10 Best Marine Radios in 2018 – Top Rated Selections By Expert!
Planning going out to catch lobsters or fish on your boat or yacht? Looking forward to the upcoming maritime sporting activities while in the waters, remote zones or sea? Then you definitely need to take your safety and other preparedness more seriously while out there, just in case you might require emergency assistance by getting yourself the best marine radio.
A very high frequency (VHF) radio is a communication device for water bases that allows you pass both voice and digital information to your fellow boat riders, rescue urgency teams, marinas, harbor guard, and lock operator or any other persons of your interest in times of urgency.
Most marine radios are dedicated to ensuring your safety while out in your neighboring waters or faraway places for those uncomfortable situations we all don't want to be caught in like boat engine malfunctioning, yacht capsizing or sinking, facing unexpected harsh weather storms among other dangers.
You will be able to call anybody on this reliable device functionality and reliable network coverage for help when you need it most, even in poorly network covered areas. You never have to worry in such time of being shut out from any more help.
Save your life with by sending that stress signal that will make all the difference by choosing the best dependable best marine radio with less of the setbacks characterized by the regular imitations out there. Whatever you intend to use this device for, all you need is to get yourself the feel of these real game changer top marine radios for a remarkable performance like no other.
Table of Contents
- Comparison of 10 Best Marine Radios
- Reviews on 10 Best Marine Radios in 2018
- 1. Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio
- 2. Uniden MHS75 Handheld Submersible 2-Way 5W VHF Marine Radio
- 3. Uniden UM380 Fixed Mount Class D VHF Marine Radio
- 4. Standard Horizon HX870 Floating 6W Handheld VHF
- 5. Cobra Electronics MR F45-D Class-D Fixed Mount VHF Radio
- 6. Standard Horizon GX1700W Standard Explorer GPS VHF Marine Radio
- 7. Uniden Atlantis 270 Handheld Floating 2-Way 6W VHF Marine Radio
- 8. Uniden MHS75 Handheld Submersible 2-Way 5W VHF Marine Radio
- 9. Uniden Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios
- 10. Icom M36 01 Floating Handheld 6W Marine Radio
- How To Choose The Best Marine Radio
Comparison of 10 Best Marine Radios
Battery Life (Up to)
Reviews on 10 Best Marine Radios in 2018
1. Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio
The Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio boasts quality construction and reliable performance, thanks to its waterproof design to safeguard your device just in case you are caught up holding it while in the rain, or it drops in the water. Its standard exposure time while in water is 30 minutes.
Expect this deign to pick NOAA weather channels for real-time updates and other alerts.
Besides that, it features the standard 22 GMRS channels plus additional 28 channels. The handheld radio can connect from a distance 36-mile range. Catch up with all the announcements including child abduction alerts, biological hazard warnings, nuclear power plant updates among other information.
When it comes to power supply, it comes with reliable rechargeable batteries, a dual desktop charger, 12V vehicle adapter to keep your marine radio charged round the clock. Additionally, you will get headsets for easier listening.
Apart from that, its whisper feature will enable you to speak quietly but still be heard by others. Send out a distress call for emergency situations, and the group call allows you equally to make ‘direct calls' to other people within the group without alerting unauthorized persons.
- Comes with vibrating alert for silent notification
- Able to scan up to 50 channels
- Comes with a keypad lock and a battery save circuit
- Provides longer battery life, Dual Power option for rechargeable batteries and Battery Life Extender
- Covers up to 36-mile range
- Covers up to 22 Channels PLUS 28 Extra Channels
- Not a good connection for channel 16 and 9
2. Uniden MHS75 Handheld Submersible 2-Way 5W VHF Marine Radio
Lastly is the Uniden MHS75 Handheld Submersible 2-Way 5W VHF Marine Radio that is likely to provide you more enthusiasm to go out with enhanced safety, as you count on it to cover all USA, international and Canadian marine channels.
This will keep you updated with the latest information on marine happenings.
Expect this large submersible marine radio's battery to last you for up to 12 hours as you stay connected in real-time to all NOAA weather channels for the most recent alerts. You will be able to view all the information you need on a large easy-to-read LCD screen too.
It comes with a reliable clip-on DC charger to keep you powered when the need arises, and you also have the capability to enjoy its memory scan to stay effectively connected for the latest updates.
Other features include:
- Comes with a sturdy belt clip for mobility
- Connects to all NOAA channels
- Has an SMA flexible rubber antenna
- Battery can last up to 12 hours
- Doesn't come as a pair radio
3. Uniden UM380 Fixed Mount Class D VHF Marine Radio
Featuring a short chassis design for easy installation, the Uniden UM380 Fixed Mount Class D VHF Marine Radio – White is one easy-to-use marine radio thanks in part to its rubber grip microphone.
Keep yourself updated on any emergency and weather information while out adventuring on the waters without any let downs.
Its DSC position can send and requests to keep you connected round the clock. With all interface you require, the marine radio can get you connected through the day informing you of NOAA emergency weather alerts including those from the S.A.M.E.
Expect this marine radio to pick up all the USA, Canadian and International marine channels with much ease, so never be worried about missing any piece of information.
Are you keen on body construction? Find this marine radio a class D VHF radio rugged enough for easy handling. For clearer visibility of channel names, radio menu, DSC features and other GPS data, it comes with a large full dot matrix, LCD contrast control and backlit LCD with easy to use keys.
- Compact and sleek design
- Comes with 25 wattage
- Has NMEA Input/ Output
- Sensitivity 0.27 UV, and rejection: 70 db.
- Full DSC capability including position send and request
- External output doesn't have P.A
4. Standard Horizon HX870 Floating 6W Handheld VHF
Do you want a marine radio that lives to your expectations? Then the Standard Horizon HX870 Floating 6W Handheld VHF with Internal GPS is all you need.
With an integrated 66 channel WAAS GPS, this marine radio can keep you updated on latest weather updates real-time without having to miss any piece of information; thanks equally to its built-in 70 channel "D" DSC.
You additionally have a preset key enabling you to store your 10 favorite channels with much of the ease.
Use its remarkable user-friendly selectable output power for up to 6 watts, keeping your device running smoothly. Expect to enjoy quick visual of updates on this marine radio, courtesy of its oversized full dot matrix display. In case of need of data transfer, it comes with USB data port too.
This handheld VHF with internal GPS will enable you to catch up all the day with NOAA weather channel alerts. In case the marine radio drops into the water accidentally, you don't have to worry about its safety because it is a submersible IPX8 waterproof rating and able to float for quick spotting.
- Comes with a separate receiver for CH70
- Has a noise canceling function for both transmit and receive audio
- Waterproof design
- Comes with USB data port
- Not legal for use in recreational use and MMSI number not erasable by user in case of need
5. Cobra Electronics MR F45-D Class-D Fixed Mount VHF Radio
This is one of the full functional DSC-capable VHF radio with incredible selectable 1 or 25-watt output, effective in delivering short or long-range communication. It boasts more VHF radio units including a dual watch. You can be able to adjust its backlight for clearer visibility too.
Stay updated with all 10 NOAA weather radio information plus weather alerts from the USA, Canada and international channels round the clock.
You can equally count on this marine radio to allow efficient operations on any of the three channels from these areas without let downs. Besides its prowess in delivering audible tone, expect its visual alarm to keep you posted just in case there is a harsh weather condition about to affect your area.
The marine radio is a submersible design able to scan for instant channel 16/9 connection, thanks to its impressive signal strength and an added GPS input capability. You find it one of the most compliant designs to the latest FCC specifications for most of the class-D VHF radios.
- Digital selective canceling
- Dual power for short and long communication
- 25 watts of power
- Dual watch and scan features
- Comes with included standard bracket and GPS cable
- Doesn't come with an antenna
6. Standard Horizon GX1700W Standard Explorer GPS VHF Marine Radio
Are you a fanatic of adventuring into the waters? The best companion you need to carry for your safety is the Standard Horizon GX1700W Standard Explorer GPS VHF Marine Radio.
This is because the marine radio will be able to connect you to 12 channels on GPS built into its front panel, avoiding situations of having to connect to GPS through wiring for the DSC.
Enjoy switching from its versatile options including position sharing, DSC calling, way point navigation for up to 100 waypoints, navigating to DSC while able to distress calls in the easiest way.
While navigating through the way points, you utilize its remarkable, unique navigation compass display, with the ability to indicate your vessels, SOG, BRG bearing, DST distance, COG all to your waypoint.
Be thrilled too by the ease of mounting the VHF radio in any position of your choice. Additionally, the Explorer GX1700 comes with an ultra-thin compact rear case that is only 35-inch in depth, half the depth of regular brands of VHF radios available in the market.
The rear case design will provide you with the flexibility most anglers would need of flush mounting the radio in areas saving the dash space when bracket mounting, extra freedom to opt for a location of your choice to mount your radio.
- Comes with Programmable Scan-Priority Scan-Dual Watch
- Customizable channel names
- Programmable soft keys
- Handles 25 or 1 watts of transmitting power
- Compass-like display doesn't indicate direction of received signal
7. Uniden Atlantis 270 Handheld Floating 2-Way 6W VHF Marine Radio
At just 1 pound, the Uniden Atlantis 270 Handheld Floating 2-Way 6W VHF Marine Radio – Black prides itself as one of the portable marine radios that is not only submersible but also waterproof, meeting perfectly the IPX7 standards.
You can submerge this device in 1 meter of water for about 30 minutes without its experiencing any damage while out in the waters.
Find this model a great connection to all NOAA emergency weather channels including the USA, Canadian marine, and other international channels. Enjoy great visibility of this radio courtesy of its brilliant backlight LCD display whether it is day or night.
For the longest use of the device, the marine radio comes with a power boost key to enable your battery last long while connecting to the extra-long range in emergency situations.
- Waterproof design
- Connects to all NOAA weather channels
- 10-hour battery life
- Power Boost Key
- Selectable 1 / 2.5 / 6 Watt Transmit Power
- Large Easy-to Read Backlit LCD
- Doesn't come with an 110V charger
8. Uniden MHS75 Handheld Submersible 2-Way 5W VHF Marine Radio
If you are an angler taking your adventures plus safety in the waters very seriously, then you can count on this well-built rugged handheld, marine radio to make all the difference, when you need it most.
The marine radio has been crafted with incredible features with the ability to cover marine channels in the USA, Canada, and other international zones. This is why it's a reliable radio for all your updates on marine activities.
The radio embraces the latest technology on all NOAA weather channels for weather status alerts on any possible weather warnings while any location in the waters. This implies, in case NOAA issues any urgent while it's on, this marine radio while ensures its alert tone sensitizes you of the same to stay informed in real-time.
For all these updates, it can instant monitor round the clock for every 2 seconds channel 16 and 9 for signals which you can be able to listen to, thanks to its triple watch mode. This is further complimented by its dual, triple and quad watch operation for coast guard distress monitoring plus one added weather channel and a regular marine channel.
Scan your programmed channels using a memory channel scan effortlessly, from the lowest to highest channel and find your active channel on a reliable network using this radio. Expect after the transmission ends, the scan to resume after every two seconds delay time frame to keep you effectively connected anytime.
- Comes with a clip-on charger and Li-ON rechargeable battery
- Waterproof body construction and floating design for up to 30 min for 5 feet
- Selectable 1Watt/2.5/5 Transmit Power
- Easy-to-read backlight LCD display
- Up to 12 hours battery life
- Not usable as on-land communication devices
9. Uniden Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios
Keep your safety prime while going out hiking, boating and many other outdoor activities with the Uniden marine radio, thanks to its capability to tune into changing weather conditions.
It features a weather Radio broadcast mode that will enable you to opt for a weather channel of your choice including latest weather alerts from NOAA.
Stay in touch with your mates over a range of up to 50 miles away without any more worries. Nevertheless, connectivity will depend on your location terrain.
This marine radio is light in weight with a rugged body construction for easy portability and holding. It is waterproof but fully submersible, implying in case it drops into the water, it will float hence easy to detect without its functionality being affected.
Count on its two-way radio high-intensity and LED flashlight to provide you the light you might need during any emergency you might experience. Apart from that, you can flash an SOS signal to alert other in the vicinity of your location quickly.
- Submersible and waterproof
- 2-way radio connectivity
- Offers 22 channels
- Comes with 10 call tones
- Don't take AAA batteries
10. Icom M36 01 Floating Handheld 6W Marine Radio
Find this 1.8 pound not only portable but also one of the most efficient marine radios in reducing the effect of background noise, especially if you are listening to the terrible noise over a bad network. This makes easier for transmission of the signal and catching of the voice communication.
This is why it boasts boosted and clear voice, thanks to its superb sub- microphone on its rear panel that can invert the phase and cancel out the ambient noise from its main microphone.
Just in case you happen to be in an engine or any other noisy environment, its sub-microphone can quickly detect the ambient noise and automatically increase the volume output to fit in perfectly with the surroundings.
Marine radio voice clarity is vital to the adventuring enthusiasts, just in case you also need an urgent boost of the volume; all you need to do is simply push the ‘loud' button for an immediate full volume to hear all you need to. Be keen to notice the holding of the ‘loud' button will enable you to mute the audio output instantly.
Enjoy the fact that if you happen to drop the radio overboard in water accidentally, it will stay afloat with its back up to the surface, even if its optional speaker microphone (HM-165) is attached.
- High 6W RF Output And 700mw Audio Output
- Large, easy-to-operate buttons
- Slender body makes it easy holding and portability
- Comes with a 4-step battery operator
- Compact, waterproof and floating design
- 6 Watts output power
- 8-hour lithium-ion battery
- Dual Watch, scan functions
- Doesn't come with a 12 v cigarette charger
How To Choose The Best Marine Radio
Ensure you get a marine radio that serves you effectively when it comes to communication wherever you are deep into the water zones, more especially during emergencies. It should be easy mount when need arises. Take into consideration these tips to get the best marine radio that will last you long with less if not none of the regrets.
If you are considering replacing an existing radio, ensure the new marine radio you are going for fits its specifications. Check whether its mounting plates and adapter plates are available for easy use.
Opt to check whether you need a peak power which is the amount of power your unit can produce at any given time. The RMS which is the average amount of power a unit can put out over a given period should be lower than the peak output for best performance.
Power Output To Sound Quality
Most impressively performing marine radios come with a 40 watt to 60 watt of peak power and 15 watts to 25 watts of continuous power per channel. This will suit most installations. For even better sound quality, consider an external amplifier. If you could be powering about 2 speakers with your radio, you need half the power of 240 watts for the best performance.
Other Important Features
- Availability of extra features like a CD player or connectivity to iPod and other Mp3 players
- Should be waterproof
- Versatility in connectivity e.g. use of USB ports
- Wireless remote control capability
- Whether you need fixed-mount or handheld design among others
- Powering options and reliability
Having the best marine radio comes with incredible benefits to keep you ahead of those emergency situations all of us face when out in the waters. Identify a model that will bring you extra features to maximize its functionality.
Any of these marine radios not only boast high performance but also reliability. They are trusted household brands favorites among ardent marine adventurers. Consider going for the perfect marine radio that will suit your needs and preferences.
More importantly, choose one that not only suits your budget but also doesn't compromise on quality and performance. These are models I can recommend any time of the day confidently if your intention is to go for long lasting designs. Hope you can't afford anymore let downs from the regular brands, thanks to these user-friendly marine radios.