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A Reader Question About DSC VHF

By January 8, 2013

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Question: I recently bought a sailboat that has an older non-DSC radio. I am 63 and a technophobe. I will mostly be doing coastal sailing.  Could you offer advice about what DSC radio (with GPS) should I get?

Answer: For a DSC VHF (a smart thing to have), since you will be doing coastal sailing and do not need a high antenna or a more powerful fixed-mount VHF, I would recommend a handheld you can keep clipped to your belt in case you somehow go overboard and need to call for help. A year ago I purchased the ICOM DSC GPS VHF shown here. It's not inexpensive, but it is perhaps the best on the market. Once you have entered your MMSI number into it, it takes only a single keypress to automatically call for help and send out your GPS location. It has a lot of other functions too, but for a "technophobe" this is the only one you truly need to learn.


January 14, 2013 at 4:17 pm
(1) Scott Croft says:

FYI here’s some good information on how to get a free MMSI number from BoatUS for the handheld as well as a great DSC VHF tutorial: http://www.boatus.com/mmsi/ Again, all free :)

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