Originally Posted by Polwart
mister p, can you explain your £5k saving figure?
Assuming you already have good cables/aerials in place then a fixed VHF will cost you less than £150 for a respectable unit from a well known brand. (If budget is priority you can buy for just under £100, from less well recognised brands - these may be less suited to the weather onslaught on a rib though). You can spend much more, but there is not really a need to for most users. If the aerials need replacing - the cost will be the same regardless of 25W proper fixed or 5/6W handheld on a fixed aerial.
You can get perfectly reasonably handheld for less than £100, but it won't be all singing all dancing. If you want floating etc - you will pay more. At the very bottom end antennae may not be removable.
Since you are "all legal" I assume you are familiar with the benefits of DSC radio, including touch of a button distress calling - which means anyone can be taught to make a distress call in 5 seconds! Assuming there is already some sort of GPS on board almost any new radio will wire right in very simply and give you DSC benefits. DSC in a handheld will cost you something more like 3x the price of a standard handheld. Beware some really good priced units may not include a 12V charger/craddle to enable you to "wire it in" to the boat, so you will have to pay extra for these.
DSC actually had some other benefits which are skirted over because the red button advantage is so compelling on its own - but group calls, calling the CG without clogging Ch16, being able to position poll a (willing) friend etc - are all useful features; as is the "audible alert" when someone else want to talk to you.
Polwart, the 5K figure came from a supplier asked to quote for 4 fixed units........supply and fit with rewire and antennae, this included travel to boats and also the price of a handheld.
For me the figure is a bit tongue in cheek and as yet I haven't got the itemised bill as I have no intention in dealing with these people........someone somewhere must have been expecting another Christmas a few hundred days early!
But it got me thinking and I have yet to make my mind up.
DSC has indeed many underlying advantages. I am also one to always want to double-up on safety equipment, so my thinking was that if I was have two handhelds anyway........is there a way to make one punch above it's weight.
But the more I think about it, the more I am inclined to believe that a fixed plus at least one HH is the way forward. Even if the original idea might throw up some Heath Robinson inventive corner-cutting.
The right gear is already out there (from the right supplier).
So I reckon on four M411 and a couple of M71's. I want to stay with ICOM.
There, decision made. Earlier than I had predicted!