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Author Topic:   Handheld VHF & Other Equipment
Camuyano posted 04-21-2004 10:42 AM ET (US)   Profile for Camuyano   Send Email to Camuyano  

Since I won’t get my ’04 Montauk 170 for at least another week, I am reviewing equipment that I may want to add. Near the top of the list is a VHF and I think I’ll start out with a handheld since the bank is kind of busted after the boat purchase. Can anyone recommend a good handheld VHF that doesn’t cost a fortune? I imagine I should get a submersible one since this is an open boat.

Also, what other gear do you guys consider “indispensable”? I’m also thinking of installing a stereo (gotta have the tunes) but I don’t think the wife will go for it since it is not a “safety device”. I used portable speakers connected to my MP3 player on my previous boat but they were never loud enough and they weren’t waterproof. (In fact we dropped one set of speakers in the water once.) How do you guys take your tunes afloat when there’s no stereo installed?

BTW: This site rocks! After reading about issues with the factory sun top on the site, I immediately called the dealer to cancel my sun top order. Lucky for me, Lori at Sea Ray of Richmond informed me that they always order the Wm. J. Mills sun top for boats that don’t come bundled with it from the factory. Cool!


Moe posted 04-21-2004 11:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Classic Whaler: General Forum - Some Topics from Last Year


VHF Marine Hand Held Radios

Handheld VHF recommendations

Post-Classics Forum - Some Topics from Last Year

Do I need VHF radio?

VHF for a Dauntless 16

skred posted 04-21-2004 01:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
The most economical VHF handheld I found (and bought) was the Uniden Atlantis at $99. Of course, I'm on Lake Michigan - not the blue water. I found this handheld to be surprisingly effective. The Ray53 Raytheon is not handheld, but a great setup. You can pick up a Uniden Solara non-handheld 1/25 watt for the same price as the handheld. Other brands below $150: Polaris, Eclipse, Merchant Marine, ICOM. Raymarine 45 is $150 and a very good unit for the money.
prm1177 posted 04-21-2004 04:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
I just bought the Standard 471s. Handheld with DSC/GPS repeatability, AM/FM, Marine VHF,FRS, Aircraft reception, external antenna capability, submersible, LIon battery, distress beacon, etc. $258 at Bethel Marine

Nice radio.

BW23 posted 04-21-2004 09:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
The best handheld radios are either ICOM or Standard Horizon....period!!!
Chuck Tribolet posted 04-21-2004 09:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I've got a Standard Horizon HX-350S and an SH HX-470S. Both
are good readios. The 470 is a good deal smaller because of
the LiIon battery. Also does FRS, MURS, and receives WX,
Aircraft band, AM, and FM. The AM and FM are NOT HiFi.

Icoms are good too.

Whatever you get, it should be rated JIS-7 (submersible, 3',
30 minutes). "Waterproof" only means "kinda sorta splashproof,
and the price includes a factor for replacing some on


Camuyano posted 04-22-2004 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Camuyano  Send Email to Camuyano     

Thanks for the recommendations and links. I will look at some of the Standard Horizon and Icom radios that were recommended. I am also looking at some of the mounted radios since some of them seem to be about the same cost as the handheld (plus antenna and mounting kit). I had a Uniden Solara in my previous boat (a sailboat) and it worked well but it was inside the cabin where it was protected from the elements. I don't know how it will perform on the CC. I guess the mounted radios give you more range but they are no good if the boat's electrical system is down. I'll eventually get both but for right now I can only afford one. Any thoughts?


Sal A posted 04-22-2004 10:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal A  Send Email to Sal A     

A big part of it depends on whether you are boating near-shore or off-shore. If you are going a few miles or more offshore, I would start with the fixed mount. Eventually I would look to having both, for safety/backup sake.

I have a Standard Horizon Quest, and a Uniden backup. My Uniden is older; why don't you take a look at the following as a good backup for you... and maybe a good beginning solution, and eventually get the fixed mount (if you are planning on being close to shore):

This is a combination handheld gps plotter and vhf.

sosmerc posted 12-20-2005 07:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
The Mystic looks like a great unit....but when will they put a color screen on it?!
Has anyone seen or heard about any other handheld GPS/VHF on the market similar to this unit?
I want one for emergency communication, backup gps..and the ability to get weather.
Chuck Tribolet posted 12-20-2005 08:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Garmin had a combined GPS/VHF-HT for a while. Dunno if they
still do. I don't think it was a big seller. I've never seen
one in the field.


bsmotril posted 12-21-2005 09:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
In addition to the electronics, don't forget the basic safety equipment like flares and a signalling mirror. For near shore or offshore use, those are just as essential as any electronics. If you boat in cold water or cold weather, a space blanket is another good safety item to prevent hypothermia should a crew member end up getting wet. Additional safety at sea equipment would include an appropriate anchore with partial chain rhode, along with a sea anchor. I'd go to sea without electronics, but not without these items aboard each and every time I head out.

For a handheld GPS, consider Ebay, or post a "Wanted" add in the forums here. That is a good way to get the gear without busting the bank. A lot of folks will likely be upgrading to color screen units this Christmas. There will be plenty of grey screen, or non chartplotting units available for not much money that will do the job for you.

The above mentioned items would have a higher priority for me than a stereo or CD player. The above items might save your life, can't say the same for the stereo. BillS

Chuck Tribolet posted 12-21-2005 10:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I think I was wrong about Garmin making a combined GPS/VHF.
I did some research on their website, and found a couple of
discontinued VHF HTs, but no combined unit. They do make
the Rino series, which combined GPS/FRS/GMRS, but no VHF.

I think we'll see more of the combined units, including
built in DSC distress. A niche market would be a unit with
a mondo battery back (think D cells) lifeboats and bailout
bags. Not pocket sized, but several days run time.


bspencer posted 12-21-2005 03:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for bspencer  Send Email to bspencer     
I'm in the process of adding a fixed mount system in my 160. By the time you buy a good handheld you are looking at about half the cost of a complete fixed mount installation. I'm going with the Standard Horizon Quest, shakespear Ant (8'), and a SS rail mount with lever. with all the misc parts it will cost me about 300.00 to install it myself. I just could not see paying half of this for a handheld when I knew I would want to upgrade.

BTW - I have to put in a good plug for Standard Horizon based on something that happened to my Dad. His Standard Horizon VHF on his sailboat went on the fritz after about 10 years of use. He sent it in to the Manufacturer for diagnosis and repairs (I typically would have trashed it and bought a new one). Anyway, long story short, they sent him a new one (better model) free of charge! With that act, Standard Horizon has secured many new customers (all my Dad's friends and me). Anyway, just wish more companies would figure that out.

Bulldog posted 12-21-2005 07:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bulldog  Send Email to Bulldog     
Imanuel, posted two years ago, he probably already got his radio! He was ordering a "new" 2004 boat!.....Jack
Riptide23WA posted 12-22-2005 08:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Riptide23WA  Send Email to Riptide23WA     
Chuck, Garmin DID make a combo unit, called the GPSCOM 170 many years back. But it was not a chartplotting unit... Only reason I know is that when my buddy was looking at a Mystic, I sez to myself, "Hey, didn't Garmin already do this?"...ô
sosmerc posted 12-22-2005 10:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for sosmerc  Send Email to sosmerc     
I am really surprised that the Mystic seems to be the only handheld gps/vhf on the market. Seems like something that would be very handy on small boats with limited dash space.
I want it as a backup....but it will also be nice when I am out testing customer's boats and want to confirm speed readings...or have a need to call for assistance.
I wish the Mystic had a color screen...I had my Port Supply rep call Uniden to see if that had any plans to add a color screen in the near future...answer was...NO. That's too bad, as color screens seem so much easier to read.
Chuck Tribolet posted 12-22-2005 10:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Thanks, Riptide. Now I know my memory isn't completely gone.


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