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Nolan White
Nolan White

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.


The fixed mount models come with antennas that mount to the roof of the driver cockpit, allowing for a much better range than handheld models. Fixed mounting VHF marine radios require using a large diameter coax cable to connect the radio to the antenna.


DSC is a must-have feature in your VHF marine radio if you intend on going offshore into deep waters. This feature allows you to communicate privately and send coordinates to any vessel you communicate without on the open water.


A: The VHF marine radio relies on the power output to determine its range. Most handheld models come with adjustable power settings of up to three or six watts. That power setting is all you need for offshore use. The larger fixed models come with more power for spending days at sea in deep water. The average range for most 6-watt models is around ten to 20 nautical miles from shore. The larger, more powerful models have ranges up to 400-miles.


Choosing the best marine radio for your situation depends largely on how you intend to use your boat, how much you are able and willing to pay for this important piece of marine electronics, and whether or not you will permanently install the radio.


The marine VHF radio is the primary means of communication for the recreational boat owner. Many marine safety experts say it should be the first piece of marine electronics you buy when outfitting your boat.


A marine VHF radio can issue an immediate broadcast of both voice and digital information that can be heard by emergency agencies such as the Coast Guard and other mariners in your area. Other top uses include communicating with fellow boaters and monitoring weather channels.


Marine VHF radios have improved tremendously in recent years with the introduction of Digital Selective Calling. In an emergency were to develop aboard your boat, pressing the distress button on your marine radio will send an automated digital distress signal with your vessel position and your identity to other vessels and rescue agencies within VHF range.


The marine market is loaded with VHF radios so choosing the best marine radio for you can be a daunting task. There are two main types: fixed-mount and handheld. The fixed-mount versions range from about $100 to $500 with handhelds priced from $50 to about $300. Any boat that goes offshore should be equipped with a fixed-mount VHF. A fixed-mount marine radio range is about 25 miles depending on antenna height, while a handheld will likely be restricted to about a five mile range.


On the fixed-mount models, you will find rotary knobs or pushbutton up/down arrow keys for selecting channels. The rotary knobs usually allow the user to scroll through the channels faster and easier than up and down pushbuttons. On many marine VHF radios the channel knob will also make menu selections, again it is much easier and faster to use the rotary knob for here too.


If you own a large boat with a cabin, upper helm, fly bridge, or tower station you may want to consider adding a remote VHF station. They cost from $100 to $150. At minimum, a remote microphone connected to your main fixed mount marine VHF will usually have an LCD screen, a quick- access channel 16 button, and volume and squelch controls. You will very likely also now have intercom capability for two-way communication between the main radio and any remote units. Not all marine radio are capable of using a remote so check this out before you purchase.


Here is another consideration when you are trying to find the best marine radio for your boat. Make sure the internal speaker is loud enough for you to hear at sea, with the noise from the wind, waves and engine. Many marine VHF radios have rather meager speakers so make sure the radio has an external jack to add an external speaker. This is almost a must on any boat without an enclosed helm area.


A hailer is another option to consider. Having this option will give you the capability to broadcast over external speaker system to other boaters or to land. This type of system is most useful on a larger vessel where communicating by voice alone may be difficult or impossible. Remember to use this feature you will need to install a hailer horn on your boat and connect it to your marine VHF radio. 041b061a72


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