- -100,00 €
The portable VHF is an indispensable safety device at sea. It will allow you to stay in contact with other boats, rescue organizations and port services. With a power of 5 or 6W depending on the model, the portable VHF offers a range limited to +/- 5 miles for an autonomy of 5 to 8 hours. We distinguish between portable VHF without GPS and with GPS which benefit from DSC for a quick positioning in case of distress.
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HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR PORTABLE VHF ?
To choose a portable VHF for your boat, you should study 5 criteria:
The pickiest among you will also look at buoyancy, weight, and accessories.
But first, what is a portable VHF?
Just like a fixed VHF, the primary purpose is to communicate with the outside world, nearby boats, inside the boat (to pass messages to crew members) and to receive messages. But the VHF is especially useful in case of danger. It will allow you to warn the emergency services in the most extreme cases, to receive calls from other boats in danger and to rescue them.
The VHF will also be able to receive weather information.
DSC for portable VHF
One of the important criteria to consider when purchasing a VHF is the DSC option.
DSC (Digital Selective Calling) is a technology that usually goes hand in hand with the GPS function and allows you to send a distress message on channel 70 dedicated to rescue, at the touch of a button.
Portable VHFs equipped with DSC have a "DISTRESS" button which, when pressed for 5sec, will automatically send a message to the authorities and to nearby vessels.
It is important to know that if you have a portable VHF DSC (or DSC) like the Navicom RT 420 DSC MAX, you will have to program your MMSI number (boat identification). It is this number that will allow the rescue services to recognize you.
Other portable VHF without DSC do not require an MMSI number.
N.B. The French fixed VHF are obligatorily equipped with DSC, so if you already have a fixed VHF on board, it will not necessarily be useful to have a portable VHF DSC.
Selection criteria for a portable VHF
The autonomy is a factor to consider when buying your portable VHF.
What will you be using? Will you be away from the charging base a lot? Do you need a long autonomy? The autonomy can vary from 5h to 12h depending on the VHF and the type of battery (Li-ion, Li-Polymere)
In terms of waterproofing, almost all VHFs are waterproof between IPX6 and IPX8. Are you going to use the VHF in dangerous or difficult conditions? In conditions where the possibility of falling into the water is increased? Or sailing in storms, heavy swells...
A portable VHF IPX6 will resist without problem to the climatic conditions: splashes, rain... but will not be able to be immersed and will be damaged in case of fall in water.
IPX8 will withstand immersion to a depth of more than 2m and is therefore useful for conditions with a high risk of falling into water.
Finally, some VHF are floating, while others will require a pouch to float. In addition, some other features can be appreciated: flashing light in case of water fall, water evacuation of the speakers by vibration ...
Between 1w and 6w, the transmission power varies according to the model, which limits the range to between 2 and 8 nautical miles (compared to 15 to 25 nautical miles for a fixed VHF of 25w)
The choice will also be made according to your type of navigation and use: coastal navigation or high seas, use of the VHF for communication in case of distress or between several boats in proximity ....
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