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Thread: VHF radio on Lake Murray, SC

  1. #1

    Default VHF radio on Lake Murray, SC

    I just got a pontoon boat, my first boat, for use on Lake Murray, SC. I have no idea what cell phone coverage is like across the lake; so I'm wondering if I should buy a VHF radio. But, when I do a little online research, I find that, unless I have a tall antenna, radio range is likely to be a mile or two, which doesn't seem particularly reassuring. Can anyone familiar with Lake Murray advise me? Does a VHF radio make sense?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Live in the Raeford NC area.


    DocPit….you will get a little more than a mile or two from your handheld. But, yes, an omnidirectional (pole) antenna will give you more. The question is....is there anyone monitoring channel 16 on any lake here in NC.

    I too have a handheld and take it with me every time. Sometimes I find a marina will monitor ch 16.

    If you haven't looked at it yet....take a look at the ICOM M25 handheld. Will run you about $125. The BEST thing about this handheld is that it has a cell phone style charging port. So if you forget to charge it before you leave you can plug it into your truck or your boats charging plug like your cell phone and recharge it. Plus, it floats and flashes if for some reason it falls overboard.

    This will be a fun thread to follow and see what happens.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Raystown Country, PA


    I don't have a big VHF anymore, they are cumbersome and fragile. I have 1watt/5watt Cobra handheld that is rechargeable, scans 2 channels and 16, and has weather radio and warnings built in. It mostly lives in an ammo can with registrations, flares, shotgun shells, 9mm Zombie Killers, all the "Oh Crap" stuff. COE, PA Fish and Boat Commission, both marinas and Sea Tow, all monitor 16 on Raystown, but we also have good phone service in most places. I make a point of always having a VHF on board, who knows when it will get you out of a fix, it is also good for chatter at fireworks.
    1992 Tracker Party barge 24 (new deck, carpet and interior, 2019)
    1996 Mercury 115 ELPTO
    1983 Sea Nymph FM171 Striper
    1985 Johnson 70 J70ELCO

    Raystown Country, PA

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