Marine Weather Radio

Hi all. I’m getting ready for a trip to Isle Royale this summer and I’m looking to buy a hand held VHF/weather radio. Any suggestions on brands or features I should be looking for? Thanks.

A better bet…
…is to get a good marine VHF radio, as it will provide you with full weather functionality, plus it will allow you to call for help in an emergency. Dedicated weather radios are basically a waste of money.

West Marine
They have stores every where and a very generous return policy. I bought their brand of VHF radio and have been very pleased with it. So far it is the best radio I’ve had. The battery lasts much longer than they said it would. It gets weather report well and is as good at vhf communications as any handhelp I’ve seen.

WM Handheld
Frank…What model was this? I’m in the market.


I second that
I don’t leave home without mine.

It is a Uniden -Atlantis 250.

But now there are even small and more compact ones.

Mine has a rechargeable battery that goes for about a month of use before I have to charge it, plus it can use regular batteries if I want to.



hard to beat
Icom vhf radios. My wife and I both use them (M72 and M88) and they’ve been very reliable. Easy to get back up batteries as well.


I’ll 2nd the Icom 72
most everyone I know that has a radio has an Icom 72. I use it for around the Apostle Islands. Call the Coast Guard and see what they reccommend. That’s what I did. They’re the guys you want to pick up on the other end when the ---- hit the fan.

battery tray
I like Icom, but others work too.

I’d recommend getting one that can use AA batteries. If you only have a rechargeable battery pack, you’re out of luck if those run out during a trip.

AA trays are not waterproof
That’s one key thing to consider. While they’re useful for emergency situations, they compromise the submersible rating of the radio, so you don’t want to use them on a regular basis.

Third thumbs up for the ICOM M72 (nm)

broad statement
Do you know that’s true for all radios Brian?

I haven’t had any problem with my Icom m32, using either the tray or the rechargable battery. The gasket and lock on both are identical. I don’t see how the waterproofing would be any different.

on what AA tray you’re using. Which ones have you found to not be waterproof? The ones I use for my ICOM’s are totally waterproof.

I’ve submerged them many times without any problems. Only thing I did was add a little silicone jelly to the seals.


Check the instructions
For every radio I’ve seen that has optional AA trays, they specifically state that the AA tray is not submersible. Perhaps there are newer radios that don’t have that limitation, but I haven’t seen any.

Humminbird 55 trays not waterproof
despite the submersible rating it was claimed to have. Three immersions and the radio was toast. So much saltwater got in that the contacts between the tray and radio corroded away - even though rinsed in fresh water.

The Standard Horizon radios bought to replace it both claim to have the same submersible rating (3m 30 minutes)for both battery trays (AA and rechargeable), as does the radio.

After the first radio fiasco, I remove the trays after rinsing the radio’s, just to be sure there’s no moisture in there.

4th Thumbs ICOM-M72 NM

Standard Horizon
My favorites, I have a HX750S, submersible and floating. great unit

battery connection on my M88 carried a slight amount of moisture on it after a 10 day trip with constant exposure to h20. It started to slightly corrode the connection. I dried it and started adding a little silicone to that gasket and never had the problem again.

I definitely make a habit of checking those seals now on each trip.


You shouldn’t get any water…
…past the red O-ring that surrounds the two internal contacts. Silicone grease will help improve the seal, so what you did should eliminate any chance of more moisture getting in there. If you continue to have issues, replace the O-ring. There are additional internal seals, so even if the contacts do get wet, it won’t trash the radio. If you haven’t already, I would work some silicone lube or anti-corrosion lube (like CorrosionX) into the spring-loaded contacts, in case any moisture got in. If corrosion develops in there, it can cause the contacts to stick. That’s the only significant point of vulnerability on the M88.

ICOM 72 – weather radio included?
I did a hurried reading of the ICOM 72 features and did not see weather radio included in the list – as it was with some other radios.

So you ICOM 72 fans, does it broadcast NOAA weather forecasts?

G in NC


– Last Updated: Mar-01-10 8:52 AM EST –

The Icom radios all receive weather channels, and have a weather alert function.

The specs for the M72 on the icom site include this line: "Auto WX scan and WX Alert function"

When the weather alert is ON, the radio will sound an alarm when Noaa transmits a weather warning broadcast. You hear the tone, and switch the radio to the weather channel (press WX button) to hear the warning. This is a particularly useful function if violent summer squalls or thunderstorms are common in your area, as they can pop up after you've already listened to the weather forecast. A weather alert can give you a few minutes warning to see protection before the 50 knot winds and lightning come speeding over the horizon.