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WEST MARINEVHF85 Handheld VHF Radio

WEST MARINE

VHF85 Handheld VHF Radio

Model # 11954328Mfg # VHF85

$139.99

Customer Reviews
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Product Description

Small, inexpensive and with all the features most boaters will ever want or need. Our VHF85 handheld radio offers an incredible 11-hour battery life on a single charge for all-day use and easily slips into your pocket until you need it.

The ultra compact radio that’s BIG on features

Our littlest VHF radio, the VHF85 more than measures up to other offerings. Despite its small size, it transmits with plenty of power (5 watts), so you’ll be heard loud and clear when needed. Its back-lit, 7-segment LCD display is easy to read with large, highly legible characters you won't have to squint to see, even in bright sunlight. Illuminated eight-button control make operation a breeze.


This little workhorse also features convenient Dual and Triple-Watch modes, letting you monitor other channels. It meets rigid IPX8 submersibility standards and is backed by a comprehensive waterproof warranty so, while it doesn’t float, it’ll more than handle most onboard chores.

“Plug and play” use preserves battery life

Despite a highly respectable 11-hour battery life, the VHF85 also comes with a clip-on DC charger with AC adapter. Plug it in to the bottom of your radio and you can use it while it’s charging—without running the battery down.

  • Material: Die-cast aluminum chassis
  • Controls: On/Volume/Squelch knobs, eight buttons
  • Scanning Modes: Dual- and Triple-Watch Plus
  • Weather Alert: Yes
  • Transmit Power: 1/2.5/5 Watt
  • Receiver Performance: Sensitivity: 0.20µV; Rejection: 75dB
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Battery Life: 11 hours
  • Waterproof: Mfr. rated IPX8
  • Dimensions: 2 1/2“W x 4 9/16“H x 1 1/2“D
  • Display Type: Segmented LCD
  • Weight: 10.2oz.
  • Included Equipment: Rapid clip-on DC charger, AC adapter, belt clip, wrist strap
  • Warranty: Three-year waterproof; $49.99 flat rate

Specs

VHF85 Handheld VHF Radio

Battery Life 11 Hours
Battery Type Li-Ion
Dimensions 2.5"W x 4.56"H x 1.5"D
Display Type Backlit Segmented LCD
GPS/DSC Not GPS Enabled
Floating Non-Floating
Material Die-Cast Aluminum
Multiband Not Multiband
Scanning Modes Dual-Watch
Tri-Watch
Transmit Power 1/2.5/5W
Warranty 3 Years Waterproof
Waterproof Mfgr. Rated IPX-8
Weather Alert Yes - Weather alert

West Advisor

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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
West MarineVHF85 Handheld VHF Radio
 
3.6

(based on 20 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

65%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (16)
  • Lightweight (14)
  • Good audio (13)
  • Rugged (12)
  • Clear signal (11)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Boating / sailing (16)
    • Emergencies (6)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Casual/ recreational (16), Avid adventurer (3)
      • Primary use:
      • Personal (19)

    Reviewed by 20 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-10

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    (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Don't waste your money on this radio

    By Capt. John

    from Long Island, NY

    About Me Professional/Guide

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Poor Reception
    • Short Range

    Best Uses

      Comments about VHF85 Handheld VHF Radio:

      Could not receive weather stations where you could understand the transmission. When talking boat to boat seperated by 100 yards or so it was fine. I needed to communicate the the USCG station that was 2.4 miles away in clear view over salt marsh flats and they could not understand my transmission. I tried another radio and all was good. When I arrive home I charged the radio, let is discharge , charged again and same results.
      If you use you plan to use this radio as a emergency transmitter, DON'T.
      Your better off buying something better.

      Why did I purchaes this radio. I called my local West Marine and they said they had the Icom radio I wanted and would put it on the side for me. When I arrived there 30 minutes after they said they didn't have it but had this one and it was equally as good. Needing an extra radio for the next morning I took it.

      I am now on my way back to return this radio for credit back to my Port Supply account. I tried it for a week and it is a real piece of garbage compared to other radios I have on hand.

      I am not new to VHF radios and have several. I am a licensed captain and guide. This is by far the worst radio I have ever had.

      Save your money and buy something else. I will not trust my life or my clients lives to this radio.

      • Primary use:
      • Business

      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Good Radio

      By Gary

      from SF Bay Area

      About Me Casual/ Recreational

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Clear Signal
      • Easy To Use
      • Good Audio
      • Rugged

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Boating

        Comments about VHF85 Handheld VHF Radio:

        Long battery life, light and compact. I wear it clipped & tethered to my PFD. ("I wear mine.")

        The radio is rugged but be careful with the charger. There are four spring contacts. If one or more of them get depressed into their recessed space, they may not make contact with the battery. If that happens, no charging will take place/no LED light. Plus there is a printed circuit board inside the charger. So reconsider just having it just banging around in your seabag.

        Fair Winds.

        • Primary use:
        • Personal
         
        5.0

        Great little handheld VHF

        By Don

        from Discovery Bay

        About Me Avid Adventurer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Clear Signal
        • Easy To Use
        • Good Audio
        • Lightweight
        • Rugged

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Boating

          Comments about VHF85 Handheld VHF Radio:

          Priced right and has all of the features that I need.

          • Primary use:
          • Personal

          (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          Battery Failed after a year and a half

          By Tony

          from Palo Alto

          About Me Casual/ Recreational

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Clear Signal
          • Easy To Use
          • Good Audio
          • Lightweight
          • Rugged

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Boating

            Comments about VHF85 Handheld VHF Radio:

            Had the unit for about a year and half, though barely used it. Battery failed to recharge. I took it to West Marine, and they said I needed a new unit.

            • Primary use:
            • Personal
             
            5.0

            Nice & Handy

            By m1

            from Alaska

            About Me Avid Adventurer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Clear Signal
            • Easy To Use
            • Good Audio
            • Lightweight
            • Rugged

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Boating
              • Emergencies
              • Hunting

              Comments about VHF85 Handheld VHF Radio:

              As per advertised. So far so good!

              • Primary use:
              • Personal

              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              First one did not work

              By Kevin

              from Homestead, fl

              About Me Casual/ Recreational

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Audio
              • Lightweight

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Boating

                Comments about VHF85 Handheld VHF Radio:

                First one that was received from the website did not work - had no problems exchanging it at the local west marine. Second one is currently working ok.

                • Primary use:
                • Personal

                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Nice Lil Radio. Good Price

                By BigBen

                from La Puente, CA

                About Me Casual/ Recreational

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Clear Signal
                • Easy To Use
                • Good Audio

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Boating

                  Comments about VHF85 Handheld VHF Radio:

                  Nice little radio, leave it on while out fishing battery stays fully charged for 6-7 hrs. Speakers nice and loud. Like using at the house to listen to weather forecast's. Had it 4 month's, no issues with the battery like some of the other's.

                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal

                  (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Prefect for my use

                  By Sailboat Brad

                  from Jersey Shore

                  About Me Casual/ Recreational

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Clear Signal
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Good Audio
                  • Lightweight
                  • Rugged

                  Cons

                  • Short Range

                  Best Uses

                  • Boating
                  • Dingylaunchgoing Ashore
                  • Emergencies

                  Comments about VHF85 Handheld VHF Radio:

                  Great little radio. Use it on my main boat, my dingy when going ashore, and i'll keep it under my vest when sailing my sunfish in the bay. Great when anchored out. Have dropped it on the deck, in the water, on the street, on the rocks in the parking lot, on the dock and accidentially kicked it once (long story). Still works perfectly.

                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal

                  (7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  1.0

                  weak battery

                  By Aníbal Guarnaccio

                  from Argentina

                  About Me Casual/ Recreational

                  Pros

                  • Lightweight

                  Cons

                  • Drains Battery

                  Best Uses

                  • Boating

                  Comments about VHF85 Handheld VHF Radio:

                  The battery lasted only 9 months, and it cost almost the half of the handy.
                  My order is from August 2011.

                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal

                  (9 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  1.0

                  weak battery

                  By Aníbal Guarnaccio

                  from Argentina

                  About Me Casual/ Recreational

                  Pros

                  • Lightweight

                  Cons

                  • Drains Battery

                  Best Uses

                  • Boating

                  Comments about VHF85 Handheld VHF Radio:

                  The battery lasted only 9 month.

                  • Primary use:
                  • Personal

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