Good luck on your first time out at sea.
If I remember correctly, the PBO article you're referring to suggested the Entel VHF as a good buy. I haven't heard any recommendations by experience - most people have had good experiences with Icom, Garmin and Standard Horizon kit. If you do buy a h/h VHF then I would suggest keeping it in a waterproof bag such as an Aquapack
so there will be no doubt about its waterproof capabilities, and you can hang it round your neck. I would also take a mobile 'phone in a similar bag - mobiles can be extremely effective if you're only a short distance from land.