We often get people asking us why they should purchase a Marine VHF Radio when a cell phone can have a strong signal whilst out on the water. The answer is simple – we acknowledge that cell phones are a great tool to have on a boat…But – VHF radios are a form of communication that will ensure your distress messages are broadcasted and are more likely to get a rapid response of help.
This is because VHF radios offer a group protection system by enabling many surrounding boats in the area to listen to calls. Whether in a distress situation, when a boat breaks down, or when you lose steering, VHF radio is the most efficient means of communication. An added benefit of buying an Retevis Marine VHF radio is that all the Reteivs Marine VHF radios are IPX7, which means they are submersible in 1m depths for 30mins! And some of our models even include the Float'n Flash feature (floats and lets you know where it is with the flashing red LED light and LCD/key backlight.) Most cell phones are not IPX7 nor do they float – hence rendering a cell phone useless if you fall into the water or if swamped by a wave.
We have found that the 6 KEY POINTS of the advantages of Marine VHF radios have to overuse your cell phone are:
The average battery life of a VHF radio typically lasts longer than an average cell phone battery
VHF radios have much better coverage and fewer shadow areas than cell phones.
No need to remember phone numbers and costs associated with cell phones.
VHF radios enable collective safety with both shore stations and other boats listening – if you are in distress you want everyone possible to know.
Cell phones will only enable you to broadcast your distress to the one-party you call, and they will be the only one able to hear you.
Cell phone coverage differs from the area and the volume of phone traffic. VHF radios can have many users on the same channel without any coverage issues.
When using a VHF radio, you are not just relying on one person to pass on your distress message
We recommend having two forms of communication at all times: A waterproof VHF radio and a cell phone in a sealed waterproof plastic bag.