A marine radio is an important piece of equipment that you should have on board at all times. When there is an emergency, you should have a way of asking for assistance. You will also be able to communicate with harbours. For smaller boats, it is useful to know when ships are coming in so that you can cross channels safely.
There are mounted and handheld marine radios. A fixed radio will be wired to the circuit of your boat directly and it will have a base station that comes with a screen. This will need an antenna and you need to make sure that it is located at the highest level possible. But this should be located away from electrical equipment. A handheld radio will have a built-in antenna. You will need more power to operate a mounted radio and it will have a better range than handheld radios.
There is the benefit of portability with a handheld radio but you need to make sure that it is charged. It is best to have a charging device on board as well. The strength of a marine radio depends on the antenna length, power, tuning, height etc. You will not be able to use a VHF radio on land without the proper licenses.
There are training centres where you can learn how to use marine radios so that you will be more prepared in the event of an emergency. These centres will carry training radios that help those new to boating learn radio skills. You can never tell what will happen at sea so you need to prepare for any situation by having the right equipment on board.
When looking for a marine radio for sale, there are different types that you will need to consider. A 27 ‘meg’ or 27MHz marine radio is best for recreational boats. This has a short range when it comes to communication capabilities. There is no licensing requirement for a 27MHz radio and you don’t need to carry an operator’s license to use it. If you have a recreational boat that you are using in protected and unprotected waters that is within the range of a coast station, this is a good choice.
You will be able to have improved short range communications with a VHF marine radio. However, you will need an operator’s license to use this. You don’t need to carry a license to install a VHF radio on your boat. If you are in waters that are within range of a VHF marine repeater station or a coast station, you can consider the use of this radio. Any distress signal will be transmitted on VHF channel 16; therefore, commercial ships should monitor this channel when they are at sea to stay abreast of developments. For medium or long range communications, an MF/HF marine radio will be suitable especially if your vessel is in unprotected waters up to about 200 nautical miles offshore. You need to have a license to install this radio on your boat and you should also have an operator’s license.