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ContinuousWave: Post-Classic Whalers
Handheld VHF & Other Equipment
|Author||Topic: Handheld VHF & Other Equipment|
posted 04-21-2004 10:42 AM ET (US)
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!
posted 04-21-2004 11:58 AM ET (US)
Classic Whaler: General Forum - Some Topics from Last Year
GPS & DSC VHF
VHF Marine Hand Held Radios
Handheld VHF recommendations
Do I need VHF radio?
VHF for a Dauntless 16
posted 04-21-2004 01:39 PM ET (US)
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.
posted 04-21-2004 04:32 PM ET (US)
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
posted 04-21-2004 09:29 PM ET (US)
The best handheld radios are either ICOM or Standard Horizon....period!!!
posted 04-21-2004 09:42 PM ET (US)
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',
posted 04-22-2004 10:05 AM ET (US)
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?
posted 04-22-2004 10:13 AM ET (US)
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.
posted 12-20-2005 07:59 PM ET (US)
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.
posted 12-20-2005 08:14 PM ET (US)
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.
posted 12-21-2005 09:17 AM ET (US)
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
posted 12-21-2005 10:43 AM ET (US)
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
posted 12-21-2005 03:42 PM ET (US)
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.
posted 12-21-2005 07:03 PM ET (US)
Imanuel, posted two years ago, he probably already got his radio! He was ordering a "new" 2004 boat!.....Jack
posted 12-22-2005 08:49 PM ET (US)
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?"...Ã´
posted 12-22-2005 10:35 PM ET (US)
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.
posted 12-22-2005 10:39 PM ET (US)
Thanks, Riptide. Now I know my memory isn't completely gone.
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