lasts for days, and it's got pretty nice features for a low cost unit.

However, if I boated much on the lakes or in open water, I'd still buy a fixed mount with the new AIS data option for added safety. You can't beat high power radio and a big antenna for long range when you can't see anything but water....
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:52 PM
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I use a VHF85 - a small handheld by West Marine. As I operate in inland waters I do not require much range. I had an ICOM fixed radio with an 8' antenna in my last boat. As mentioned above, handheld range is limited. Distance of signal depends on the hight of the antenna, gain, as well as watts of transmitting power. A performance boat with an 8' antenna is not likely to have a combined height of more than 12'. Range could be as little as 5 miles to a similarly equipped boat. Good luck.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:12 PM
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Good thing is coast guard has really really tall strong antennae and will reach you on a hand held. They will also relay the message if needed. That said a fixed mount is always best with the handheld as a back up. I'm a captain and do this everyday. My personal preference is the icom. Love their stuff. My deckhands have icom handhelds on the back deck and they work great.

Other brands and most are decent

Again icom is generally a little pricier but they are worth it.

My supply vessel has icom and uniden fixed mounts and icom handhelds
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:07 PM
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I have an ICOM M92D has everything you need feature wise, including GPS and DSC. Floats, waterproof, best on the market IMO.
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