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Marine Band Radio
Staff Team
Joined:
02/19/2008
From Bloomington
Posts: 3595
How many of you boaters have a marine band radio for your boat?


I have recently been using my boat on different waters. Last summer we went to the Apostle Islands. Took the 19 ft glass boat on the big lake. We were with another couple with a similar boat. He had a radio. I never thought about it before. We went 80 miles one day. Went from Bayfield to the caves, around some islands and back. Thought I don't need a radio. We had two boats, phones and people all around.

They went home a day before us. We got adventurous and went to the open water side of Madeline island. It was wavier on that side, saw an "oar boat" in the distance, noticed there was no other boats in site. Checked phone .... no signal and no radio. We decided to get back to areas closer to shore. Thought.... I need a radio!

I looked at prices and they are all over the place.

Talked to other boaters back home, noone has radios. I get it don't need a radio when the problem around here is there are too many boats on the water.

We have also taken the boat from Ft Snelling to Prescot and further down the river. Was thinking with all the big boats traffic in some areas and no boats in others plus lock & damn traffic I should get a radio.

Do folks who are on Mille Lacs often have one?

So who has a marine band radio?
Why do you have one?
What do you have? Portable "walkie talkie" size or car stereo sized one.
What would you do differently regard what you have?

Posted on: 4/18 15:27:20
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Re: Marine Band Radio
Field Staff
Joined:
01/18/2007
From Hubbard County,MN
Posts: 1566
I have a Uniden UM380 in my boat. I use the unit in the NW angle and when on Lac Seul. My fishing partner has a unit also. We are usually 17 to 25 miles from the landings so communication is a safety thing.
I would not mess around with a hand held and go with a 25 watt fixed mount unit.

Posted on: 4/18 16:14:15
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Re: Marine Band Radio
LSF Member
Joined:
05/19/2008
From outta here
Posts: 766
Quote:

RLS wrote:
I have a Uniden UM380 in my boat. I use the unit in the NW angle and when on Lac Seul. My fishing partner has a unit also. We are usually 17 to 25 miles from the landings so communication is a safety thing.
I would not mess around with a hand held and go with a 25 watt fixed mount unit.


This right here. And the best 8' or better antenna you can afford.

Posted on: 4/18 16:27:55
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Re: Marine Band Radio
LSF Member
Joined:
02/05/2010
Posts: 165
Or get rid of that Walmart cell service and get Verizon! I kid I kid!

Posted on: 4/18 17:53:01
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Re: Marine Band Radio
Field Staff
Joined:
01/18/2007
From Hubbard County,MN
Posts: 1566


This right here. And the best 8' or better antenna you can afford.

I have the 8 foot antenna and it works quite well,but the long antenna is a pain in the butt. It does get in the way at times.
I see there is a base loaded antenna( Tram 1603 Vhf Marine Antenna) that is 36 inches long and has the same gain(6 DB)
I wonder if the shorter antenna would work as well as the 8 footer?

Posted on: 4/19 14:25:31
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Re: Marine Band Radio
Staff Team
Joined:
02/19/2008
From Bloomington
Posts: 3595
I don't think I want to put a fix mounted unit on the runabout. (Bayliner 185 i/o)

I think it would be in the way for the little time I would use it. I could make it quick power connect and keep it stashed I guess. I only do the Lake Superior thing once a year.

I see the power between fix mount 25 watt and handheld 5 watt is huge.

Of course the one time you need it YOU NEED IT.

Posted on: 4/19 15:15:45
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Re: Marine Band Radio
LSF Member
Joined:
11/23/2015
From Minnesota
Posts: 586
I wouldn’t be running 80 miles on superior without one. I run the mounted one with 8ft antenna. Primarily use mine for the Great Lakes.

Posted on: 4/19 17:41:43
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Re: Marine Band Radio
LSF Member
Joined:
05/19/2008
From outta here
Posts: 766
Agreed... the 8 footer is a pain at times. on inland lakes... I pull the antenna and store it in my rod locker. On bigger or really BIG water... It's attached or up.

Posted on: 4/19 20:45:25
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Re: Marine Band Radio
LSF Member
Joined:
08/04/2010
From SW Metro
Posts: 221
I just got my 23 ft walk-around hard top boat for the great lakes. Easy when you have a hard top to mount and keep antenna out of the way. But I did pick up a handheld vhf radio for backup and my ditch bad.

I plan on using my boat on Superior, Michigan and LOW. My handheld is 6 watt but my research on the subject says it more about antenna than wattage as vhf is line of sight.

Get a radio with DSC and GPS and it will send your position when calling for help.

Here is the one I got for backup
[url=Standard Horizon HX870 Floating 6W Handheld VHF with Internal GPS https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PM6XDNS/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_vTF2Ab83931TV]vhf handheld[/url]

Bob

Posted on: 4/20 9:39:21
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Re: Marine Band Radio
LSF Member
Joined:
08/04/2010
From SW Metro
Posts: 221
Here is a great story of how fast a boat can sink and thoughts going through your mind.



Buy the expensive radio. It will also give you weather reports.good story of great lake boat sink

Posted on: 4/20 9:43:32
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