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Marine Radio?
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jse



Joined: 17 Apr 1995
Posts: 1299
Location: Marin

PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SPQR wrote:
I just purchased the Icom M 73 last week which replaces the M72. I didn't purchase the insurance from West Marine. Should I have?


For around 30 bucks you get a free replacement if it dies within 3 years. In my case that was a no brainer, I've never had one last more than a season. When you get the new one you have to re-up your extended warranty, so you essentially pay once, then 30 bucks for a free replacement. And they just pick one off the shelf for you, no need to fill anything out or wait for a replacement.

Steve
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erogind



Joined: 28 May 1998
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since no one has given props to the West Marine entry level handheld VHF radio I will do so here. The current model looks to be the VHF85 for $119.

I got my version a few years ago... on sale for $99 as I recall. Chief attractive features are small and light weight. The antenna screws off and I put the antenna and body inside two ziplocs folded over (to give you and idea of size) and put it in my small Da Kine pouch. No reason to bother w/ the ziplocs (the unit is water proof) other than to keep the antenna close.

I've charged it three times in 3 years... once at the beginning of each season. Holds its charge all season(!). Of course I only turn it on for a moment before and after each session to verify it is working and fully charged. I do rinse it after each use.

This unit does not float or have GPS. Nice wrist strap though. 5 W transmit power.
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SPQR



Joined: 18 May 2004
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve - I went back to West Marine and bought the insurance. Hoping I never need it but you never know. That said, if I had a nickel for each time I've sailed under the GGB without a radio, I could probably purchase a new board.
Very Happy
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dabull1



Joined: 19 Mar 1997
Posts: 525

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again guys, check out the Casio Commando. I've loved mine for two years! Bull
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pthorner



Joined: 29 Mar 1994
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 12:57 am    Post subject: VHF tips Reply with quote

The Coast Guard's Rescue 21 system has direction finding antennae installed on all Bay Area towers, so VHF radio does give a general location even if you don't really know where you are (think fog or after dark). The DF is +/- about 2 degrees, so the farther you are from the tower, the lower the accuracy. If your call hits two towers, it will often result in an intersection (fix). Antenna heights range from around 300' to 3000', so reception is generally very good and power is usually not an issue. The most likely dead spots would be near shore in the Pacific where you are close to bluffs/cliffs which probably includes some good wave sailing spots. If you ever get in trouble in a spot like this, call for any station and ask someone in a better spot overhearing you to relay your information. Odds are a ship, fishing boat, or open ocean sailor is farther offshore and can act as a go between.

The aquapac or other dry pouch also screens wind noise which can be critical if it is howling. I've called for help using this set up after another sailor could not communicate with the Coast Guard with his radio that had a wet mic and was exposed to the wind. The watch stander confirmed that all of the initial calls were unintelligible. This was probably in winds averaging 25.

I still don't carry my floating GPS handheld because it is so big and has a very short battery life (maybe 5 hours vs. 12 for the M72?). Just remember to put a tether of some kind on your radio if it does not float. It would be really unfortunate to drop it just when it is supposed to save your skin.
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petersayour



Joined: 28 May 2001
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Koogzah,

Any recommendations on a strobe that fits in your man purse?

Thanks,
Pete
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pthorner



Joined: 29 Mar 1994
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Firefly strobe has a slide switch which I consider to be critical. Any flashlight or strobe that twists to activate can either leak if too loose or accidentally activate and burn through the batteries if too tight. I've had the Firefly strobe last more than 5 years but did have one failure with a cracked case... probably from catapulting. Being a frequent victim of Murphy's Law, I'm into redundancy. I also carry a twist to activate waterproof flashlight as a back up and put a little piece of cardboard between the batteries and the contact so that I can be sure it will have juice when needed. This does require taking off the end of the flashlight to pull out the cardboard. A strobe is ideal but any light source is a vast improvement over none.

I've talked to USCG crews that said they found people onshore because of a lighter or an illuminated watch dial, so a $15 flashlight which can be aimed would be very helpful as well. The SOLAS reflective tape also lights up when hit with a spot light, so if you have something like a Dakine pouch with SOLAS tape on it, you could hold it up toward a searcher and improve the chances of being spotted.
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victor



Joined: 03 Aug 1998
Posts: 560

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

>I've never had one last more than a season

Steve,

i can see one going bad and maybe a 2nd but you must be doing something wrong. mine has a few seasons on it and charges right up when i plug it in.

maybe you're not letting it run down enough between charges. you probably know if you leave most laptops plugged into a charger it will ruin the battery.

what's your frequency, kenneth?
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gasman1



Joined: 24 Jul 2000
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:24 pm    Post subject: nautilus lifeline gps marine radio Reply with quote

Does anyone have any experience with the nautilus lifeline radio with gps? I am considering this and the Icom 73 radio.
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tony



Joined: 05 May 1994
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: nautilus lifeline gps marine radio Reply with quote

gasman1 wrote:
Does anyone have any experience with the nautilus lifeline radio with gps?


I don't have any experience with it, but it sounds like the same radio that is sold by DAN (Divers Alert Network) and is claimed to be submersible to 425ft. It might be more rugged for windsurfing use than regular marine waterproof VHF units.

This and other safety items are available from the DAN store:

https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/dive-store/?catNo=54

Since divers and windsurfers can both be stranded on the water, some of the DAN safety products are well suited to windsurfing too.

If you do not know about DAN I recommend investigating it even if you do not dive. The $35 annual subscription includes help in evacuating from remote locations in case of injury and is not restricted to dive accidents.

I joined DAN when I used to dive and have maintained my membership despite not diving for years.
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