A RELIABLE VHF radio unit?

Recomendations please.

Here I want if not the very very best (most expensive I am sure), surely a good, REALIABLE, proven unit, a good quality unit, submersible, you know what I mean… The kind that will not let you down when you need it most!



ICOM !!!
The IC-M72 is a great radio! I got mine at

West Marine. They can be a little pricey,might want to shop around…

ICOM makes another nice handheld that floats,but a little bulky…Good Luck.

Line of sight

Just remember VHF is line of sight. You sitting in a kayak a few inches above the water will not help the signal get up and get going. As the antenna is small the size of the radio wave it transmits will be small.

I trialed the ICom for the Aussie Army and found it to be reliable in a kayaking situation, except when I had to climb the bloody hill to get better coverage. (hope I don’t come back as a mountain goat)

just a consideration.

Icom is a tough radio. You can’t go wrong with this brand. Got mine at West Marine who sells both Icom and Standard Horizon. The salesman recommended the Icom and he was correct in his assessment of a great radio. FishHawk

Vouch for the ICOM…
I used ICOM VHF in Army SF…'course we tweaked them a lot, and the models we used were secure Mil Spec Radios, but they took a real beating and never let us down…I dropped my hand held from a helo as we were landing, better than ninety feet…aside from a deep scratch in the display screen, it was working perfectly when I found it…

Icom at West marine
I searched all over the internet for the best price on my Icom M-88, then printed it out and West Marine matched the price. The M-88 is very small and compact so it fits in any pfd pocket.

It is waterproof and build to Mil specs (read tough). It has a long life lithium ion battery and an option for a AA battery pack. I have both. The newer one that floats has other nice features, but is a little large for my desires. I lash my M-88 to the d-ring inside the pfd pocket with a carabiner. The tether on the radio is long enough to use while tethered so there is no risk of dropping it in the water. The one drawback of this and many others is that the rotary on/off volumn knob turns on when handled rough. For example, when not in my pfd, it is in a small Pelican box in the day hatch. While rolling (read like a tennis shoe in a dryer) the damn thing turns on. When you go to need it, the battery is dead! I ruined a battery because of this. Do not let LIon batteries run down all the way, this is a killer condition. Use a piece of masking tape or make some kind of a cover to prevent this from happening. A thimble on a rubber band might do it.

Uniden voyager
The uniden voyager is very compact, reliable, and submersible.

Icom M72
has the highest (I think that’s still correct) submersible rating of any marine VHF out there at JIS-8 (1.5 meter for 1/2 hr.). Most, if submersible rated are JIS-7 (1 meter at 1/2 hr.). M72 also has a 6 watt transmit at hi power–only one I know of that has that. Not much diff. (barely any in practical terms) from 5 watts as most radios have, but if you ever have to use it…every little bit helps. M72 also has a very loud speaker which is very important in conditions. At the time I got mine (10 months ago), it also had the longest life lithium battery of any marine VHF on the market from what I could tell. I don’t protect mine at all. It’s in the front pocket of my PDF (tethered of course) on every trip saltwater or not and it is submersed a good amount of time on every trip. After a salt water trip I fill the sink with warm water and soak it for an hour or so to get the salt off of it. I figure that’s as good a test as any in that if it doesn’t work after the trip and subsequent soaking to get the salt off it, then I know not to take it out next time. It’s been out, submersed and soaked many, many times with no problems whatsoever. One caution. Do not try to change the battery unless the unit is completely dry. While changing the battery, both the battery and the radio are susceptible to water intrusion I believe–you want to do this in a controlled, dry environment.

Whatever you get, make sure you get a radio where the submersible rating includes the battery pack–some don’t. Good luck.

http://www.hodgesmarine.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=ICOM-72&click=19 $162–not bad…try Google Product Search (new Froogle) for some more options. I bought mine from Three Rivers Marine ( http://www.threeriversmarine.net/catalog/item/2521320/2474055.htm ) and they were great to deal with.

Great but not perfect
My Icom M72 just died (it was replaced). Icom recommended that I not use a dry bag with it. Every time I used it, I rinsed it in fresh water and dried it. Last week I took the radio home after paddling and did my usual routine with it. It worked. Put it in the charger to re-charge the battery and it no longer worked.

West Marine replaced it on the spot, but I’ll be using a bag from now on.

THANK YOU, thank you!
Just wanted to acknowledge to you all that I am reading your great feedback and I will address questions tonight…

THANKS again and keep them coming!



here is a good sale

note the $50 rebate good till end of month. Puts the radio at less than $200.

IMHO whatever radio you settle
on put it in a bag. They make drybags just for radios and it will keep water/salt off of it. It will also add a little floatation to it. No matter how it is rated the radio will do you no good down 100’.

If you put it in a commercial bag…
…it won’t fit in your PFD pocket unless you make one like this:



But this makes them very difficult to hear and operate.

Commercial bags are very large and cumbersome.

Some say the humid environment, etc. in a bag is worse than being outside a bag.

bought mine from Hodges Marine
and they were fast & had low shipping charge too. Will buy from them again.

Good old commong sense! :slight_smile:
I agree. Today I took my Tempest 165 for the 5th time on the water! Fist time ever during the week. So far, just as a planned in by backyard we have the Occoquan Reservoir (zip 22192), it’s flat warm water and just BEAUTIFUL!.. Now in this kind of everironment I would not bother with the bag (if the unit is submersible), but in any other rougher conditions, I would use the bag as well. :slight_smile:

VHF radio choices
Is there a consensus that Icom is the best choice among brands? What makes it superior to say, Uniden? And should I get a 72 or 88?

Thanks, I am checking…

Ok, thanks

Good tips, thanks

Like it, like it… $50 rebate, seems
… small. This might be the one. is the M88, better, different than the 72?

Whic is better?

Thx - Rique