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Everytime I hear someone say they want a "cheap trick safety device" for their boat I just wonder...............what's the value of your life? And your crew's? Not to be a smarty pants but you should consider that you get what you pay for. Yes, hh radios run from $100-500, depending on submersibility/features/quality/wattage and the like. Just remember, your life may depend on this very radio someday, do what you feel is right, irregardless of money, that can always be replaced, lives can't.

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Just to 2nd Ed's opinion, I would only consider a handheld for a backup unit. If you're boating much at all on Lake Michigan, you want a fixed-mount vhf on your boat. The power output and corresponding transmission range is way better. If you are looking at a backup system, I think there are alot of units out there priced under $150, some having DSC capability which is what I would want. That feature incorporates a gps to give you the ability to send out a distress call with gps coordinates of your location by holding one key down. That is a feature I would not be without.

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if you can at all, get a regular marine radio and a good antenna. you wont regret it. those hand helds just arent that great in my opinon. you can get a radio for alittle over 100.00 then invest in a good antenna. atleast a 8 ft one will work good. the antenna is the most important thing. and the higher you can mount it the better. about any of the radio,s are good. you just dont get any distance at all from the hand held,s. getting out on your radio could save your life, or just get you some help if you brake down. and at times you can even get some good tips on your fishing. its really worth it.

sherman

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I have the Icom M72 Handheld VHF for my kayak. It has 6 watt output and the battery will last you a few days easily. I think I paid $180 for it but it works well. I can hear the salmon boats in 170ft of water when I'm in Lake Macatawa.

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