- 1 Best Marine Radio Reviews
- 1.1 Uniden MHS75 Handheld Submersible 2-Way 5W VHF Marine
- 1.2 Standard Horizon HX870 Floating 6W Handheld VHF with Internal GPS
- 1.3 Uniden Atlantis 270 Handheld Floating 2-Way 6W VHF Marine Radio
- 1.4 Cobra Electronics MR F45-D Class-D Fixed Mount VHF Radio
- 1.5 Standard Horizon GX1700W Standard Explorer GPS VHF Marine Radio
- 2 Best Marine Radio Buying Guide
- 3 Conclusion
Whether you own or rent a yacht to sail through the waters, you need to have a radio system that has great marine radio reviews. This radio gives you the capability to contact other people that are near your vicinity. It also keeps you updated on the weather broadcasts and other events near your area. It also lets you access the coast guard and other emergency personnel immediately during an emergency situation or if you get lost and need directions.
There are a lot of marine radio reviews that you can turn to as your guide for purchasing your marine radio system. You will find that there are quite a few things to consider before deciding on a product that you will use. Here are some examples of the popular marine radios to help you decide.
|Picture||Model||Editor Ratings||Our Review|
|Uniden MHS75 Marine Radio|| (4.1 / 5) |
|Standard Horizon HX870|| (4.4 / 5) |
|Uniden Atlantis 270 Marine Radio|| (4.1 / 5) |
|Cobra Electronics MR F45-D|| (4.2 / 5) |
|Standard Horizon GX1700W|| (4.4 / 5) |
Best Marine Radio Reviews
This is a compact, rugged, high-quality handheld marine radio that received a lot of praises from marine radio reviews. It has a waterproof rating of IPX8 which means you can freely submerge it in water without getting damaged. This marine radio covers US, Canada, and international marine channel so you can use it wherever you want to go in the word while keeping you updated with marine activity near you.
You can never go wrong with your trip schedule because you can get weather broadcasting alerts from NOAA channels. The instant triple-watch channel features also let you monitor channels 9 and 16 while listening to a channel of your choice. This means you are always ready to answer to a distress call or alert the authorities about it. The memory channel scan allows the radio to scan your programmed channels automatically for updates and events.
The package comes with a clip-on DC charger that can charge your radio in any 12 volt cigarette lighter outlet to rapidly charge the handheld. No worries if you drop it in water because of its waterproofing rating that allows it to be submerged along with its floating design that lets you pick it up from the water easily. These features and so much more come with your purchase of this marine radio today.
Standard Horizon introduced a marine radio that focuses on safety and performance with the Standard Horizon HX870. This is one of the must-buy marine radios of today with its amazing marine radio reviews. The receiver has up to 66 channels and allows its radio to transmit DSC calls along with the vessel’s position or navigation waypoints. It has an oversized LCD so you can’t miss out on important information that is transmitted to the radio.
The screen gives you an easy-to-use icons and menu systems that give this handheld a great edge over other products. It is designed to be high performing with its die-cast base along with the IPX8 waterproof rating that lets you submerge the handheld for up to 30 minutes. It also has a whooping 6 watts of power that goes beyond expectations for handheld radio devices. When it comes to its battery life, you can rely on its 1800 mAh capacity rating.
The Standard Horizon HX870 was made to save up to 20 routes and 200 waypoints so you can remember important routes that you’ve discovered. It also includes a compass page that displays your position and information as well as nine other vessels within the proximity through the Group Monitoring feature. This truly is the best marine radio when it comes to safety and performance with all the wonderful features and high-quality construction.
Uniden has been making handheld radios for many years now, and the Uniden Atlantis 270 lives up to their high standards of quality. It has all the features that you need to keep you safe at sea including NOAA weather channels as well as US and international marine channels. This radio was made to float if you accidentally drop it overboard, and it has a waterproof rating of IPX7 so no damages will be sustained.
This radio not only is for marine use but can also be used for camping trips, fishing trips, or rowing activities. It has a great battery life of up to 10 hours depending on use, and it has an impressive transmit power of up to 6 watts. This means you can get a great range with this handheld so you can broadcast to more channels and people. The large backlit LCD screen will show you all the information you need to make sure you are safe.
This handheld radio allows you to choose from three levels of transmit power as its battery-saving function. However, if there is weak signal in an area where you have to send a signal, you can count on the Power Boost key to give you all the power that you need. The package includes AC/DC adapters, charging cradle, and the charging cable. This is a great handheld with basic features that you can switch between marine and outdoor activities.
The Cobra MR F5 is a fixed-mount marine radio that has DSC capability and has up to 25 watts of transmit power making it perfect for long- or short-range communication. This unit has awesome features that are usually only seen in expensive marine radios including adjustable backlight, function keys on microphone, and Dual Watch. It also has noise-cancelling capabilities that are important in situations when there is too much wind and waves.
This product keeps you posted on weather reports and alerts to ensure safety at all times. It instantly scans important channels like 16 and 9 for distress calls. The signal strength meter is a great accessory to know if you can transmit and receive signals at a certain place and time. Another key feature is the GPS which lets you send out your exact location in times of emergency or help you find your way when you get lost.
When it comes to communication, marine radio reviews have only good things to say about this model. It can use a dual output power (up to 25 watts) that enables long- and short-range communication and battery-saving function. Never get lost in international waters with its updated GPS map that has access to the USA, Canada, and other international countries. You will surely have peace of mind with this fixed-mount radio on board.
Standard Explorer GPS VHF Marine Radio in white, model GX1700W. The New GX1700 makes DSC easy. With an internal 12-channel GPS built into the front panel, there is no need to hassle with wiring the radio to a GPS for DSC. Out of the box and ready to go, DSC calling, position sharing, waypoint navigation, and navigation to DSC distress calls can all be performed with just a few simple steps. The GX1700 is also capable of entering and saving up to 100 waypoints, which may be selected and navigated to by using a unique navigation compass display which shows your vessels SOG, COG, BRG (bearing), and DST (distance) to the waypoint.
Another great product from Standard Explorer comes, the GX1700W with its internal GPS that has 12 channels integrated in the front panel making sending locations easier with DSC. This is a plug-and-play type of fixed-mount radio with a lot of great features that you’ve never seen on other older models. It can save up to 1000 waypoints so you can go ahead and save every route that you’ve taken so far and not worry about space in the memory.
This is a dream come true for most mariners as it features an easy mounting process which takes seconds before operation. It is designed with an ultrathin rear case which, according to marine radio reviews, is the slimmest fixed-mount radio available today. This results into a better looking and more spacious boat dash. It also gives you the freedom to mount the radio wherever you want.
It comes with a programmable priority scan for your favorite channels and a dual watch system that lets you tune into important channels for emergency calls. It has a durable die-cast chassis for long-lasting effects. To top everything off, it comes with a three-year warranty that ensures you spend your money wisely.
Best Marine Radio Buying Guide
Define a Marine Radio
A marine VHF radios is what you need if you are ever going to venture out to any body of water for sailing or other activities. By using a marine radio, you can get a range of up to 50 miles as well as the fastest access to rescue agencies including the coast guard. You can also use your marine radio. If you want to chat up people within the area, check alerts and weather broadcasts.
How Do Marine Radios Work?
Marine radios need radio waves to receive and send transmissions. It also operates within the line of sight to get the proper frequency. This means that if there is something blocking the line of sight like an island or a rock formation, your signals are going to be disrupted. The best thing about being in the water and using a radio is that you mostly never have to worry about these obstructions.
According to marine radio reviews, the best marine radios have long antennas as well as high wattage. If there are multiple boats that use the same frequency, the radio with the strongest signal is the one that will come through.
Handheld Radios Versus Fix-Mounted Radios
There are two types of marine radios: fixed-mount and handheld. There are pros and cons to each type, and here are their definitions:
- Fixed-Mount Marine Radios
This type of marine radio is mounted permanently on the boat dash and is wired directly into the electrical system of your boat. Marine radio reviews say that fixed-mount marine radios have a higher power output and therefore have a better range compared to handheld devices. Another key benefit is the dedicated power and ease of use during choppy sea settings.
With a fixed-mount system, you have the choice to buy an external antenna that adds to the capabilities of your radio system. There are many options for your marine radio’s antenna including straight mount, ratchet mount, swivel mount, and rail mount.
- Handheld Marine Radios
As the name suggests, you can hold this type of marine radio with your hand, and it is portable so you can take it wherever you go. Most marine handheld units offer almost the same features as the fixed-mount ones. If you are on a tight budget, you can opt for the lower-end models that are cheaper and have only the basic features that you need.
Some features of the handheld marine radio are GPS, DSC capability, waterproofing, noise cancellation, and so much more. In terms of range, you can expect lower compared to a fixed-mount radio. However, handheld units also have their edge because they can serve as your back up if the boat’s electrical system goes down. You can also take them everywhere inside the vessel so you can call anyone anytime.
What License Do I Need?
In general, you won’t need a license to buy or operate your marine radio. This is true for most voluntary ships like recreational boats. However, if you want to operate them for commercial use or internationally, you’d have to do some paper works.
If you own a radio with DSC capabilities, you have to get a nine-digit maritime mobile service identity or MMSI. This is the number that the coast guard uses to identify and rescue you in case of emergencies.
What Features Should I Look For?
Before you make a purchase, you might want to know the feature that your marine radio can offer. This will help you decide on the model that you can choose to fit your needs. Here are some of the most important features a marine radio should have:
- DSC Capability
Digital selective calling is an important emergency feature used in marine radios since the year 1999. This feature is usually integrated into fixed-mount radios but can also be found in some handheld units. By using DSC, you are able to send distress calls to the authorities or other DSC able marine radios near the area with a push of a button. If your boat has GPS, you can connect the radio to it and send out your exact location so you can be rescued faster.
Although they are pricey, newer marine radio models already have their own built-in GPS. This allows for your group to see your location by pinpointing your position in the map. It also lets you broadcast your location with the proper coordinates so your group can see it on their screen. In general, radio/GPS combo units are great help for those who are planning to go sailing for a few days.
- AIS Capability
The automatic identification system is a system that tracks other vessels if you need to find them. With an AIS-equipped radio system, you are able to receive real-time information about neighboring vessels including their speed, cargo, and position.
There is a transponder is responsible for broadcasting information about your vessel, not the receiver. This feature is great for transmitting your position and detecting unauthorized vessel in the area as well as surveillance.
There are two scanning features available for marine radios. The Dual Watch feature lets you watch your priority channels as well as a second channel while you are waiting for a signal. There is also Tri Watch which is also similar to Dual Watch but it lets you watch three channels at the same time. These channels include your priority channel, channel 09, and another channel that you like.
The benefit of having scanning features is in compliance to a regulation that asks mariners to consistently monitor channel 16 on their radios. This is helpful in case someone sends a distress call or there is an emergency situation.
- Weather Radio Alerts
In the radio community, the weather channel is more commonly known as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME). NOAA broadcasts national weather alerts while SAME alerts are location-based ones. This is a very useful feature because it gives you an updated location-based weather forecast. Since most people use two-way radios for their outdoor activities, you can also take advantage of this feature to make sure that your trip is not going to be affected by bad weather.
- Noise Canceling
This is a great feature that cancels out background noises resulting to the clarity of transmissions going in and out. It is an important feature especially at sea where there are situations that can create loud noises like waves, engine noise, and wind.
Marine radios obviously need waterproofing because they operate at sea. There are different levels of water resistance according to marine radio reviews.
You always need to consider your safety wherever you are in the world. When it comes to bodies of water, you need a marine radio with good marine radio reviews for communication and navigation. There are plenty of features that you can take advantage of when you buy the best marine radio today. These features include the important DSC capability that allows you to send distress calls to authorities and nearby vessels.
Choosing the best marine radio is not always an easy task. With all the great features available to these units, you need to do some research to know what models suit you the best. You can also read some marine radio reviews online for more information.
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