Now that spring is here, it is time to talk about radios for your boats. Our current line of VHF Marine Radios is great for the majority of boaters, and we are planning a few articles about them right now.
Today though, we are going to look at a slightly different segment of boaters. The ones that may not realize they could utilize two way radios, thought they had to use VHF radios only, or have special equipment.
There are a lot of avid boaters out there with houseboats, pontoon boats, fishing boats, and personal watercraft. Most of these are used in small lakes and rivers and seldom taken far from a base camp or boat landing. Well then, why not use an FRS or GMRS radio? That way you can use them on shore at the camp site, boat landing, etc... where you cannot legally use a marine radio. Also, anyone can use an FRS radio, and family members are included in the GMRS license.
For a houseboat, two way radios are a great addition. When family and friends want to use some of the personal watercraft you brought along, two way radios will enable them to stay in contact with the houseboat and each other. This would also be great for those on overnight campouts on shore to stay in contact with those on the boat.
Do you like to take your fishing boat with you when you go camping? Two GMRS radios will provide extra convenience and a lot more security when you are able to communicate with others back at the camp.
With the NOAA weather alert ability of some radios, you can also be warned of any sudden changes in the weather.
Are you in a small marina, or a houseboat community? A repeater and a few GMRS radios may be a perfect addition. This would give you extended communication range, and provide a simple safety feature for everyone that cell phones may not provide.
In no way should you substitute a couple of FRS or GMRS radios for a true marine radio for most uses. They do not have the range or features needed. However, for a weekend boater on a small lake, they may be a good option. A two way radio that can also be legally used on shore is an attractive addition.