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Nolan White
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Vhf Dsc Marine Radio Buying Guide


This is the biggest, most powerful option in a recently released range by Raymarine, consisting of the Ray53, Ray63 and Ray73. All of these are equipped with a built-in GPS receiver and connection point for an optional GPS/GNSS antenna, which improves the GPS reception when the radio is mounted below deck or in an enclosed pilothouse.




vhf dsc marine radio buying guide



Ray53 is a full-function VHF marine radio with Class D DSC and a built-in GPS receiver. NMEA2000 and NMEA0183 networking for integration with onboard systems and It also supports the connection of an optional remote speaker to provide audio at a second location.


VHF is not the same as GMRS radio or FRS two-ways. Read our guide to marine radios, which include explanations of how VHF works, as well as the different advantages and disadvantages of the handheld radios vs fixed mounted units. The Guide to VHF marine radios explains MMSI, DSC as well as other features that will make your boating experience safer and more enjoyable.


This handheld marine radio comes as close as you can get to packing in everything a fixed unit can do into a portable device. Starting with the bluetooth capable functions that give you extra communication (using the smartphone app) and including GPS (waypoint capable), this portable VHF provides all your nautical needs in a sturdy construction.


VHF radio is a line-of-sight two-way communications system between ship-to-ship and from ship-to-shore. A very high frequency (VHF) marine radio is an essential piece of equipment on a boat when cruising beyond the bay or for navigating tricky ports. As essential as it is for safety, only nautical vessels greater than 65 feet are required to have one. Since 1920 mariners have been using a dedicated marine radio to avoid dangerous situations and to answer a SOS distress call.


The wide availability of VHF marine radios and the increased number of recreational sailors means there are a dizzying amount of sets to choose from with vastly different pricing. To begin with, sailors need to figure out which type of VHF is needed.


VHF radios, usually for marine use, are line of sight 2-way communication devices. The higher the antenna, the further it travels before getting smothered by the curvature of the planet. For best results, a fixed mounted VHF radio with an antenna atop a sailboat mast will transmit furthest. Read more about it here.


Yes, you need to take a course to learn\u00a0how to use a VHF radio\u00a0when boating. But many people have a VHF unit on board, either because it came with the vessel they bought or to be able to respond to distress calls from other boaters. If you hear a distress call, you should answer it. There will likely be only appreciation as the form of consequence if you use a VHF in this situation.\n" }},"@type": "Question","name": "How far do VHF radios transmit?","url": " -radios/#HowfardoVHFradiostransmit?","answerCount": 1,"acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer", "text": "VHF radios are line-of-sight communication devices that will only transmit 5-10 miles depending on the unit and if there is an external antenna. Some sailboats equipped with antennas on their masts can transmit and receive longer distances. While this short range communication is good for localized chatter, Coast Guard stations can both transmit and receive over longer distances because of the height of their towers. Handheld VHF radios with transmission power of 6W will transmit over longer distances than units with only 5W for example. When choosing the\u00a0best VHF unit, remember that when deciding between fixed mounted (up to 25W) or the more mobile versions.\n" ,"@type": "Question","name": "Why is the height of a VHF radio antenna important?","url": " -radios/#WhyistheheightofaVHFradioantennaimportant?","answerCount": 1,"acceptedAnswer": "@type": "Answer", "text": "VHF radios, usually for marine use, are line of sight 2-way communication devices. The higher the antenna, the further it travels before getting smothered by the curvature of the planet. For best results, a fixed mounted VHF radio with an antenna atop a sailboat mast will transmit furthest.\u00a0Read more about it here.\n" ]}Related Reviews Review of: Kawasaki Ultra 310LX Read full review


For those boat owners looking for the most affordable VHF marine radio, we recommend the Uniden Atlantis 155. This model features a floating design and IPX8/ JIS8 rating for full waterproofing. This model has the largest LCD screen in its class, with a white backlit daytime display and a red nighttime backlit display.


Standard Horizon is one of the most trusted names in marine radio equipment. This GX1400 Eclipse model is a fantastic fixed-mount design, with a swivel mount for directional positioning and easy viewing of the large, backlit dot-matrix screen with easy-to-read digits.


There are two options for VHF marine radios; fixed mount systems and handheld units. Both offer you the same function of communications out on the water, but there is a significant difference between the two types.


VHF marine radios operate on international standards, with distinct rules on handling communications using these devices. Channel 16 on your VHF marine radio is only for use in emergencies. This channel gives you direct contact with the coast guard or law enforcement, allowing you to send a distress signal.


VHF marine radios issue distress signals in specific designation and general or non-designated transmissions. The designated distress signal sends out information about one of ten pre-determined groups allowing recipients to identify the signal source at sea.


All VHF marine radios come with antennas. The handheld models will have the antenna mounted onto the unit. The larger the antenna, the more distance the signal will carry, making it useful for long-range boating trips.