Friday, 16 July 2010

VHF recommendations please...


It's about time I parted with my cash and buy a VHF radio. If anyone would like to leave a comment and recommend any particular models it would be very much appreciated. There are so many makes and models on the market at various prices! I don't want to spend huge amounts but also want something that will do the job if the time comes. Thank you.

10 comments:

stoney (Martyn) said...

Sheffield canoe club has Icom M71's I think.
They're good value, and the icom back up and service is supposed to be good also.

eurion said...

I use an Icom M71, have used it for over 3 years with no problem. Don't keep it in any sort of bag, just tied to a lanyard in my BA pocket. Battery charge holds very well, is compact. Icom technical services have been excellent in my experience.

Standard Horizon have a better priced product range. I've never used one but have heard no bad reports yet. They have brought out the HX850s (not available officially in UK yet) which ticks all the boxes as it is DSC, has a built in GPS and floats. You can get it through at least one UK supplier I know. Ofcom and the EU have been very slow with specifying their CE type approval, which is why it is not official here. It would still work of course, as it would do if you were a visiting US mariner. It has the international set up for the channels so would be fine as a normal radio in the UK. If I was looking for a new one now, I'd be seriously looking at this due to the DSC feature. You can as far as I am aware obtain an MMSI number for it to programe into the DSC function, but technically it is not legal to use it in the UK, but this will change but no time frame given by OFCOM or EU . Given all the advantages of DSC, (and that most vessels as a consequence don't need to listen on 16) if I were to need it in anger, think I'd be happy to argue the toss if it saved my behind. Standard Horizon have other non DSC sets that are very well priced.

Check out UKRGB for some good threads on VHF and the DSC situation.

This one will give you a supplier of standard horizon who you can chat to who is also a kayaker

But check out some of the other threads for more info.

eurion said...

Looks as if the Standard Horizon HX851E may be available soon within the UK.

Derek said...

I got icom ic-M33 waterproof floaty, tried calling pilot boat on its berth from Knap pebbles some two miles, they didn't hear me, too many headlands, I think its line of sight with a handheld. Wouldn't want to be at sea with out one.

Richard said...

Sorry to complicate matters as everyone seems to use Icoms. I have a Standard Horizon HX270E which I have had for a few years now with no problems as yet and often pick up Rosslare Coastguard when paddling in Pembrokeshire. The new Standard Horizon that Eurion is on about looks good. Sorry again to confuse things, best of luck.

Stuart said...

Thanks everyone really appreciate the help. The HX851E does sound good but i'm paddling up in Skye on my own in September and really wanted to get one before then. So if it's out by then great! The Icom M71 seems to be popular between kayakers. I supose like most bits of kit it's buy the best you can afford. There's also the license to fork out for! Thanks again everyone, at least now I have a few idea's to choose from.

eurion said...

If you are paddling in a remote area on your own where there may be little or patchy VHF reception [like some areas of western Scotland - and Penarth :)] for the purpose of a distress situation I would consider a PLB with a GPS such as Fast Find 210 or Fast Find Max G, they won't suffer from poor reception like VHF and your position and distress should be received within 3 minutes. I don't think it should replace a VHF (which has many uses) or sound judgment though!, but rather compliment it - they don't require a licence and the battery has a longer life than flare dates.

Stuart said...

Ideally I would have flares, VHF and a PLB but all come very expensive. At the moment the only means of attracting help I have is a whistle and mobile phone. Oh and my gob and a pair of waving hands. I obviously need more professional means of calling for help. All seem to have their advantages and disadvantages and like you said they should compliment each other. PLB does seem like a last choice option if you get into trouble after all other means of attracting help fail. I think I'll probably go with the VHF as a first buy but definitely consider a PLB later. I'll need to re mortgage my house to pay for this kayaking lark! :) All worth it though. Thanks Eurion

stoney (Martyn) said...

Hi Stuart, just sent for mine from ebay. Unfortunately it was the last one Agelsey Outdoors had. But its a Standard Horizon HX280E
I guess its same as richards but latest version.
will let you know how it goes, will be In Pembrokeshire from 31st for 2 weeks

Stuart said...

Hi Martyn, I was looking at that one, it's also a lot cheaper than some of the other models. Gets a really good review here: http://www.worldseafishing.com/reviews/boataccessories/standard_horizon_hx280e.html

I may pop down to Pembrokeshire one weekend then will have to meet up for a paddle.