Handheld VHF vs mounted

Old 01-16-2003, 07:19 AM
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Default Handheld VHF vs mounted

I have a KW Dc that doesn't lend itself well to mounting a marine vhf radio. I have
been through 2 Unidens in 2 yrs due to water intrusion. The current mount is on the
side of the boat near the ignition switch (facing upwards). My question is should I try
a 3 one or go with a handheld vhf?
Are handhelds as good? The handhelds I've seen have 1 and 5 watt outputs vs 1 and
25 watt outputs for a mounted one. What do you exactly lose by goig from 25 watts
to 5 watts? Do any of you use handhelds? Some new mounted models claim to be
submersible, I could try one of the Raymarine, Icom, or Standard Horizon
submersible models. What do you think?
P.S. I never go more than 10-15 miles offshore
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Old 01-16-2003, 08:10 AM
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Default Handheld VHF vs mounted

If you are going that far offshore, you will definitely want a mounted, 25w VHF radio.

As far as what radio to get - you get what you pay for. Forget the Unidens - they make passable radar detectors, but I wouldn't bet my safety on them. I use a Standard Horizon Intrepid, which is a good radio, but many of the boaters here on THT swear by ICOM. Both are quality radios, and are water resistant to some CG specification. You can also get them submersible (if your mounted VHF ever gets submerged, it better be because you dropped it off the dock accidentally). You better plan on spending around $200 for the radio.

Antenna choices are also important. I use the Shakespeare 5225 Galaxy 8' antenna mounted to my T-top. From 15 miles out, my rig hits Sea Tow at medium signal strength. Other boaters use the Digital brand antennas. I suspect that you won't go wrong with either choice.

As far as range differences between HH and mounted - it's gotta be night/day. The HH is, for all intents and purposes, at water level radiating 5w while the mounted VHF radiates its signal anywhere from 4 to 8 ft from the water at 25w. I would guess a HH max range at 8 miles or so on a good day. The mounted VHF I would guess at 25 miles, give or take.
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Old 01-16-2003, 09:23 AM
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Default Handheld VHF vs mounted

Agree with ICOM fixed and antenna selection.

We have that setup as well as a handheld.
We us and beleive a handhed is or should be for backup only.
Avg transmit range we found 3-5 miles on good day.
But if you're boat went down (elec or sunk) a good waterproof handheld could be very useful.
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Old 01-16-2003, 10:48 AM
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Default Handheld VHF vs mounted

ditto on the hh vs. fixed mount comments. fixed, fixed, fixed if you go offshore at all. plus, you can't drop it overboard, drop and break!

spend the extra $$ to get the better ones cited on these boards.

for HHs, definately get "submersible." i've got stand horz hx460s, best range is 3-6 miles, depending. i only rely on it as a backup to my fixed on the boat, and bring along when canoeing in the backcountry.
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Old 01-16-2003, 02:22 PM
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Default Handheld VHF vs mounted

Get yourself an Icom M402s for $170. You wont be worrying about replacing it for a LONG time.

Birdman, Capt of
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