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Hand Held VHF. Which one ?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by cleanslate, Apr 24, 2021.

  1. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Cherry Hill, NJ
    I do not have a hand held vhf.
    I do have a inflatable dinghy etc.
    Time to get one . For safety ditch bag...and to have around on the inflatable.
    Cobra...cheap it seams.
    Standard Horizon...not as cheap.
    Uniden...cheapish.
    Icom- mo money...

    I would like to keep it under $160 or so.
    Any suggestions?
    I see some have GPS built in .
    I like that.
  2. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    Here is one that I have had for some years, and the reason I still have it is written on it, BUOYANT. I don't know how many times I have dropped it in the water...

    Icom.jpg
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I've always used, and been happy with Standard Horizon.
  4. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Yea I see some if not most now are “buoyant “ and would be a requirement for sure.
    Water proof quality are between xrps 7 or 8 being better.
    I think I just butchered that water proof lingo , but to lazy to look up at the moment.o_O
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I just replied to a similar thread / question on another planet;
    A floating WorstMarine brand has floated and survived very well for us, near 7 years now.
    Before, an ole Apelco hand held worked well.
    Had one Icom handheld in-between these and it sucked. Thankfully it was not a floater, as I added it to my artificial reef program pretty quickly.
    Icom has a great name and I have had many fixed Icom VHF systems thru the years. Still have a 602 on my bridge.

    I hope nobody these days makes a bad hand held com unit, just do not rely just on the name of brand as I did once.
  6. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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  7. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    I be always like Icom products when it comes to VHFs whether fixed or hand held

    I see that brands now use USB charging cables. Micro usb plugs are terrible. I don’t know how many portable speakers we ve had to throw away just because the micro usb plug failed.
  8. Rodger

    Rodger Senior Member

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    I like Icom M73 the main reason is the size off battery life (16 hours) as sometimes my trips through the canal are 12 hours
    I also have the hand mike which is nice as I am talking to traffic center many times each trip.
    Every three years I sell it and buy a new one .
    Last year I was not getting the range on transmitting so I sent it back to Icom this winter as it had three years warranty and within three weeks was repaired and no cost.
  9. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    Thanks everyone for your input. I'll let you know what I choose. All really good points. I buy from Defender and get the Defender first price. So a few are in my range. Cobra really has some nice units with all the gizmos...but will it last ? or work well? Standard Horizon is looking good also , good price and gizmos. Along with your recommendations for them.
    Need a few days to really decide, I'm just to busy right now.
  10. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    For safety reasons, I would recommend one with a built in GPS.
  11. Capt Fred

    Capt Fred Senior Member

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    They may have all switched over to lithium batteries but if not get one with lithium batteries, they hold their charge and last a lot longer than NiCad or nickel metal.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Don't cheap out on an off brand like cobra. Icom or Standard Horizon. The Standard Horizon one I linked is $130, has a long battery life, floats, waterproof etc.
  13. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    I agree that quality is important on a VHF. My 30 year old Icom is still working, even if it needs a new battery pack today...

    Icom M5.jpg
    Rickfisher likes this.
  14. Silver Lining

    Silver Lining Member

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    That looks very similar to my Icom. Icom is an excellent product. Mine is now about 14 years old and still works perfect and holds a charge for months.
  15. bernd1972

    bernd1972 Senior Member

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    Icom handhelds are pretty good, though the Standard Horizon VHf seem to have slightly better/more sensitive receivers from my experience. So my 0.02 cents would be just get one (waterproof and preferably flaoting) and use it, Whateer maker it is. Having one is allways better than needing and most companies do reasonable quality anyway.
  16. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    I’m curious if any bigger boats are using the bluetooth headsets.
  17. maldwin

    maldwin Senior Member

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    I was at the FLL West Marine a few years ago puzzling over the selection, and the salesman told me to pick the one which fit best in my hand from the 2 or 3 which met my criteria. It was a Standard Horizon, and I am happy with it 5 years later. More recently, I have just bought a Vesper handheld, but have not used it enough to comment.
    Best,
    Maldwin .
  18. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    My Simrad RS35 and HS35s are working very well.
    Works great anywhere onboard.
    No idea if it floats.
    The charger on one of the handhelds failed. Simrad in their support mind-set does not offer replacement bases.
    You can use an ole multi role usb cable to charge it.
    OR; purchase a new HS40.

    Always has been a gripe with me, Simrad not covering hardware support past the equipment warranty.
    Oh, 2 years and 1 day; No parts available but you can purchase the next model.
  19. SplashFl

    SplashFl Member

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    Standard Horizon has 3 yr warranty and after that a $65.00 flat rate; plus they have a battery tray so you can use with regular sized batteries for back up.
  20. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    I got side tracked with this purchase with many other aggravating immediate boat expenditures...such as various engine coolers, two new Jabsco engine water pumps( not just the impellers) , starboard blue fuel lines, and two new ''pony'' solenoids ( 0ne of which went up into flames on me, dead shorted with in the unit..I'll post that story later) and a starboard fuel pump...all of which were 40 years old , original equipment by my guess. I also had the pleasure of doing all the work.:mad:;). All seems to be good now. Took an 80 mile trip last weekend to OCMD and all ran very well.

    Anyway I just ordered the Standard Horizon HX890...it's a floater, GPS,DSC, MOB, and FM for tunes to keep you entertained if need be. 11hr battery life.
    It's on the upper end of my price range..$199. Defender.

    Thanks all for your in put. Will see how it works.