Choosing The Right Marine Radios For Your Boating Needs

While most people think that a radio is a radio, when it comes to marine radios, multiple varieties and styles are available and should be understood. Therefore, if you’re searching for a radio to keep in touch with the harbor, marina, rescue needs and boat-to-boat communication. Most radio options use simplex features, meaning when one person is speaking the other person cannot and usually requires the person speaking to press a button and hold it.

Your Options

While there are a variety of marine radios, they are usually either MF/HF or VHF-FM. Therefore, it may be helpful to learn the difference between each one before making a final decision.

VHF-FM versions are used for short-range and local communications. They usually follow the LOS principle and their range is dependent on the height of the antennae you and the receiver use. Sometimes, it is referred to as line-of-sight radio communication because the wavelengths must be in a straight line so the antennae can see each other.

MF options can communicate when they aren’t in the VHF range and uses lower frequencies. The ground wave usually travels along the earth’s surface, which can allow communications up to 200 miles away.

Which Is Best?

While every boating professional has preferred marine radios that they like, there is no perfect radio that suits everyone. Therefore, it’s up to you to determine which option suits your needs best and gives you the communication needs you require. That being said, more and more people prefer the VHF radio because they are smaller in size and can easily be transported from ship to ship. Likewise, they can be connected to GPS options, making it easier to determine where you are and where you’re heading, and may work best when out on the open water.

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