A VHF radio is a critical piece of safety and communication equipment that every boater should have on board, regardless of your boating activities. The type of VHF radio that you need will vary depending on what type of boating you do.
There are two basic types of VHF radios; Handheld & Fixed Mount.
Handheld VHFs are ideal for inshore operators of small boats, such as dinghies, kayaks or small powerboats.
However, fixed mount radios are an essesntial piece of safety equipment for every boat with the space to mount one. Remember, you can't call another boat for help on a cell phone, if you don't know the other boats number.
A fixed mount radio also offers the advantage of 25 Watts of power, and most are fitted with antennas that are mounted "higher" than a handhelds. VHF is a "line of sight" device, so the higher the antenna the better.
Every fixed mount VHF radio sold today offers DSC, or the Digital Selective Calling function when connected to a GPS on the boat. A DSC radio will allow you to contact a similarly equipped craft directly by means of a unique MMSI number, or to send a distress signal with your MMSI identity and location, by a simple press of the button.
Canadian MMSI numbers are issued at no cost by Industry Canada.
All fixed mount units provide the basic VHF receive and transmit functions, and some now include a built-in GPS that allows simple DSC configuration. There are also now fixed mount VHF with built-in AIS (Automatic Identification System) receive capability, that allow you to know where other boats equipped with AIS transmmitters are located. Most radios are menu driven, and generally easy to operate; if you read the book.
We carry a large selection of fixed mount VHF radios from trusted manufacturers such as Standard Horizon, Raymarine, Simrad and ICOM. Whatever your needs, we have you covered from the most basic handheld units, to the most advanced fixed mount units with AIS capabilities.