VHF (very high frequency) radios are commonly used in marine communications and are important marine communications tools. They have a number of uses including contacting harbours & marinas, ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication and most importantly summoning rescue services. They are also a vital safety tool for all mariners, both on offshore waters or on inland waterways and on the wrong side of an unkind sea; they can be life-savers.
Deciding on which VHF radio to buy can be quite perplexing due to the wide range of models and varied features available. We have put together this list of things to consider when choosing a VHF radio to make sure you find the best model for you.
Why do I need a VHF Radio?
For the most part you need it to communicate with other boats and ships and with the coastguard. They are also tremendously important should you come into trouble on the water and need to call for rescue services.
What types of VHF radio are available?
You can get either handheld or fixed panel mount radios. Handheld VHF's are small, transportable and are ideal for small vessels without a battery source. They are also great for an emergency back-up for vessels fixed radios or as individual radios for crew. Alternatively there are panel-mount radios, which are permanent and fixed. These have a larger range than handheld VHF’s and are suitable for much larger vessels.
What’s best for me?
This depends on why you need a VHF. For uses such as for jet skiing or dinghy sailing, a buoyant waterproof handheld with a long battery life may be popular for any full day sessions. Handhelds may also suitable if you have a slightly larger boat – i.e. cruisers and RIBS’s. However if you will be venturing further out to sea then a small fixed radio may be more appropriate. A large motorboat or yacht sailing further offshore will need greater range so a fixed mount unit will be a better solution.
What features do I need?
We specialise in Handheld VHF’s. When choosing handheld VHF it should be easy to use under pressure, have a simple user interface and high-speed operation. A clear screen and a good battery life are also significant points to consider. Various handhelds will allow you to send a distress signal with your identity and location at the press of the button.
You need to make sure your handheld VHS is:
- Easy and functional to use
- Has a good battery life
We are distributors for the high quality ICOM and Entel range of marine VHF radios. On our website we show the most popular modes and if you have another model or make in mind, feel free to contact us for a comparison price. We are always happy to quote for the complete ICOM and Entel range, plus any ICOM/Entel spares you may require.