Fixed Mount Marine Radios Reviews

Successful boating and fishing adventures start with bringing the right tools. So before setting sail and heading out on the water, it’s an absolute must to pack emergency essentials. Unlike on land where you can get help from anyone with a simple mobile call, being out on the water in an emergency situation has very limited options for reaching people.

Fixed mount VHF marine radios are safety tools specially designed for sailors, mariners, and all boaters to help ensure their safety. Handheld marine radios are also used however they are mainly for backup radios and for use on very small boats where space is at a premium. You can read about our top handheld marine radios here. These devices are primarily used for ship to ship; ship to shore communications, and rescue operations. While they are not required for recreational craft less than 66 ft. long all boaters should have a radio on board especially considering how inexpensive they can be bought today.


1. BEST OVERALL - Standard Horizon GX2200 Matrix AIS/GPS VHF

One of the first VHF radio with AIS and GPS receiver built, Standard Horizon GX2200 Matrix is a 25 Watt Fixed Mount Marine radio highly recommended for its performance.Ready-to-use after unboxing, Standard Horizon GX2200 efficiently enables position sharing, DSC calling, waypoint navigation, and acquires AIS and AIS SART targets conveniently with no need for wiring the radio to external receivers.

The device also includes a functional 3-inch navigation display that shows AIS target information including bearing, ship name, distance, and call sign.This allows users to enter and save up to 100 waypoints which may be navigated using its own compass. GX2200 Matrix keeps you safe and sound while out in the sea through its programmable collision avoidance alarm. It has a durable 30 Watt PA Hailer with preprogrammed fog signals, remote access microphone, and an intercom between radio and second station mic.

Best Features and Functions:

  • Integrated 66 Channel WAAS GPS antenna
  • Integrated dual channel AIS receiver
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    Save 100 Waypoints
  • Noise Canceling Speaker
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    Navigation information display
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    Local/Distance attenuator
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    Remote Mic Capable
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    ClearVoice noise canceling speaker mic
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    4.5 Watt Audio Output
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    Dual Watch and Priority Scan
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    Diecast chassis
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    User-changeable channel names
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    Waterproof, submersible IPX7
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    3 Years Waterproof warranty
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    7.1"W x 3.1"H x 6'3"D
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2. BEST BUDGET - Uniden UM380 Fixed Mount Class D VHF RADIO

Fixed mount two way marine radio Uniden UM380

Uniden’s UM380 is a full-featured fixed mount VHF radio with a class D rating and full DSC capability. It’s a powerful and compact marine radio that can transmit on Canada, US, and international marine channels. Packed with essential features, like DSC positioning and NOAA emergency weather alert, Uniden’s fixed mount radio topples other competition.

One of it’s best features is its accurate weather and emergency alert which is both resistant to physical and water damage. It can tell you what weather you’ll be experiencing hours before your planned fishing trip. Uniden UM380 also includes a rugged microphone with triple watch select keys and text display that shows GPS data, channel names, radio menu and essential DSC features.

Best Features and Functions:

  • Digital Selective Calling
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    All NOAA Channels
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    S.A.M.E. weather alerts
  • Memory Channel Scan
  • Hi/Lo Power Switch
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    Orange Backlit Keypad and Display
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    JIS7 submersible rated
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    Triple/Dual Watch
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    Full DSC capability
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     DSC Position Send/Request
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    25 Watt, sleek and compact
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    Illuminated Keys
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    1yr Warranty
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    Black/White color options
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    6.58"W x 2.95"H x 5.08"D
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3. BEST VALUE - ICOM IC-M324G Marine VHF Radio with GPS

ICOM IC-M324G marine radio

Icom IC-M324G is a sleek fixed mount VHF marine radio that boasts of top-notch performance and complete essential features needed for marine rescue operations and. With its class D DSC and built-in GPS system, you can see current ship location including distress calls, position request/reports, and poll requests. It has currently two versions 1) Model M324G (with built-in GPS receiver) and 2) Model M324. The radio comes in two color options (black and white).

With its built HD dot-matrix display you can see all information clearly. It weighs 2.7 lbs and has a measurement of 7.1″W x 3.2″H x 4.7″D. You don’t have to worry about the interruption, its monitors are capable of receiving another channel while still monitoring activity. This is very important when you’re under emergency and waiting to contact other vessels on the AIS screen. Included with purchase are its power cord, mounting bracket, installation hardware, and users manuals.

Best Features and Functions:

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    25 Watts Of Power
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    Built-in GPS Receiver
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    All NOAA Channels
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    Intuitive Operation
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    Compatible with MA-500 TR transponder
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    Dual/tri-watch monitoring
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    High-Definition Large LCD display
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    IPX7 Rated
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    Aquaquake water draining
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    Memory Channel Scan
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    NMEA 0183 interface
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    1yr Limited Warranty
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    Black/White color options
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    7.09W x 3.23"H x 4.72"D
Read about marine radios

Final Thoughts:


What Makes Fixed Mount Radios Different Than Handheld Marine Radios?

Fixed mount marine radios share many of the same characteristics of the handheld marine radios, however, there are a couple major differences:

  • Power – Fixed mount marine radios can have up to 25 watts of power allowing them to reach much further than handheld radios; although their signals still travel in a straight line of sight.
  • Antenna – All fixed mount marine radios need to have an external antenna to broadcast their signal
  • Battery Power – While handheld marine radios are powered by battery packs fixed mount radios are powered by your boat's battery which is also another reason they can broadcast their signals further
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    DSC – All fixed mount marine radios included DSC ( Digital Selective Calling) as it is mandatory as part of the international protocol of safety procedures.

Almost all boaters (aside from Kayakers) will have a fixed mount marine radio in their boat and depending on the size of the boat they will have additional fixed mount radios or handheld marine radios in case of an emergency.

An alternative for boaters to save money is to have a “Second Station” which is a fully functioning microphone that includes a display and allows you full access to all the radios functions. The Second Station will have a long cord connecting it back to the radio or will connect directly to the audio panel at the designated flybridge or other area of the boat.. These are ideally suited to the flybridge or other areas of the boat instead of purchasing additional fixed or handheld radios.

Should I Get A Fixed Mount Or Handheld Marine Radio?

Unless you are a kayaker or have a very small boat that you only take out a few times a year it is a good idea to have both a fixed mount and handheld marine radio as prices have come down drastically on them and for a couple hundred dollars or less you have can have peace of mind knowing that if an emergency on the water occurs you will be able to contact seatow or the coast guard quickly.

So what are the best selling VHF fixed mount radios this year? If our three picks above still didn't have the features you were looking for you can find the rest of our fixed mount marine radio reviews below.


Summary
Want to know what is the best fixed mount marine radio?
Article Name
Want to know what is the best fixed mount marine radio?
Description
We reviewed the highest rated fixed mount marine radios and picked a few that really stand out. Take a look at what are the must have features and which ones are recommended by professionals.
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