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Power in your Palm

Today’s handheld electronics are more powerful than ever.

January 28, 2020
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A collection of handheld gps electronics.
Reach for these while exploring away from the boat or as a backup in case of an emergency. john whittle

Today’s handheld electronics are more powerful and user-friendly than ever before. Reach for these while exploring away from the boat or as a backup in case of an emergency.

A. Icom M37 Handheld VHF

Designed for hardcore use, Icom’s M37 is a 6-watt powerhouse for greater communications range, with up to 12 hours of operation. Features include a large, easy-to-read LED display and a channel-history function, which stores the last five channels used for easy recall at the press of a single button. The M37 is waterproof, and it floats too.

B. Garmin inReach Mini Marine Bundle

The rugged, compact inReach Mini provides two-way messaging, interactive SOS, and basic navigation via the global Iridium satellite network. The internal, rechargeable lithium battery provides up to 50 hours of battery life in 10-minute tracking mode; the 12-volt power cable and wireless connectivity to compatible chart plotters add safety without taking up additional helm space.

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C. ACR ResQLink View PLB

A personal locator beacon is a must-have in any emergency situation. The ResQLink View from ACR has been engineered to withstand even the harshest elements on land and sea. With the push of a button, it can send an SOS signal along with GPS coordinates nearly anywhere on Earth without a subscription fee. It also floats.

D. Garmin GPSMAP 86sci

This floating handheld has a sunlight-readable, 3-inch color display and is pre-loaded with BlueChart g3 coastal charts, integrated Navionics data, plus inReach satellite-communication capability. The adjustable GPS filter smooths out speed and heading indications over swells. The internal, rechargeable lithium battery provides up to 35 hours of operation in 10-minute tracking mode and up to 200 hours in expedition mode.

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E. Simrad HS40

The HS40 wireless remote handset from Simrad offers the convenience and portability of a handheld with the power and features of a fixed-mount VHF radio. Use the handset to scroll through channels, make calls and initiate DSC distress functions anywhere on the vessel.

F. ACR Firefly Pro Waterbug

In a man-overboard situation, this one can be a lifesaver. The Firefly Pro Waterbug is a SOLAS-approved strobe light with a built-in water activation feature that will automatically activate once submerged. It produces a 360-degree beam of light that’s visible for over 3 miles. With a new microprocessor and energy-efficient electronics, the Firefly Pro will operate continuously for over 56 hours.

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G. Garmin Quatix 5

The Quatix 5 GPS smartwatch gives the wearer comprehensive connectivity with compatible Garmin chart plotters and other devices to provide autopilot control, remote waypoint marking, data streaming and much more. Satellite navigation and tracking functions are combined with a three-axis compass, gyroscope and barometric altimeter.

H. Standard Horizon HX890 Handheld VHF/GPS

This military-spec, 6-watt DSC handheld VHF from Standard Horizon is packed with features, including waypoint and route navigation, day and night modes, and digital selective calling. A built-in FM band receiver, two scrambler modes for secure communications, and two color options round out the features—complete with a three-year waterproof warranty.d

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