VHF marine radios are great tools, especially if you’re going boating or kayaking or even rafting or water skiing on the lake in your backyard. They help you communicate with people on your boat and other boats around you so that everyone can avoid accidents and stay safe on the water. However, buying a VHF radio can be tricky if you aren’t sure what to look for, especially when they’re sold online rather than in person at your local boat store. To make the process easier, here are tips to buy handheld marine VHF radios online:
1. Know what your needs are
The first thing to know is what features you actually need for your boat. Many marine VHF radios come with features like GPS and weather channels, but does your boat really need those? It’s worth taking the time to think about your specific needs and spending only the money that you need on the features you’re going to use. This will leave you less out of pocket if something goes wrong with the product.
2. Check online reviews
No matter what kind of device you’re looking to buy, be it a handheld VHF radio or an electric toothbrush, it’s always a good idea to check online reviews before buying one online. Though you can’t always trust anonymous user reviews, there are plenty of reliable sites where you can find out what people think of the device that you’re interested in.
3. Don’t forget safety
The last thing to remember is to always be safe while using handheld marine VHF radios. You never know when they may get dropped, and any damage or malfunction could make your radio inoperable, which is dangerous for everyone on board. Be as careful as possible when installing your VHF radio on your boat and also familiarise yourself with the manufacturer’s instructions for use to avoid any accidents.
4. Know who you’re talking to
As a boater and a frequent rider of the water, it can be easy to assume that everyone you meet is just as interested in your adventures as you are, but this isn’t always the case. Before you go out on the water and communicate with another boat, make sure they have VHF radios on their boats as well and know how to use them. If one of your neighbours doesn’t know how to use their radio or yours gets damaged, you could be in trouble. It’s best to keep everyone onboard informed about what is happening at all times.
5. Try out new VHF radios
In addition to keeping your boat’s radio in good shape, it’s also good practice to change it up every time you get a new device for your boat. This way, you know about any potential issues with the old one and can immediately replace it with something that works better. However, this is an extreme step that requires a little financial input. Consider buying a couple of new handheld VHF radios and switching them out every year or so to improve communication on the water.
You no longer have to take a boat repair course in the hopes of learning how to fix your boat. Rather you have the ability to learn on your own and repair much-needed items without ever having to rely on someone else. When looking for a boat tune-up, think about taking advantage of the many devices each day that are specifically made for being more convenient on board.