Not too many years ago, it wasn’t hard to choose a Marine Radio for your boat; there just weren’t many options. The story is quite different today because there are a lot of decisions to make. Marine VHF radio equipment is used on many boats, from large ships to personal boats. VHF stands for very high frequency and is appropriate for use on the open seas, lakes, and rivers. As technology has advanced, it isn’t surprising that manufacturers have responded with improvements, areas of specialization, and other options.
One of the main factors buyers should consider these days is portability. In the past, the radio was mounted in place. Modern marine VHF radios can be carried around in your hand. You may prefer the convenience of knowing you can make contact with others from anywhere on your boat. You’ll find that the reception and sound quality are just as good with the portable device. On the other hand, you may enjoy the security of knowing that someone isn’t going to stash the radio is an out-of-the-way place. Either way, this is one of the first things to consider when buying a Marine Radio. The decision may come down to your preference for convenience or reduced risk.
A second important factor to consider is Digital Selective Calling. This new technology is a big improvement over the old channel scanning limitations. During an emergency, a single button press sends out a distress call. The upgrade works as well for other communications as well. Some of the devices are also equipped with GPS capabilities, further increasing the convenience of the DSC upgrade.
These two factors focus on increased safety with elements of convenience, but in today’s market, very few products are offered without some choice of appearance. Even in the case of a marine VHF radio, you can choose from radios in different colors, sizes, and accessories. For example, you could also purchase headsets, extension speakers, or a second station kit.
As with any upgrade or addition to your boat, it’s important to carefully review the possibilities before purchasing a Marine Radio. Consider the worth of portability, DSC capabilities, and aesthetics as you narrow down your purchase options.