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    Marine Radios-gctid406918

    I am looking at getting a new marine radio. How important are the watts? It seems that the portables go to around 6 watts and the mounteds go more like 25. How does that equate to functionability or distance I can reach?

    RG

    #2
    Just like with a lot of things. Bigger is better.

    Comment


      #3
      If you never go out of site of land a hand held will do just fine.

      If you plan on taking your boat on coastal trips, high power option would be the way to go.

      I cruise around the San Juan and Gulf Islands 3-4 months of the year and have never used other than the low power setting. If you boat in areas surrounded by high hills, a hardwired unit with a high antenna might be beneficial.

      Machog
      1996 4087 Lazy Days
      2011 11’ West Marine Rib 350 Lazy Mac
      2011 Porsche Cayman
      2010 Lexus IS 250C
      2008 Honda Ridgeline

      Comment


        #4
        As inexpensive as they are, IMO it'd be best to get both:

        1) fixed mount DSC with a quality antenna (they are 2 components that make 1 functional unit)

        2) handheld (waterprooof, ideally with GPS/DSC built in)

        Comment


          #5
          Rottguinness wrote:
          I am looking at getting a new marine radio. How important are the watts? It seems that the portables go to around 6 watts and the mounteds go more like 25. How does that equate to functionability or distance I can reach?

          RG
          you need to get both mounted and handheld (when off the boat in a skiff or land). like the poster said the bigger the better and make sure your antenna can handle short and long range for broadcasting. DO NOT scrimp when it comes to the radios..:greedy_dollars: cheaper isnt always better...

          Comment


            #6
            The watts are less important than the antenna. VHF is line of sight, so the antenna height determines the effective distance. You have to have a pretty high antenna before the wattage becomes a question. Say, a flybridge-mounted antenna reaching a 200' USCG antenna on land might get you out of power range before you get out of line of sight range.

            How much range is enough? Depends on where you are boating.

            I carry both a fixed and a handheld.

            Comment


              #7
              As inexpensive as they are, IMO it'd be best to get both:

              1) fixed mount DSC with a quality antenna (they are 2 components that make 1 functional unit)

              2) handheld (waterprooof, ideally with GPS/DSC built in)
              +1
              " WET EVER "
              1989 2459 TROPHY OFFSHORE 5.8L COBRA / SX
              mmsi 338108404
              mmsi 338124956
              "I started with nothing and still have most of it left"

              Comment


                #8
                Generally the tall mounted antenna is connected to the higher power fixed radio , 25 watts.

                Handhelds being used are much lower to the water and are limited to 5 or 6 watts.

                Clearly the higher power and taller antenna will give you greater transmission range.

                The handheld radio has the advantage of portability. Some have GPS and DSC capability.

                If the fixed radio you install does not have GPS, most don't, be sure to properly setup the radio connecting it to your GPS for position data. Also apply for and input an MMSI # .

                With GPS data and a MMSI# if you ever need to press the DISTRESS button the Coast Guard will know who you are and where you are.
                Jim McNeely
                New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
                Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
                Brighton, Michigan USA
                MMSI # 367393410

                Comment


                  #9
                  Get a fixed mount full power marine radio and don't skimp on the antenna. The antenna is just as or even more important than the radio.

                  I would get a handheld to use as a back up to the main system.
                  Rick Grew

                  1981 Carver 3007 Aft Cabin

                  2004 Past Commodore
                  West River Yacht & Cruising Club

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The antenna is just as or even more important than the radio.
                    The cheapest radio on the market with a great antenna will outperform the best radio on the market with a cheap antenna.

                    The Shakespeare 5225 XT is what I would call the minimum reliable standard. Also if you're in or near salt water, anything less will fail in just a few years.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      SwampNut wrote:
                      The cheapest radio on the market with a great antenna will outperform the best radio on the market with a cheap antenna.

                      The Shakespeare 5225 XT is what I would call the minimum reliable standard. Also if you're in or near salt water, anything less will fail in just a few years.
                      Abslotely great advice!
                      Jim McNeely
                      New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
                      Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
                      Brighton, Michigan USA
                      MMSI # 367393410

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I am a licensed Master and a retired elecronic engineer. I wrote this article to answer the very questions you ask....

                        http://www.baylinerownersclub.org/fo...o-and-antennas
                        Captharv 2001 2452
                        "When the draft of your boat exceeds the depth of water, you are aground"

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