A Very High-Frequency radio is an essential requirement when sailing or boating. A VHF radio, depending on your needs, can either be handheld or a fixed mount type, and its importance can never be overemphasized.
The VHF marine radio, amongst other items, helps a sailor or boater keep in contact with other boats, stay on top of emergencies, and of course, keep up to date with weather situations. Given the importance of this equipment while at sea, it is crucial to understand what to look for when making a purchase.
Here are some of the best VHF marine radio with GPS options alongside their pros and cons. They are all items we think your boat shouldn’t do without!
VHF Marine Radio with GPS Reviews
Cobra MR HH600W FLT GPS BT Handheld Floating VHF Radio
This floating handheld Bluetooth-enabled radio is perfect for sailors who operate on boats where there are activities due to its impeccable noise cancellation microphone. If the noise cancellation feature does it for you, some other features would sure make you agree that this radio deserves the number one spot on our list, and they will be highlighted below.
Cobra is known for its appealing radio designs and ability to pack fantastic functions into each product they put out for sale. If you are searching for a product that combines efficiency with results, then you can do no better than the Cobra MR HH600WFLTBTGPS Handheld Floating VHF Radio.
The coverage offered on this VHF radio is second to none, and amongst its core features, the option to select a watt choice may very well be the most exciting. You are allowed to choose between 1, 3, or 6-watt output depending on the kind of communication you are set to have, whether it is short or long-range. Also, in emergencies, you get instant access to channels 9 and 16.
Interestingly, this radio is submersible, and its design also allows for floating, so if, by chance, you drop your radio overboard, the orange color scheme allows you to see the floating device for easy pickup. This also goes for the fitted flashlight, which will enable you to be found through the installed strobe sensors.
Never miss messages again with the rewind say-again-feature that automatically records the last 20 seconds of incoming transmissions. In the same vein, the noise cancellation microphone ensures that you hear conversations clearly without the background noise and static that often accompanies radio messages.
Also important is the fact that this radio is Bluetooth and GPS enabled, so your phone will remain safe and dry as you can directly make calls from your radio via its Bluetooth feature. The GPS feature ensures that your coordinates are displayed on the screen, and your precise coordinates are automatically sent with digital selective calls.
This VHF radio comes with every accessory you desire, including an AC charger, a drop-in battery charger, a LiON battery pack, a spring-loaded belt clip, a wrist strap, an antenna, your owner’s manual, and a 12V DC charger!
This radio has everything you are looking for in one go, and its moderate battery life makes it an excellent choice for many. However, its single disadvantage may be that it doesn’t charge with a USB.
- Emergency weather alerts
- Submersible design
- GPS waypoint function
- Offers DSC and distress button
- Moderate battery life
- No USB charging
STANDARD HORIZON HX890BK VHF-HH Marine Radio
If you are a fan of the Standard Horizon HX870 design, or you have heard about the prowess of the HX870, then this will be music to your ears! The Standard Horizon HX890 not only shares similarities with the HX870 but great new, improved features that would make this radio any mariner’s dream.
Safety on any vessel is crucial, and ensuring the safety of people aboard the boat may be quite the task without an efficient radio system. If you want a reliable portable radio that is without rigorous set-up requirements, this Standard Horizon HX890 will prove to be a dependable choice.
This radio comes with two different color options to choose from, navy blue or black. These non-vibrant color options may, however, not aid a search if the radio falls overboard, though using the attached clip may solve this minor issue.
In a truly remarkable stand-out point, the Standard Horizon HX890 now comes with built-in two scrambler systems, a 32 code FVP-42 and a 4 code CVS2500A that helps users enjoy secure communications when you are out at sea. It also sports a new FM Broadcast band receiver that enables you to maintain a level of relaxation due to the radio bands. With the Standard Horizon HX890, you can now switch between night or day mode and also enjoy the route and waypoint navigation feature.
The ergonomic design of this radio is another reason it is fast becoming a favorite as it makes the radio easier to handle, and of course, with the standard DSC feature, an operating system you can program, and an easy to read LC-Display screen, this may very well operate like any other smartphone you have used.
A boxed Standard Horizon HX890 comes with every accessory you possibly need your marine radio to have. It includes an Alkaline battery tray, a 220V adapter, a charging cradle, a rechargeable LiON battery, a 110V wall charger, a belt clip with a lanyard and, a PC programming cable.
The Standard Horizon HX890 has a reasonably long-lasting battery life that means it could stay on for up to 11 hours. Though this product may be a bit pricey, there is no doubt Standard Horizon has packed in features that will surely deliver.
- Emergency strobe light activated by water
- Man overboard feature
- Built-in scrambler systems
- 11-hour battery operating time
- Ergonomic military standard case construction
- Easy to operate menu system
- Dark color options
Cobra MR F77W GPS Fixed Mount VHF Marine Radio
Though they may be more expensive than handheld sets, fixed radio sets may offer more benefits, as we will find in this remarkable radio. Cobra refers to this fixed mount radio as their most advanced marine radio, and if you are looking for a reliable device that can prove to be quite the savior, especially in emergencies, you will find no better option than this Cobra MR F77W fixed mount radio.
A fixed-mount VHF radio is a piece of vital equipment to have on board when going out on the water. Its importance cannot be overemphasized where safety and communication are concerned, and the Cobra MR F77W has incredible easy navigation plus a safety feature that makes it one of the most coveted fixed marine radios.
This is a unique radio with an integrated GPS receiver that sends distress signals and makes it possible to track your boat’s exact location when turned on, making it handy in emergencies. Equipped with emergency channels 16 and 9, all NOAA weather channels, and a Rewind Say Again feature, this is your best bet.
The Cobra MR F77W aids easy communication with other boats nearby with its external public access feature. Its noise-canceling microphone function also allows you to carry on both short-range and long-range communication without hearing background noises.
This VHF radio also makes it super easy to keep up with conversations with its scan option that allows you to scan through programmed channels in its memory to keep up with ongoing conversations.
Like other VHF radios, never miss important messages with the Cobra MR F77W’s replay missed call function. Now you can listen to the last 20 seconds of missed incoming transmissions with astounding clarity because of its noise cancellation feature.
This is also a top choice for maximum coverage because this radio allows the operation of channels in Canada and the US. In these locations and internationally, you can enjoy optimal long or short-range communication at either 1 or 25 watts with dual power output.
Enjoy an illuminated LCD with a signal strength meter that displays incoming signals, thereby making it easy for you to find your way around the emergency radio features as the function keys also enjoy illumination.
- Integrated GPS receiver
- Memory scan enabled
- It is submersible
- Access to weather channels
- Access to channels 9/16 for emergencies
- Awesome noise-free reception
- It may be a tad pricey
Standard GX1800G Explorer VHF Radio
Nothing beats easy to operate yet standard pieces of equipment. If you appreciate a piece of equipment that is very easy to set up and even easier to use, this Standard GX1800G VHF radio, with its redesigned features that puts the needs of the operator in mind, and its new, easy-to-operate menu, will certainly appeal to you.
An in-built GPS setting means this VHF radio removes the need for you to interface with the boat’s GPS and, in the same vein, helps with backup navigation in cases where the vessel’s core GPS fails to work.
With its updated easy-to-operate system, operators can now manage and access essential functions in uncomplicated steps. DSC functions like programming and calling have been made easy with this feature.
Compared to other mounted VHF radios, this might be the easiest one to mount yet. This radio has a compact rear case that is ultra-thin and measures 3.3 inches, making this radio only half the depth of other existing radios in the market.
Due to its size, it is more flexible than other radios in the same bracket, so it can mount virtually anyhow you see fit. In the same vein, its bracket mounting option means you can explore your mounting choices without necessarily worrying about using up too much space on the vessel.
Your Standard Horizon GX1800G VHF radio also comes with multi-watch, programmable, and priority scan features. Its preset keys can help you store up to 10 of your favorite channels for easy navigation and the latest updates on communications going on around.
You can also switch between day and night mode display options on this radio. It is fitted with a GPS waypoint, compass, and status pages, and you can enter, save, and navigate to a waypoint by using the compass page. With this radio, you don’t have to go the longer route of adding additional wiring to a different GPS output; it is ready to go!
This radio also provides you NOAA weather channels with weather alerts and promises to be a great, long-lasting buy. It is suitable for long or short trips and can be fitted on any kind of vessel. It is undoubtedly a great buy for its price. However, it lacks an NMEA interface feature.
- Ready to go GPS
- Stress-free installation
- Multiple mounting options
- Waterproof design
- Great quality radio
- Bright, high-resolution display
- Has no NMEA interface
Icom M330G 31 Compact Basic VHF
This last radio on our list deservedly earns its spot for several reasons. Like the Standard Horizon VHF radio, this Icom M330G also comes easy to use and requires no further attachment of an external GPS receiver. If you want distortion-free clear audio at maximum volume and a radio that is capable of delivering clear sounds to you over a wide treble and bass range, this would be your best pick.
A great mount VHF radio should be a non-negotiable feature on any vessel. Icom is committed to making some of the best and most dependable marine radios in the market, and this device doesn’t fall short of that promise. The compact size of this radio with its dimensions (face at 6.2 x 2.6 and a rear depth of 3.3 inches) makes it half the size of other radios and means that you can complete your installation in any available space without worrying too much about taking up room.
Its in-built GPS receiver system using information from SBAS, GPS, and GLONASS ensures that your accurate location, bearing, and speed information can be provided at all times. This acquired position also means that you do not need an external GPS receiver.
The Icom M330G VHF Marine Radio comes in a white or black option and is DSC enabled with functions like DSC test calls, distress, group, all ships, individual, safety, urgency, position report or request, and polling requests.
Worrying about busy radio frequency environments is certainly not one of the things you have to think about because with this radio’s impeccable receiver performance, you can complete communication in any busy RF environment.
This submersible VHF radio can stay in a depth of 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes, and it has the NMEA interface feature, which helps the vessel with external navigation or GPS connection. Worrying about waterlogged speakers? Its ArtQuakeTM property helps prevent any reduction in the quality of audio/communication.
This VHF radio is good news rolled into one with its awesome user interface and non-complex installation process. However, the design, especially if you are exploring the white color option, may require you to buy a cover to prevent dust and moisture from lodging in the device.
- Weather alerts and channel
- Priority scan feature
- Comes with a DC power cable
- Keypad and display are backlight
- Selectable 3 or 4 digit channel display
- May need dust cover for protection
Related: Best VHF Marine Radio for the Money
The importance of a VHF radio cannot be overemphasized, and these are a few of our top picks for reasons we have highlighted. Though the handheld radios may be handy, the mounted radios also hold their forte quite nicely and offer as many benefits.