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Author Topic:   Porta-Potti & VHF
compounder posted 10-31-2000 04:53 PM ET (US)   Profile for compounder   Send Email to compounder  
With the installation of the new Yamaha 90 on our Montauk, we plan on reviving our old activity of taking overnight trips. Probably 75 to 150 miles one way, spending the night on shore (not on the boat) and returning the next day. Two items we are considering are a small sanitary device and a hand-held VHF. Would appreciate advice on specific types or models others have had experience with. I've heard the arguments for and against hand helds and really think I would rather not have the permanent installation. Is there a good hand-held model that comes with an adapter for a cigarette-lighter type fitting as well as with batteries? Are disposable or rechargeable batteries a better idea? Thanks.
rwest posted 10-31-2000 05:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for rwest  Send Email to rwest     
!. Radio.... If you are going to be more than a few miles from where you wish to talk, then a handheld is going to be iffy. I have both a hand held and a mobile. I use the mobile in my care as a radio unit for my Coast Guard Auxiliary unit. It's a Standard Eclipse + and I use a cig. lighter plug for power. I just got the lighter plug from Radio Shack and spliced it ot the ends of the powe wire of the radio. For an antenna, I ue a magnet mount on my car. The radio is only used for USCG Aux business and as a USCG AUX interface between other radios when doing searches, etc. It is not allowed by the FCC for regular use or for chat. I get good coverage with it in the range of 50 miles to USCG towers, and up to 15+ miles for mobile to mobile during radio drills. It should not be too hard to do a temp mount in your console for the radio and used some type of wip antenna like I mentioned. I have not tried the same on my Whaler as it is not ready for water at this time. You should be able to figure out a way to attach the antenna temp. to your console or even to the railing. I have seen rail mounted devices that should work. The price for both of the radios is about $150-160.

2. The porta-potty is a must if your are going over night. They generally start at $60 or so and go up. If you have a forward shelter on your Whaler, you could put the potty forward of the console and it would be sheltered by the canvas.


Clark Roberts posted 10-31-2000 06:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Compounder, I use two handhelds plus a 25 watt permanent mount... I find that the two handhelds work great (wife has a small Uniden and I have a Standard) for wife and I to keep in touch... sometimes we go ashore and she wants to shop and I want to do other things... also there's the back-up factor.. I once burned out a built in radio in the Bahamas and used my handheld on return trip plus as a telephone on many of the islands... also wife and I use the handhelds as walkie talkies when we travel in two separate vehicles.. as is often the case... Just some suggestions... good luck... Clark
triblet posted 10-31-2000 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
PortaPotties I know little about -- I use a
a "Little John" which is just a bottle on
very rare occasions when near civilization,
usually, it's just "over the side" (it's
a big ocean).

Radios are another story.

First, it is illegal to transmit with
a Marine VHF on
shore unless you have a shore station
license. They aren't easy to get - it took
six months for the rangers at Pt. Lobos to
get one approved. If you want to chat back
and forth to land or between vehicles, get
a couple FRS radios.

I've got four radios:

two Motorola 280SLK
FRS radios for chatting to shore (real handy
for organizing the next batch of divers for
pickup at the ramp, and for telling your
buddy that only the trailer needs to be
backed into the ocean ;-).

a Standard Horizon Spectrum console mount VHF with an 8' Shakespere Galaxy antenna.

a Standard Horizon HX350S Handheld.
The handheld is backup (how do you call for
help when the battery is dead) but the
Spectrum is the standard radio. The handheld
is also handy for listening to the dive boat
chatter while I'm driving down to Monterey
(it's OK to receive on land).

Something that I consider imperative on an
open boat is that the radio be rated
submersible (3', 30 minutes). Anything else
is just kinda sorta splashproof. I wiped
out an Apelco 5200 (now called Raytheon 52)
in a year. Raytheon replaced it on
warantee (diagnosis: "severe saltwater
intrusion"), but I didn't want to mess with
replacing it once a year, so I bought the

If you have only one radio, I recommend a
console mount.

If you do opt for the handheld, get a real
antenna. A buddy of mine had a handheld
on his inflatable. He was wondering whether
it was working. He added an 8' antenna and
was amazed at the additional traffic he
now hears.

And go with the rechargeable batteries.
They'll last all day. The Standard
trickle charger runs on 12V, so you can
either use a wall wart transformer at home,
or plug it into the power point (nobody
lights cigarettes in Calif., esp. on my
boat) on your boat. Most of the handhelds
come with rechargeables and a carrier for
alkalines. Load the alkaline carrier and
put it in your drybox for emergencies.

Chuck Tribolet

compounder posted 10-31-2000 11:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Thanks guys. Very informative, as usual!
Terry posted 11-01-2000 06:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Terry  Send Email to Terry     
I second triblet's comments re:VHFs. After the bucket and the PFDs probably the most important piece of safety gear onboard. The bucket also handles compounder's other question.

We use the Standard Horizon HX350S Handheld as a backup on boats with built in VHF and as the primary on our 13 Sport. Submersible, back up alkeline battery pack, and multiple recharge options make it reliable and versatile.

I added their external mic/speaker this summer which has worked very well on the 13. When the handheld is in the console mounted holder, and the small built in speaker buried, the mic/speaker clipped to the top of the holder makes it easy to listen to traffic. At speed the helmsman can clip the mic to their collar and at the least will know if there is traffic. The manual states that if properly connected the "submersible" rating is maintained.

I am new here. Bob Mills mentioned this site to me two weeks ago. Since then I spent far more time then I should pouring through the info in these threads. The photos are wonderful. This site is a remarkable accomplishment.

Thank you Jim, and thank you to the many generous contributors.

Terry Zanes

compounder posted 11-01-2000 07:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Welcome Terry! I too have found this site to be wonderful resource as well as a source of entertainment.

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