The Best VHF Fixed Mount Radios – Top 9 of 2024

I took the time to review and rate these radios based on a lot of different items, such as cost, transmit power, and more. Take a look at the list below.

1. GX1400G Eclipse 25W Fixed Mount VHF/GPS Radio

This is a great radio for anyone purchasing their first radio. It has all of the basic features you need to get started and the price is not crazy high. Click Here To Purchase!

2. GX1400 Eclipse 25W Fixed Mount VHF Radio

If you are looking for something a little cheaper and don’t mind sacrificing a few features, this one may be a good fit for you. Click Here To Purchase!

3. GX2400 Black 25W AIS/GPS/ VHF Radio

The price point on this radio is high. It has a lot of features though, and one of those is AIS. Click Here To Purchase!

4. GX1800G Explorer 25W Fixed Mount VHF/GPS

This radio is going to be one of your smaller more compact options if you don’t have much room. It still has the features you need though. Click Here To Purchase!

5. M330 Marine Class D DSC VHF Radio

There is a great price on this radio. It’s an ICOM brand radio. Very simple to manage and operate. Click Here To Purchase!

6. M424G Fixed-Mount VHF Radio with GPS Receiver

A noise-canceling microphone makes this a great option for communication. It is also compatible with an AIS transceiver.

7. M510 Class-D DSC VHF Marine Transceiver

The most expensive radio on the list. If you want all the features available this radio is the one for you. Smartphone connectivity is not necessary, but very cool.

8. Cobra MRF77B GPS

Cobra has an automatic recorder that records the last 20 seconds of a call so you won’t miss anything. Click Here To Purchase!

9. Cobra MRF57B

This radio has a PA output option for external speakers. This can come in handy when trying to reach someone without a radio. Click Here To Purchase!

VHF Fixed Mount Radio Ratings

VHF Fixed Mount RadioTransmit PowerBrandDCS GPS FEATURESSIZECOST
GX1400GW Eclipse 25W 0.3 Amps (Standby)
1.0 Amps (Receive)
1.5 Amps (Transmit)(Low)
5.0 Amps (Transmit)(High)
Standard HorizonYesYesEasy to operate menu, Radio controls on the microphone, IPX8 waterproof6.1″Width
2.36″ Height 5.91″ Depth
GX1400B Eclipse 25W 0.3 Amps (Standby)
1.0 Amps (Receive)
1.5 Amps (Transmit)(Low)
5.0 Amps (Transmit)(High)
Standard HorizonYesNoNoise-canceling microphone, East to operate menu, IPX8 Waterproof6.1″ Width
2.36″ Height 5.91″ Depth
GX2400 Black 25W .45 Amps (Standby)
0.8 Amps (Receive)
1.0 Amps (Transmit)(Low)
5.0 Amps (Transmit)(High)
Standard HorizonYesYesNOAA Weather Channel, GPS and waypoint navigation, MOB operation, AIS Display7.1″ Width
3.1″ Height
6.2″ Depth
GX1800GW Explorer 25W .45 Amps (Standby)
0.8 Amps (Receive)
1.0 Amps (Transmit)(Low)
5.0 Amps (Transmit)(High)
Standard HorizonYesYesSecond station microphone compatibility, ultra-compact design, IPX8 Waterproof5.9″ Width
3.4″ Height
3.5″ Depth
M330 Marine Class D 1.0 Amps (Standby)
5.0 Amps (Transmit)
ICOMYesNoEasy to operate end-user interface, IPX76.2″ Width
2.6″ Height
4.3″ Depth
M424G Fixed-Mount VHF Radio1.0 Amps (Standby)
5.5 Amps (Transmit)
ICOMYesYesNoise-canceling microphone, Compatible with AIS transponder, IPX7 Waterproof7 1/8″ Width
3 1/4″ Height
4 3/4″ Depth
M510 Class-D DSC VHF Marine Transceiver1.0 Amps (Standby)
5.0 Amps (Transmit)
ICOMYesYesWireless LAN functionality, Noise-cancelling microphone, Smartphone compatibility 6.9″ Width
4.3″ Height
1.8″ Depth
Cobra MRF77B GPS1.0 or 25 WattsCobraYesYesrewind-say again playback feature, IPX8 waterproof6.0″ Width
3.0″ Height
6.25″ Depth
Cobra MRF57B1.0 or 25 WattsCobraYesNoPA Output to an external speaker, NOAA Weather channels, IPX8 waterproof6.0″ Width
3.0″ Height
6.25″ Depth

Which VHF Fixed-Mount Radio Is Best? (Personal Experience)

The GX140GW Eclipse 25W Fixed Mount VHF/GPS Radio is the best option for beginners. The features of this radio include an easy-to-operate menu, radio controls on the microphone, and an IPX8 waterproof rating.

There are a lot of radios out there. Just remember to pick one that addresses all of your needs and more importantly is in your price point. Keep reading to see more information about fixed-mount radios.

What Is A Fixed Mount VHF?

A fixed mount VHF radio is a large base station radio mounted in a specific area on a boat or vehicle. The max power of a fixed mount VHF is 25 watts, while the average power of a handheld radio is 5 watts.

Fixed-mount radios are a great option for your boat. They have a lot of power if you are going to be out at sea. A lot of sailors will have a fixed mount radio and a handheld radio. The handheld can come in handy if you ever go to the shore of new land and walk around.

Plus, it’s always good to have a backup communication device in case something happens to your fixed mount radio.

What Is The Purpose of AIS? (Automated Identification System)

AIS or Automated Identification Systems’ main purpose is to help prevent a collision by gathering data. The AIS will utilize your GPS to collect data and tell you the ship’s name, speed, heading, and size.

Depending on the type of AIS you have there is more information that can be collected from surrounding boats. There are two classes of AIS, class A, and class B.

Class A is for large commercial ships. If a boat has a Class A AIS, they are required to have a receiver and transmitter for its AIS. Examples of this Class would be cruise ships, oil tankers, and cargo ships. The ship must transmit its information every 10 seconds while in motion.

It would cost a lot for you to put a class-A system on your 30-foot sailboat.

Class B is for recreational boats and has fewer requirements and features compared to class A. Class B does not transmit the vessel’s destination or ETA. Its transmit requirements are every 30 seconds while in motion.

Do I Need A VHF Antenna? (How does it work)

As a whole, all fixed-mount radios will need an external antenna. Mount the antenna on the highest point of the boat. A 3dB antenna mounted on top of a sailboat mast will give the best reception for radio transmissions.

Antennas produce waves in a perpendicular shape to the antenna shaft. The higher the dB rating, the more concentrated your radio waves will be. See the image below for a reference of 3dB waves.

The 3dB waves allow for better coverage when you are sailing on rough seas. If your boat heels 35 degrees, the circular wave shape will still go out and cover all directions.

This is why 3dB is best for boats that will be rocking back and forth.


Boatlifehq owner and author/editor of this article.

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