Hand held Icom VHF radio

I just fried my old VHF (was supposed to be water proof and it wasn’t) and am thinking of getting an Icom.

I would like to hear from any one that has had one for a few years.

Has yours kept it’s water proof integrity ?

Is there any other plus or minus that you can comment about the Icom

Jack L

You can’t go wrong with ICOM radios
My M88s and M1Vs have been completely waterproof. I shoulder mount them, so they see a lot of splash and immersion. As with all radios, you need to rinse them in fresh water after use, but that’s about it.

Many thanks
West Marine was all out of the model I wanted, but will have them in today, so I figured I would touch base here.

Jack L

Our Icom has been invincible
Good submersible rating, though I can’t say it has had a lot of wet time because it is the older, bigger one. Just a bit too much to be easy on a PFD mounting. But I think this unit is at least 8 years old now and it keeps going while we have had to replace the equivalent West Marine unit.

There was one time some years ago when NOAA put out a bad update and the ICOM unit we had was the only one in a household of four that could pick up the one station that had caught and corrected the error. It was only Ellesworth that had noticed the error and restored the old software until NOAA figured it out, all of the other stations like Gray Maine had the problem.

I have an older Icom 34
I believe that is the model. It has seen 3 years and a lot of salt water. It is still going strong. I keep it on my pfd.

Used Icom for years
on my sailboat. One of the best out there.

I’ve used my Icom M88 since 2005 or 2006
The original battery is still good even. I use it to listen to the weather every day. And of course, take it with me on ocean paddles, which is regular paddling all year for me. So this one has stood the test of time and use.

still have my m34
Only freshwater use but it’s never protected or in a case, it always gets wet, and it has never failed in over 3 years of use. Battery time doesn’t even seem to have decreased significantly.

M34 radio good, battery not so
Have had M34s for years. The radio has been great. No waterproof issues, and I don’t always treat it nicely.

But the charging tabs on the batteries do corrode, and this prevents the radio from being charged.

If I remember correctly, the radio has a 3 year warranty, but batteries only 1 year. And mine seem to go a few months after a year.

I have tried various methods of corrosion prevention - Aquapac dry bag, religious rinsing after salt water exposure, not carry radio where it will get wet, etc. and these seem to help reduce the corrosion issue.

Purchased in 2005 and only sporadically used on the water, always in an Aquapac waterproof soft case. I can operate the radio without opening the case. I know this doesn’t give you any info regarding waterproofness.

Just wanted to note that the battery holds its charge for unbelievable stretches of time not only stored unused but also operated as a weather radio almost every day. Actually communicating with it would eat through charged time faster, but it’s nice to know that the thing doesn’t require frequent charging for just listening.

I mainly wish it were thinner, lighter, and shorter (the eternal quest, I suppose). No way do I want to put it in my PFD pocket.

My experience
I had an M32 (now replaced by the very similar M34, I believe) for over 10 years, and it worked great. I got an M72, and loved the form factor and the battery life, but it did not hold up well to the saltwater environment. The aluminum body corrodes, and the knob is prone to failure. I had one M72 replaced, and the second one is showing some sporadic knob problems after about 2 years.

I recently bought an M92D (DSC-GPS equipped), and I like it so far. This is an all-plastic radio with no knobs, like my very long-lasting M32 was. It’s larger than the M72, but a good bit lighter, and has similar battery life.

So personally, I’d recommend Icom, but if it’s going to see a lot of saltwater, I’d steer clear of the models with aluminum housings or knobs.

Had an M34
floating radio. Lasted four years and now will no longer receive, occasionally picks up parts of a weather station broadcast, but is basically toast. Don’t know if it transmits or not. It was not used very much and rinsed after salt water use. The battery is fine, something else just went bad. I replaced with the M73 which has more power and is less bulky (i.e. doesn’t float). I purchased an extended warranty with this radio.

I picked it up this evening
Will charge it overnight and it will get continuous use starting tomorrow.

I can’t believe how light weight and small it is compared to my old VHF.

The lithium battery is about a third the size

Jack l

M 24 here
replaced a Uniden that froze up.

Only its second trip but its got two weeks of saltwater use. I rinse it when I can.

The only fault I can see is it flashes a red light when it floats…ie you drop it in the water.

Or it senses it is immersed in water. Ergo every darn morning in the Everglades it was sitting on the chair blinking its red light. No amount of scolding from me could change its behavior. I finally slept with the thing.

It’s a new learning curve with the M24
Welcome to the club

Same with my Uniden.

In my case it It was a Mangrove Water snakes double revenge.

I preach to every one that I lead through Mangrove tunnels how beautiful and docile the Mangrove Water Snake is. I always handle them and never once has one even threatened to bite.

We saw two the other day, and our guests wanted a picture. I screwed up and tried to get the first one, and it took off so they missed their picture op.

When we saw the second one I hung back, but no matter how our friend tried he couldn’t get into the mangrove bush close enough for a picture and gave up. Then I moved in, forced my kayak into the bush and grabbed the snake by it’s middle, (normally I get them behind the neck). The snake got po’d and bite me right in the finger. I held on and there were a few pictures taken of the snake and my bloody finger. That was revenge number one. When I got back out in open water, someone informed me that my tethered Uniden was dragging in the water. - “Waterprooof” Uniden got fried was revenge number two.

Jack L

I’ve used M88 and M72
Both have worked extremely well receiving and transmitting when lesser radios wouldn’t. My radio rides without further protection in my PFD pocket through rolling, rescues and surfing in salt water. I rinse mine as conditions permit, but other than that, I make no attempt to baby my gear. The ICOMs have served me well.

Could just be the antenna
It would be worth seeing if you could borrow a known good antenna off someone with the same model. If that’s all that is wrong you could have it working again for not a lot of cost. Either keep it as a back-up or sell on.

Good idea.

M72 troubles
My experience with the ICOM M72 has been similar to that of NateHansen.

On my first M72, I’ve had the power/volume knob break off after it freezes up. With the stellar reviews on the M72, I bought another. This time from WestMarine with the $29~ extended warranty. Hoping to prevent the same problem on the new radio, I spoke to an ICOM tech. I was told I that after a fresh water rinse and dry, I should put a few drops of silicone lube between the knob and the body of radio. Which I did.

After less than two seasons, the problem reappeared. With great resistance, WestMarine replaced the radio. They claimed “corrosion” is not covered. On a submersible radio???

Now, with less than two seasons on this latest radio, (third radio if your counting), the knob is once again frozen.

I see that now, it looks like ICOM has replaced the M72 with a M73.

So…my question is, does anyone know if the M73 actually corrects this “corrosion” problem?

Or, should I opt for a different brand/model? Not sure if WestMarine will give me that choice.

If so, any recommendations?

My usage is in salt water. It’s worn on my PFD. I don’t intentionally roll or do rescue practice with it on. It’s rinsed and dried after day usage.

Thanks for enduring this lengthy story and thanks in advance for any help.