This is a great little radio. I use a handheld (as opposed to the vessel mounted VHF) for two reasons: Firstly, an earpiece can be more easily used than with a mounted unit. An earpiece allows me to hear fainter transmissions because engine and wind noise drowns out quite a bit of radio traffic. Besides, I wear hearing protection while running the boat at cruising speed. Second, while "on scene" with whales and wildlife the constant squawking of vessel traffic (while crucially important information to me) detracts from my passenger's whale watching experience. It takes some practice to be able to listen to important radio traffic while talking about the reproductive proclivities of a killer whale but with practice I've managed pretty well.

Missing radio traffic has serious drawbacks: Trip planning is a constant activity before and during a trip in such a dynamic environment. Information is vital and everything from the whale's direction and speed to sea conditions to a skipper's observations about previous day's events are all computed into what I need to do.

This unit works very well so I thought I'd give it a recommendation. It is incredibly tough constructed of industrial grade plastics and metals. It doesn't look fancy and is only one thing: A marine VHF radio, but it does that one thing very well. It is rated submersible to 3 feet for 10 mins., and in fact I dropped mine in the water to about 15 feet for 15 minutes and it was working fine after retrieval. You could probably hammer nails with this thing.

The unit is packaged with a  rechargeable 15 hr nickel metal hydride battery. That's a full day of heavy use as I transmit fairly frequently at high power which draws quit a lot. It also comes with a AA battery tray for back-up use.

The externally attached mic you see here is not included with the unit but was the only waterproof option for attaching an earpiece. It's a decent, small little mic and works works well enough, though sounds a bit tinny. 

Programming favourite channels is easy and scanning them all works well. You will miss less than the first second of a transmission on a scanned channel if it has to switch to pick it up. Good for a handheld. 

Like any radio, range is dependent on many factors and getting the antenna clear of obstructions and as high as possible is crucial to stretching your range.  I typically clip it on to the windshield of my RIB and the earpiece cord length is sufficient to stand in the cockpit and move around. I've also made a custom pair of ear protectors that have a built in speaker. One ear listens to VHF, the other our company, trunked, UHF. It works pretty well except when you want to take the ear protectors off and the speaker plugs on the radios aren't easily accessible. I'm going to rework that project and most likely illustrate it on this site.