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Handheld or fixed mounted VHF fo bay boat

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Handheld or fixed mounted VHF fo bay boat

Old 08-26-2014, 08:24 PM
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Default Handheld or fixed mounted VHF fo bay boat

Hello all,

Am in the market for a VHF radio and was seeing which would be better to install on my bay boat - a handheld or fixed unit. Will be traveling max 30-40 miles from launch on the longest run. Not necessarily running offshore, but deep in marsh and out of sight a lot of times. The key features I need are a distress button, multiple weather channels, 2 way communication. I don't have a t top, so if I purchased a fixed unit, where would I install antenna? Also, when it boils down to it, is Icom and Standard Horizon about on par with each other? Any and all help is appreciated.

Also, apologize for mispelling of 'for' in thread title. Couldn't edit after posting.
Old 08-26-2014, 08:57 PM
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No law against and a lot of good arguments for having both, fo sho! But a fixed mount 25 watt transceiver, even with only a 3-4' 3db whip antenna, is always going to outrange the rubber ducky antenna on a 5-6 watt handheld. I spend a lot of time deep in the Everglades 40 miles from any base stations and can duct tape my 4' Metz whip to my 18' pushpole if need be, allowing me to get it 22' in the air when I need to reliably reach out to the rangers in Everglades City or Flamingo.
Old 08-26-2014, 09:26 PM
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You can't beat a good fixed mounted vhf radio. But I have both.
Standard horizon is my brand of choice.
Takes a beating and keeps on working.
Old 08-27-2014, 08:44 AM
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I have similar boat and fish the same as you, probably on same areas as you and I have both. Can't beat a fixed mount but also need hand held I case you go down or lose power. I mounted my antenna to my console grab handle. Get a fixed mount and put the hand held in your ditch bag.
Old 08-27-2014, 11:10 AM
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I would go with fixed and handheld, both GPS-enabled.

The handheld should be on your person, with a tether, in the event you get separated from the boat.

Even in a bay boat with supposedly upright-flotation.
Old 08-27-2014, 12:08 PM
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I agree with everyone above. I'd go with a fixed mount at a minimum. I would only buy a handheld after having a fixed mount as a primary. You can buy a nice Uniden for just under $100 or a Standard Horizon for about $50 more. I have the Standard Horizon and it works well for me inshore and offshore. Get yourself an antenna mount like the one below and it can be adjusted to mount vertically so you can mount it on the side of the console since you don't have a top. Or if you have a rail on your console you can do like Seadonist said and get a rail mount for the antenna. Just make sure you mount it well so it doesn't spin on the pipe.
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Old 08-28-2014, 09:22 AM
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You might be better-off with a stainless whip antenna. On boats that size, people tend to use fiberglass antennas as a grab-hold, which results in early failure at the base, and if it lasts long enough for the outer clear-coat to weather away, the people will get glass slivers in their hands and make the trip less than enjoyable.

Keep in mind that antenna height always trumps antenna gain, too.

[BTW, I have heard that Gorilla duct tape is the quickest way to remove slivers like from that, or from certain sea creatures that shed sharp hairs. Have not had a need to try out the method yet, but carry that tape for other temporary repairs]
Old 08-28-2014, 08:44 PM
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Fixed for your application would be the better option.

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