Other Sports Magazine

Buying a New Handheld VHF This Year? Shop Wisely!

By Sailingguide

A submersible handheld VHF with GPS and DSC is one of the smartest things you can buy for safety on the water. But the three models now available are not equal, and only one meets current DSC Class D standards. Here's an article that explains how DSC works and what Class D features mean.

I've just ordered the new submersible GPS VHF with Class D DSC after considerable thought and research. I already have two older handheld VHFs on my boat, so I wasn't thinking much about getting another one until I did more reading about all the weird accidental ways sailors end up in the water unexpectedly. It happens all the time! I singlehand a lot, and I often sail with guests who might not be able to get the boat back to me if necessary. I wear my inflatable PFD and am usually tethered in when sailing solo - but there are always those moments when you unclip to reach or accomplish a certain task. I like knowing now that if I end up in the water, one button press will send out a distress call that includes my exact location - and will go to every boat nearby (with a DSC radio) as well as to the Coast Guard. And will keep sending that mayday call automatically for hours while I attend to things like surviving. I already have a PLB that will send out a satellite distress call, but that could take a while and I might not survive hypothermia here in cold New England waters - and it would be shame to have a boat pass me by a half mile away while my electronics were only hailing satellites. So this summer I'll have two things on my belt that I won't have to think about until that rare chance when I might need to.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog