On Sunday, July 12, let’s all plan to go boating.

Electronics

Icom M34

Icom's new handheld VHF is its first without an aluminum chassis, but it's purportedly still "military rugged," and it actually floats, a combination that fuels the company’s "last handheld you’ll ever need" pitch. The M34, which costs about $180, also has an Aqua Quake mode that shakes water from its speaker plus a "favorites" feature that lets you limit channel scrolling to just the ones you want. Although I only handled it at a boat show, this unit's curvy shape and simple button layout seemed especially comfortable and good for one-handed operation. The Icom M34 comes with a 12-volt charger, an A.C. adapter, and a Li-ion battery that’s said to provide about ten hours of typical use.

Accessories available include a AAA battery tray and Icom's new HM-165 waterproof speaker mic. Note that the Cobra 425 handheld comes with a similarly long-lasting Li-ion battery, includes an AA backup power tray in the basic package, and has a lapel speaker mic option.

Icom America
(425) 454-8155

This article originally appeared in the June 2007 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.