The Class-D DSC VHF handheld is also a GPS and wins a coveted spot on the MBY Cool 50 thanks to its clear display, bags of functionality, GPS feature and affordable price tag. It floats, it’s waterproof and features a 66-channel WAAS GPS receiver allowing the radio to transmit a DSC distress call with your vessels position or navigate to a waypoint. A great example of an investment that truly over delivers.
The bulletproof unit has a much cleaner interface that others on the VHF marine radio market and the large LCD screen and soft key buttons are user friendly.
The full dot matrix LCD measures 1.7in x 1.7in or 2.3in diagonal and the display is bright and easy to read. The icon menu works well; DSC calling, position sharing, waypoint and route navigation, navigation to DSC distress call can all be performed in just a few simple steps.
This hardy little unit is easy to use and will prove reliable for day-to- day use on board and has the functions you need if anything goes awry including a built-in distress button.
Other features include a 10-channel preset key selection, USB Data Port and GPS position logger. If the radio falls in the water an emergency strobe light is automatically activated, even when the unit is turned off. The strobe can be reconfigured to flash on and off, flash SOS, or be set to stay on
The HX870 can store up to 200 waypoints and 20 routes. A unique compass page shows your speed over ground, course over ground and distance to the waypoint and can display the position of up to nine other craft in proximity.
Not the most compact on the market but you get a lot of bang for your buck with this clever handheld. The HX870 has a high capacity 1800 mAh Li-Ion Battery, 110VAC and 12VDC three-hour quick chargers, and an Alkaline Battery Tray (AAAx5).
A VHF is a critical piece of kit on board whether you’re communicating with marinas and ports, on board your tender and communicating with your mother ship or in the midst of an emergency. This handheld VHF radio sets itself apart with impressive functionality at a good price.