Which waterproof reliable marine radio do you recommend?

I’ve pretty much given up on VHF as a rescue aid for the locations and times I paddle. The times I’d most be in need of help, there’s no one listening. It’s likely different in the densely populated US though.

I like how @Rookie listed the heirarchy of plans. I look at it similarly. Plan A is to rescue myself. So is plan B and perhaps C. After that plan D is the cell phone if coverage exists, then maybe go for the plan E long shot with my VHF if I’ve even brought it. Plan F, ironically, would be to try again to rescue myself.

Plan G … if you want to fool yourself that you’re still thinking rationally enough to execute a plan at this point is the PLB. Of course, situation depending, plan G might be activated sooner if warranted due to injury, catastrophic equipment failure, or something like that.

Oh, wait… you wanted someone to select a radio for you. Mine is an ICOM M24, if I recall correctly. It’s been regularly dunked when I roll and practice reentries. It has great standby battery life even after a few years.

So DSC requires a GPS in order to send the signal with location, what are you guys with DSC doing for the GPS ? can DSC connect to a phone GPS ? or ???
Without the GPS DSC seems useless, you will send a signal but they wont have your location. Maybe there are radios with GPS now, I guess I should look into that.

Every DSC handheld I saw when I was radio shopping a couple months ago had GPS built in.

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I have 4 standard horizons models last 12 years all still work never in a bag. Rinse after use little die-electric on gasket once in a blue moon. No problems replaced few batteries from age. 750 models and upward.

My Standard Horizon HX870 is GPS/DSC.

All radios with DSC have built in GPS capability to transmit a distress signal with location, but not all have a GPS screen to use for navigation, although many do. The screens on most DSC capable radios are markedly smaller then most dedicated GPSs and may not have all the bells and whistles.

DSC allows you, if you have another person’s MMSI number, or even a group of people, to communicate with them in a secure way. It is not like broadcasting on a public VHF channel. I have not played with this feature as not that many people I know have DSC capable radios yet and I am usually transmitting to a trip group on a recreational channel and am not concerned with privacy.

I am not aware of any DSC capable radios at this time that will interface with a cell phone.

All handheld radios, that is.

I have seen several fixed DSC radios, which require a connection to an external GPS.

With DSC, your voice communication will still be broadcast on one of the usual open VHF channels. The DSC functionality only covers the initial call and channel negotiation.

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To bad they aren’t smaller