4 Best Marine Fixed Mounted Radios in 2022 Reviewed

4 Best Marine Fixed Mounted Radios in 2022 Reviewed

 

Any serious sailor needs a radio that they can rely on whilst at sea. However, it can be hard to know just what radio suits your purpose and what features will best serve your needs and boat size with so many products on offer.

We've put together a shortlist of what we consider to be the top fixed mounted radios in 2022. This list covers everything from what makes each radio great and what situation it is best suited for to questions on licensing, selection, and more. 

Read on to find the four best marine fixed mounted radios in 2022 reviewed here at Moonraker, your leading radio and communication technologies source in the UK.

 

  EDITOR'S CHOICE        
  Icom IC-M330GE
Icom IC-605EUR
ICOM IC-M400BBE
IC-M423GE
Built in GPS Yes Yes Yes Yes
DSC Distress Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waterproof IPX7 IPX8 IPX7 IPX7
Dual Watch Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power 25 Watts 25 Watts 25 Watts 25 Watts
Remotely Control No Yes No Yes
Size 156.6(W) x 66.5(H) x 110.1(D) 274(W) x 114(H) x 121.5(D) 216(W) x 79(H) x 125(D) 180(W) x 82(H) x 120(D)
  VIEW PRODUCT VIEW PRODUCT VIEW PRODUCT VIEW PRODUCT

 

1. EDITORS CHOICE & MOST COMPACT - ICOM IC-M330GE VHF/DSC MARINE TRANSCEIVER (GPS RECEIVER)

The ICOM IC-M330GE's front face is about the size of a smartphone, but don't let its size fool you! This VFH/DSC Radio comes with all the features and style you expect from an ICOM product.

The styliUltra Compact Body is perfect for use in limited spaces. It comes with flexible installation and is easy to use. The preprogrammed settings are clever and straightforward to reprogram, making it easy to rename and tag your favourite channels.

The keypad is directional and features soft keys, making it simple to operate. The IC-M330GE has many inbuilt functions for emergencies, and even if you are using the radio, it will still monitor emergency channel 70. 

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Size: 156.5 x 66.5 x 11.0

  • VHF/DSC

  • Continuous CH 70 monitoring

  • Selectivity and IMD >70 dB

  • Directional keypad w/soft keys

  • GPS receiver in-built and GPS antenna

 
 

PROS

  • 35% smaller than previous models means it won't take up space

  • Extremely clear audio, both bass and treble, ensure you will always transmit loud and clear

  • Reliable even in RF interference heavy areas

  • Complies with the ITU standard M493-14

  • Waterproofing features

CONS

  • The slightly protruding microphone cable may get in the way.

  • The small size is not for everyone.

 
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2. BEST PERFORMANCE - ICOM IC-M605E RX TRANSCEIVER VHF/GPS/DSC/AIS

This top of the range radio is as good as it gets when it comes to advanced technology. The IC-M605E comes at a high price but has some of the best features available in mounted radios today. This advantaged Class-D radio features an integrated AIS receiver that displays in real-time.

Its high definition LCD is vivid even at night and visible even at a 180-degree angle. Many standard functions are easy to find, as they are preprogrammed into the soft keypad automatically.

You can remotely operate this radio with three separate controllers, making it perfect for linking up with other remote stations and command mics on large boats.

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

  • VHF/GPS/DSC/AIS

  • High-resolution LCD

  • Selectivity and IMD >75 dB

  • Noise cancellation

  • Last call voice recording

  • IPX8 waterproof 

 
 

PROS

  • Advanced technology

  • Picks up weak signals even where nearby signals are stronger

  • It comes with noise-cancelling technology to cut out background fuzz

  • The Last Call Recording Function saves 2 minutes of any incoming calls

  • Waterproofing features

CONS

  • On the expensive end

  • Best suited for advanced users with large vessels

 
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3. BEST OUT OF SIGHT - ICOM IC-M400BBE BLACK BOX VHF/DSC MARINE TRANSCEIVER

Want to keep your transceiver out of the way? The ICOM IC-M400BBE is a top solution for those that want to save space. Use only a handheld unit to control all functions. You can install the main body out of sight and at a distance of up to 18 metres.

The IC-M400BBE's built-in amplifier ensures your announcements and public addresses are audible, meaning you can always be audible. The class D regulations ensure that the IC-M400BBE is always searching channel 70, even whilst you are receiving another channel.

The easy-to-use keypad has programmable features that make saving and renaming channels easy. These functions include features that enhance your ability to scan through your assigned favourites without trouble.

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

  • DSC/radio/foghorn/hailer horn functionality

  • Soft key interface

  • Two-piece modular configuration

  • Noise cancellation

  • Built-in 10W amp

  • CH 70 monitoring

  • GPS/NAV interface connectivity

  • IPX7 waterproof

 
 

PROS

  • Perfect for a small boat where every bit of space counts

  • Straightforward to use means you will never run into trouble

  • Active noise-cancelling technology filters out background noise

  • Waterproof protection

CONS

  • Some reports of a slight whistling sound in the background of transmissions

  • Larger boats may not need to hide their transceiver separately

 
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4. MOST POPULAR - ICOM IC-M423GE MARINE TRANSCEIVER VHF/DSC (W/GPS RECEIVER)

For boat owners interested in the meeting point between compact design and advanced features, the IC-M423GE is the perfect meeting point. This radio also comes with an optional handheld unit that allows you to control it from a distance or use it as an intercom for your radio.

The user interface features a backlit LCD. The classic Icom directional keypad makes it easy to navigate, featuring smart hotkeys and a stylish design. A built-in GPS displays date & time, plus your current position, whilst also accessible for DSC calls.

The IC-M423GE adheres to a class D standard, which means your device will ensure to scan for updates on Ch. 70, even when in use. If you want to connect it to an exterior transponder, you will also have access to an AIS target call without having to input an MMSI number manually.

 

 

SPECIFICATIONS

  • High-contrast LCD

  • Laser-cut keypad

  • Noise cancellation

  • Built-in 10W amp

  • Continuous CH 70 monitoring

  • Built-in GPS

  • Supports up to 4 digital channels

 


 

PROS

  • Noise-cancelling technology reduces background noise

  • 10 W Loud address means you can make yourself heard when making announcements

  • Waterproof

  • It comes with a stylish plastic mount

CONS

  • No NMEA2000 input/output

  • The display can appear a little pixelated

 
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How to Choose a Suitable Marine Fixed Mounted Radio

What Kind of Radio Do I Need?

When selecting the radio for you, it is easy to misunderstand what choices are available and the differences between different kinds of radios. There are a few kinds of VHF radios, and you might find you don't need a fixed mounted radio at all.

Handheld Radios

This kind of radio is operated from a small, internal battery or rechargeable and requires no power source to work. The range for these radios is generally considered relatively low. 

These are usually best for vessels without access to onboard power, but this kind of radio is also handy to use as backup when your main radio isn't working. 

Fixed Mounted Radios

These are not handheld and instead remain fixed in one place. They require a lot more power but come with a significantly higher range. 

These radios are best for ships with a battery that can power them, and they are the primary radio on most ships. They generally run at 25W and have a fixed antenna. These radios will come at a higher price point than a handheld model.

What Kind of Fixed Mounted Radio Works Best?

Compact

This style of unit is usually around 15x7cm in size. These units are specially designed to be small but come with as many features as possible and the same amount of power. 

The compact design is suited for vessels with less space or those that want to avoid clutter on their deck.

Black Box

Another space-saving style of radio is the Black Box radio. This radio comes in two parts, a handheld receiver and the central unit, which hooks up wirelessly or otherwise. 

This design means you can separate the bulk of the radio away from the deck and use just the handheld received to operate your radio.

What Features Suit My Needs?

  • Functionality: Most radios are pretty simple to use, but modern technology and clever design help create new and improved radios that are even easier to operate. Find what radio feels suitable for your vessel and is in your price range.

  • Waterproofing: The last thing you want is your radio to break whilst out at sea. Many radios boast waterproofing features but remember to note the difference between splash-proof and submersible, and the latter is much more critical.

  • Noise Cancelling: This feature will ensure that any background noise is minimised, which is especially important for boats with little soundproofing in the area of the VHF radio.

  • Power: The more power your radio has, the better the signal range. A fixed unit will likely have at least 25W, but the higher the power, the more expensive your radio.

Do I Require a Licence?

Users in the U.K require a licence to operate a Marine VHF Radio. It will authorise you to communicate with other boats, aircraft and marinas on the International Marine Band. You must ensure that at least one person on your boat has one. 

The application is free but will require you to pass a short course and exam.

Conclusion

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when selecting the perfect radio for your needs. Try thinking about the size of your boat, the amount of space, and what features you desire whilst knowing the basics of what is legal and safe. Factoring in all these considerations will guide you to the best decision, and any of these radios would be a safe bet!

Now that you have found the perfect match for you, head over to Moonraker to find your best deal today!

For 40 years, we have been proudly serving the radio community of the U.K, drawing from our expert knowledge and top of the range radio gear and accessories. Come check out our marine section and find out how we can serve you!