By Ben Ellison
Standard Horizon HX470S VHF
Here is one humdinger of a handheld. Besides being a rugged, petite, and simple-to-use 5-watt VHF, it can also broadcast on the short-range, land-legal FRS (Family Radio Service) band. You can listen to aeronautical communications and even AM and FM stations, and its little speaker has good sound quality. The cherry on top is its DSC distress-call capability. Used with the GPS hookup on the radio’s 12/110-volt charger base, the HX470S offers a DSC solution for small boats. Carried by a crew member on a larger boat with its own fixed DSC VHF, the handheld could be an effective man overboard alarm. It even has a built-in strobe light for visual homing. List price is $449.
Standard Horizon Phone: (800) 767-2450. www.standardhorizon.com.
This article originally appeared in the November 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.