Good article over at Boating World explaining the configuration of a good VHF set-up by detailing the workings of the different components. Do not focus too much on the radio itself, understand the importance of the antenna and cables. Click here for an overview of good, but more expensive, antennas at Amazon.
“The basic rule of VHF communication is to buy the best antenna that you can find and install it so that it provides the maximum range and reception for your boat. Dave’s friend, on the other hand, had saved some money by taking a different approach. He bought a good but inexpensive VHF that had the channels and features he needed, and then he used the savings from that purchase to add a high-performance antenna and top-grade connecting wire. The result was good range at a reasonable price. It’s about the best mix you can get for your VHF needs. So before you buy your equipment, you should take a look at some antenna facts to see how to get top performance.”
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