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Old 05-17-2007, 11:09 PM   #1
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Default Cobra VHF

Need some reassurance? I just bought a waterproof Cobra VHF from BPS(bass pro shop). They recommended It. It was a good price with all the options. I will be, at a max 7 miles offshore, otherwise in the bay wearing out the fish. W/ the VHF, I bought a the new shakespeare 4ft. antenna mounted on my T-Top. Is this a sufficient Radio?
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Old 05-19-2007, 07:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cobra VHF

It depends on who you want to talk to. If you want to talk to a land station that has a high site (200 feet or more above the ground close to or right on the water for example) then you should be fine. USCG sites are going to have antennas high off the ground. So will commercial services like Sea Tow / Tow Boat US.

If you want boat to boat communications, then it is hard to say. Higher is better on VHF. Your antenna is mounted in the best possible place on your boat (as high up as you can possibly get it). Without knowing specific numbers I would say that your boat to boat range will be at least 5 - 10 nm, and probably more. It really is a function of how far the two stations are from each other, and what the height to the tip of the antenna is. The father a station is, the higher the antennas need to be for reliable communications.

If you find areas with spotty coverage, upgrade to a 6 db antenna (8 foot whip) antenna. Going any larger is not recommended for small boats, for several reasons. Most likely your current setup is fine.

Do not forget to register that DSC radio and obtain a MMSI number. You can get one for free at www.boatus.com/mmsi
Your DSC functions will not work without a mmsi number. You paid for the feature, might was well use it. Hooking the radio up to a GPS is not as complicated as it seems. 2 or 3 wires is all it takes.
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