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Best icom vhf for offshore use?

Old 06-04-2016, 08:59 PM
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Default Best icom vhf for offshore use?

I am in the need of 2 icom vhf radios, can you folks tell me which radio is the best bang for the buck? Don't need the latest and greatest with all the bells and whistles. Just looking for a solid radio.

Thanks in advance!
Old 06-05-2016, 04:34 AM
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Then buy the one that fits your budget. Which appears to be somewhere between el cheepo and top of the line. There are a kajillion threads on here about VHFs.
Old 06-05-2016, 05:11 AM
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The difference between the various Icom models in performance is not all that great. The higher price of the M604 gets you a bit more sensitive receiver and a lot of added features and more amplifier power. Your antenna, connectors, and cabling will likely have more of an impact on range than the radio itself. Basically a budget and installation space issue. Even their cheapest model is a pretty good radio when used with a quality antenna. Even the best VHF will not perform well with a cheap antenna and badly done connectors.
Old 06-05-2016, 06:07 AM
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I get that, thanks anyway
Old 06-05-2016, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by coastalfiberglass View Post
I get that, thanks anyway
Why Icom?
Old 06-05-2016, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Nomans View Post
The difference between the various Icom models in performance is not all that great. The higher price of the M604 gets you a bit more sensitive receiver and a lot of added features and more amplifier power. Your antenna, connectors, and cabling will likely have more of an impact on range than the radio itself. Basically a budget and installation space issue. Even their cheapest model is a pretty good radio when used with a quality antenna. Even the best VHF will not perform well with a cheap antenna and badly done connectors.
Sorry a bit off topic. What are your feelings on the not solder method and just using the 2 washers on the connector? I just had to install another antenna and the solder wasn't coopersting(I suck at it) and just went with the washers. I know it works from 100 yards away, other than that I can't confirm yet.
Old 06-05-2016, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by gsujeff55 View Post
Why Icom?
There the best from what I understand
Old 06-05-2016, 02:30 PM
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Icom is the best. I used other major brands and I had many troubles. Someone said, "Buy an Icom and you will not have any trouble ever again". I took that advice and I had one on previous boat for 15 years- the only issue I had was the cover on the command mic cord deteriorated after 14 years and I replaced it. The new boat has the 602 and it is a 2003 vintage- works like a charm. Just my 2 cents as to "Why Icom?"
Old 06-05-2016, 03:32 PM
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I switched out both my icoms for simrads, most everyone I talk with states Crystal clear.
Old 06-05-2016, 03:50 PM
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Whatever you end up with make sure it has a DSC switch and is wired into your chartplotter/MFD.

Last edited by Riptied; 06-05-2016 at 04:04 PM.
Old 06-05-2016, 03:56 PM
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I've never noticed a difference in radio from manufacturer to manufacturer. It's pretty ancient technology and they all do it well. The only thing separating any of them is the number of bells and whistles in my experience and you said that didn't matter.

All of that being said, I have a brand new simrad RS12 I can sell for cheap.
Old 06-05-2016, 06:50 PM
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If you want best value for the money, I'd look at Std Horizon. Can't beat the GX 1600 for $140 or so, or the 1700 with built in GPS for a few bucks more. And their customer service is impeccable.
Old 06-07-2016, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by gsujeff55 View Post
Why Icom?
+1
I have an ICOM and a Standard Horizon. SH is 6 years old, and no issues (original MSRP ~$300). I had to contact SH for tech support once (regarding interfacing), I got an email back from the VP addressing my concerns, along with his cell phone number should I need to contact him for help.

My ICOM (~$600) was less than a week old, and had issues interfacing with my Furuno unit. The ICOM tech rep informed me that I needed to mail the unit to an authorized service center for a firmware upgrade. After spending some time on the phone with him he said I would have to contact the service center to set up the repair, and shipping would be on my dime. He could not tell me how long it would take and was very smug about it. ICOM customer support was extremely poor IMO. I would not buy another purely for that reason.
Old 06-07-2016, 03:51 AM
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I'm happy with my SH GX1700. Night and day over an old Icom that was replaced. The built in GPS makes DSC operation easy and I can use it to get me home in a bind if everything else fails!
Old 06-07-2016, 02:34 PM
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You can have a middle of the road marine VHF and a top of the line antenna - and kick most peoples butts.....
Old 06-07-2016, 02:37 PM
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icom 504 series

Digital Antenna

Old 06-07-2016, 10:42 PM
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standard horizon is WAYYY better than iCOM
have had both ...
Old 06-07-2016, 10:43 PM
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icon, honestly is a p of s*** .....
Standard is WAYYY better radio ...
Old 06-08-2016, 03:41 AM
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The antenna makes the difference If you have the room a 9 db or 10 db. Digital is the best 6 db.
Old 06-08-2016, 04:55 AM
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The only problem with Standard Horizon is they STILL don't have a radio that will connect to NMEA 2000. Talk about old technology. NMEA 0183 for SH, Icom does have NMEA 2000 connectivity.

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