Handheld VHF

willwork4duckswillwork4ducks Posts: 65 Deckhand
Not wanting to spend more than 200 or honestly as little as I can while still being safe.

Any recommendations?


  • nuclearfishnnuclearfishn Posts: 8,351 Admiral
    Not wanting to spend more than 200 or honestly as little as I can while still being safe.

    Any recommendations?

    pretty much worthless offshore. You need a long attenna to get any distance.
  • willwork4duckswillwork4ducks Posts: 65 Deckhand
    Should have been more specific. We have a 17 mako. We won't be running offshore. If we did it would be with a couple other boats. I don't have room in the console for the permanent option.
  • bkw4287bkw4287 Posts: 140 Officer
    I use a Uniden Handheld as a backup. It works pretty well.
  • captnick50captnick50 Posts: 121 Officer
    best bang for your buck IMHO is the standard horizon HX280S Submersible Handheld VHF Radio. $119 with a rebate now. if you need all those fancy features the icom m24 is a pretty slick little radio but $50 more.
  • dwyermwdwyermw Posts: 333 Deckhand
    Ditto the standard horizon HX280S - it does everything you need.
    2009 Skeeter ZX2250 current
    2007 Sea Hunt 220 Triton (sold)
    Skeeter ZX24V, 300 HP Yamaha (sold)
    1890 SE Action Craft, 175 HP Evinrude Ficht (sold)
    Hewes Tailfisher (sold)
    Toyota Tundra 5.7 SR5
  • scubastevescubasteve Posts: 24 Greenhorn
    The rebate is $20 on both the HX280S and the HX290 Rebate Certificate (click here) makes them both south of $100 (that rebate expires 6/1). The HX280 is going to run you about $86-87 after rebate and HX290 about $94. ICOM's M72 is in my opinion the best handheld however you pay for it about $210.
    Scuba Steve's Marine
  • gator97dwbgator97dwb Posts: 73 Deckhand
    Do either of these have the option to use regular akline batteries? The primary reason for getting one is to use as a backup in the emergency bag and I don't want to have to check that it is recharged every trip. I want to be able to have extra batteries to just slip in.
  • FLCoyoteFLCoyote Posts: 271 Deckhand
    I went offshore about three weeks ago and when I turned my console mounted VHF on nothing happened. I was already about three miles out. I really didn't feel safe without a working radio. After I got back in I found that it was a pulled connection behind the instrument panel. I went looking for the cheapest functional handheld radio that would also use double A's. I found the Midland Naticus 3, at Bass Pro shop for $75. It included rechageable battery, AC and DC adapter, dash mount and headset. I tried it out on the water and reached out five miles with no problems. I keep it in a waterproof ditch bag and don't plan to use it unless my primary gives out. It also can use double A's. There was an issue getting it out of emergency mode after hitting the channel 16 button, but after researching it I found that the way to restore normal function is to hold the menu button down until it goes into weather mode, then holding it down again to return to normal mode. Actually the best thing to do is just change channels using the channel selector and leave the channel 16, override alone. I've since seen this radio package on-line for as little as $59. I think its a good solution and its certainly priced right.

  • gator97dwbgator97dwb Posts: 73 Deckhand
    Thanks for the reply FLCoyote. I went with the HX290 because it floats since it is going in a ditch bag. Wish I would have seen this a month ago and got the $20 off but oh well. I am curious how the midland product will hold up since I may get one for myself on a smaller inshore boat. This one is going to Dad for Father's Day.

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