VHF Radio Reviews
Every boat should carry a Marine VHF Radio on board, weather this is a fixed mounted VHF radio or portable handheld VHF the importance of owning one should not be overlooked when out on your boat.
With your Marine VHF radio on board you will be able to communicate with others including, coast guards, harbor masters, emergency services and fellow boaters. Without a VHF radio you will not be able to send emergency distress signals (mobile phone signal is poor at best when out in the ocean). You don’t want to put your crew, yourself and your craft in a position where you have no means of communication and unable to sent an emergency distress signal.
Your marine VHF will also help you to stay up to date with all the latest weather forecasts, information and potential navigation hazards and warnings. A marine VHF radio should be considered as one if not the most important piece of marine electronics that every mariner should have.
The price of marine VHF radios varies dramatically depending on many different factors. We review many different VHF radios in order to help you make an informed decision when making a purchase of potentially the most important piece of marine electronics. The first decision you will need to make is what type of marine VHF to purchase.
Fixed Mount Marine VHF Radio
Fixed mount VHF radios range in price, a low end model can be purchased for as little as £100. If you are looking to fit a Fixed Mount VHF Marine Radio to your boat the overall cost will roughly be £250 depending on which VHF unit you decide to purchase. You will also need to purchas a VHF antenna/aerial, antenna cabling and possibly a few other small connectors. This can be all achieved for around £250 but the sky is the limit when purchasing top of the range VHF radios. Don’t worry we review many models from basic VHF radios to top of the line models to help you make an informed purchase.
VHF Handheld Marine Radio
If you are in charge of a small boat, dingy, kayak, topper a handheld VHF is an extremely useful piece of equipment. Hand held VHF radios are perfect for smaller craft as there is no need for cabling, antennas, and having to worry about mounting a fixed radio.
A handheld VHF is a key backup on larger crafts that have a fixed radio fitted, should you need to launch your landing craft. Dinghy or rib the handheld VHF can act as a useful communication tool between the two craft of to a crew-member who has already made it to shore.
Price is not always a key factor when it comes to the performance of your handheld VHF. We have reviewed many cheaper models that perform admirably compared to their pricier counterparts. Many of the functions that push up the price of expensive units are not strictly necessary.
Many of the high end expensive VHF radio have advanced functionality, scramblers, being able to transmit over AM/FM radio bands and aircraft channels. Not necessary on a boat but a potential added special feature to you VHF radio you may be looking for. Some higher end VHF radios also have the ability to connect to the antenna system of your mounted VHF already present on your craft, this can dramatically increase the transceiver range of your handheld VHF although specific software is often needed.
Marine VHF Radio
As with all boating planning and safety is key, knowing how to operate, configure and use your radio is vital along with the technical specification such as battery life, buttons and screen display. If you have a VHF radio but don’t know how to use it why not check out some of our boating safety articles to get some VHF radio tips and see what courses are available.