After reading Isaac Miller's review of the Uniden “Atlantis” VHF marine radio, I decided to share my dramatically different experience with my Standard Horizon HX751. I purchased my radio two seasons ago for around $150. It has accompanied me nearly every time I have ventured out on my kayak. I consider a VHF radio an important part of my safety equipment and although I have not yet had to use it in an emergency, I do feel good knowing it is there and having confidence it will work.
I have used the HX751 in all sorts of conditions, and it has never failed me. Specs say the battery lasts up to nine hours, but I have had it last over 12 on trips and it has not showed any signs of deterioration. With the selectable power output (6/5/2.5/1 watts) it might last even longer, but I have not had the need to try this feature. The radio has plenty of transmit power. I have had conversations over several miles of open water, and have even communicated with anglers over a mile away on the other side of a peninsula. Other nice safety features include a built-in strobe light and NOAA weather channels with alerts. The speaker is more than loud enough and works when it is wet. Another feature I find really handy is the “Dual Watch Scan”. This feature allows you to program the radio to scan just two other channels in addition to the 16/9 emergency channels. This is nice when you are in busy areas, so you don’t have to listen to as much extra chatter.
The radio is very durable. The only damage it has received in two seasons is a small scratch on the display from when I dropped it on a rock. I know it is waterproof, as I dropped it overboard one night and had a buddy make calls until I could home in on it and locate it by the glow-in-the-dark gasket. The only maintenance it has required has been running it under the hose when I wash off my other equipment.
Overall this is a very good radio, and I highly recommend it. For the price, I don’t think you can beat it - you can get more features, but you will have to pay for them. Standard Horizon warrantees this radio to be waterproof for three years. I cannot comment on the customer service, as I have never had to use it. The only things I would change on this radio would be to include the alkaline battery tray (it’s optional) and the charging dock. While the charging dock works fine at home, I wish the 12V car charger would plug into the radio instead of the dock. I’ve found that if you’re not careful the radio can bounce loose and not get charged while driving.
Here is what Standard Horizon says about the HX751:
• FLOATING - Submersible JIS-7 / IPX7 (3.3 feet for 30 minutes)
• Luminescent Glow in the dark gasket
• Volume & Squelch indication on display
• SOS Strobe light
• Battery life indication
• Preset key used to recall up to 10 favorite channels
• 700 mW Loud speaker audio with Audio Tone Control for treble and bass adjustment
• Easy to read Large LCD with Channel names
• All USA/International and Canadian Marine Channels
• Programmable Scan, Priority Scan and Dual Watch
• NOAA Weather channels and Weather Alert
• Built-in thermometer sensor
• Updated keypad with SOS Strobe enable
• Key lock
• Selectable Power Output 6/5/2.5/1 Watt
• 1150 mAh Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery
• 110VAC and 12VDC Chargers included
• Optional FBA-38 alkaline battery tray available
• Optional speaker microphones and headsets available
• 3 Year Waterproof Warranty