Your VHF radio is the primary way for you to communicate with other boat operators or a bridge tender, lock operator, harbormaster, race committee, and rescuing agencies like the Coast Guard or a towing service. Arguably the most important safety item onboard your boat, a VHF radio is far more reliable than a cell phone which suffers from limited on-water range and dropped calls.
Advice & How-To
Learn what features you need to consider in order to select the best handheld VHF radio for you.
By Tom Burden, Last updated 11/14/2019
This article walks you through your VHF radio options, including DSC, AIS, VHF remotes, hailers and more.
By Tom Burden, Last updated: 8/21/2019
Help the Coast Guard to help you by enabling the safety features of your modern VHF radio.
By Tom Burden, Last updated: 6/24/2019
Sometimes boating safety is as simple as staying in contact with the boats and rescue services around you. Fixed-mount VHF radios and handheld VHF radios allow you to communicate verbally with other boaters. We carry brands like ICOM and Standard Horizon. Install a Shakespeare VHF antenna with your VHF radio to determine its range. AIS transponders and antennas allow boaters and rescue services to see the location and travel direction of registered boats passively and actively when necessary. Satellite communication devices allow the user to text friends and family or contact rescue services in case of an emergency. Marine satellite and TV antennas are a fun way to take advantage of satellite communication technology. Be sure to select the right antenna mounts and accessory cables and connectors to get your marine communication network up and running. West Marine has everything you need to communicate on the water.