Alert-activated weather/VHF radio f PFD?

Which models of alert-activated Emergency Alert Portable Weather Radios are waterproof and/or good for sea kayaking offshore?

… Tsunami drill locally made me aware of such a product but I don’t know what is best/nicest/smallest or where to look.

Who builds the best a Marine VHF 2-way portables with that alert-activated function that could be put in a PFD?

Preferably JIS 8 – usable for continuous submersion – I want to take it surf kayaking!

Like these, or are there superior or more waterproof /rugged ones? Smaller?–pi-2991657.html


Hey, I’m kind of looking at VHF radios but not necessarily JIS8. I came across one that you might want to check out:

The ICOM M72 is IPX8, but I’ve seen no mention of the JIS rating. the IPX8 means submersible but I don’t think it has pressure ratings or as good as a JIS8 rating (correct me if I’m wrong, pls).

Having said that, I think getting washed in the surf would be hard for any rating!!! Be careful, you might still want to use more protection…


Thanks – nice and small, too
And for surfzone, a dry bag will be smart!

This way when I hear a Tsunami warning (we just had a test in Eureka, CA), I can decide what to do … If I’m in my fast 18’ QCC sea kayak, I’ll most likely head further offshore into deeper water if I’m out in the open ocean already.

Surf kayak nearshore, waaay slower … Ummm, uh, er – YIKES if it’s a near-source one.

Uniden MHS550/450
Hmmm, I think the MHS450/550 is the answer to your and I’s quest! Both are JIS8 and both have a NOAA Wx alert that also has a Normal + scanning mode where every 7 seconds it scans the NOAA bands local to you and if there is an alert, it will alert you in some fashion. Comparing this to the Standard Horizon’s HX471S, SH NOAA mode wont scan until you actually put it into scan mode. Plus, there is no IPX rating at all on the HX471S…

The 550 has an FRS and Am/FM/aircraft band too but if you have no need for that, the 450 is probably a good fit. Plus, they are both cheaper than the HX471S. The only thing the HX471S seems to support is the DCS, but that’s only when used with the charger cradle and a GPS unit and who is going to carry the charger cradle???

I will be seriously looking at buying the 550 for $161 I’ve seen it online very shortly.


Well, my 550 arrived the other day, since I was away this weekend, I had time to basically charge the li-ion battery and check the weather band.

it’s somewhat bulky and in going in the wash in a surfing thing, not only would I worry about the waterproofness, I would worry about the antenna. it looks like it has a 3-4" antenna that might not want to be snapped when being dumped… Sure that’s probably not under warantee anyway!


HX471S is IPX7 rated NM

Icom M72

– Last Updated: Apr-07-08 3:33 PM EST –

I have owned Uniden, Standard, and Icom Marine radios and the best one IMHO is the Icom M72. It's IPX 8 rated but lately I've been putting it in a dry bag anyway. The surf zone can exceed IPX8 standards.

In the past, my Unidens and Standards have all failed after about 2-3 years. My M72 is still going strong after 2 years. Many of my friends have this radio and their experiences have been similar.

I actually talked to a guy at Standard Horizons who said they are IPX7. However, I still find it odd when you look at their website, they say something like 30minutes at 1.5m or something like that and not specifically mentioning IPX7…


So where do you store yours w/ bag …
… when you have to punch out through the surf or big whitecaps?

*** And can you still hear it if it’s on stand by there, it’s windy, and there’s a weather/tsunami alert?

That 72 is a lot taller than their M88 and the MHS550. I’m thinking with the right dry bag, ant. sticking out, the two smaller ones could maaaybe/mostly still fit in some of the biggest PFD pockets.

I have a M72 also and keep it in a dry bag. I made the bag custom to fit the M72 using the techniques I outlined in my Sea Kayaker Magazine article.

I store mine tethered to my lifevest and tucked behind the front pocket on my Astral Aquavest 300.

BTW, I’ve made a cheatsheet for the M72. It’s handy, but I wouldn’t want to have to rely on it on the water. It’s at:

nice cheat sheet, bag info
*** And can you still hear it if it’s on stand by there, it’s windy, and there’s a weather/tsunami alert?

When you REALLY need a radio…
…chances are that you’re not going to have the luxury or the two hands necessary for dealing with pockets and dry bags. That’s why I keep mine mounted on my shoulder strap. It’s near my ear where I can easily hear it and I can access and operate it with either hand, while keeping the other on my paddle, another boat (in a rescue situation) or whatever the need is at the moment.