Favorite handheld Marine Radio?

My old marine radio needs to be replaced. Does anyone have any recommendations? I would like it to be truly waterproof, rechargeable batteries, I tether to my pfd so it doesn’t need to float since I prefer compact size, and long battery life. I paddle in busy NYC Harbor so I am always using it to contact tugs, water taxis, tour boats, etc. Never go out without a radio. Needs weather of course.



My older West Marine portable has
been in the river a few times to 4’ and hasn’t drowned yet. See they have a new small one (VHF85), with good battery life & not too pricey, that I would look toward for a replacement. R

For several years my ICOM M72 has worked well for me.

Fits nicely into my PFD radio pocket; easy to manipulate controls.

Since I paddle Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River, cannot speak to the radio’s perfromance in saltwater environment.

There are lots of radios to choose from out there - good luck.


second the ICOM M72…

– Last Updated: Jun-09-11 5:28 PM EST –

I do use mine in saltwater, but I thoroughly rinse it after every ocean paddle. I also remove the battery to purge any water that may become trapped between the battery and the sealed radio body.

I attach my M72 directly to my pfd strap and then I tether it with a small carabiner.

Note: I do not use a bag.

It’s compact, the controls are easy to operate with gloves on and it’s darn-near bulletproof.

One that works when you need it
When it crackles to life when I turn it on – I’m happy.

Protect them from moisture using a desiccant bag

within the pouch, box, etc. where it is stored.

Another happy M-72 user
Mine has been used a lot over the past 4 years, all of it in saltwater, and still seems to be going strong. I would not consider much else as a replacement.

…get a good radio that doesn’t need to be kept in a box or bag. Boxes and bags make a radio less accessible when you really need it.

I’m notoriously tough on my gear, my m72 has never been in a bag and after three years it still works and holds an impressive charge.

Marine Radio for kayaking
Sorry didn’t see this until now, so oyu may have got one.

When we were in the commercial marine biz we always relied on radios by Icom. Don’t know what hey have now that’d work for kayaking as we’re just getting around to researching one for our skinny boats. But chances are you can’t go wrong with Icom.