Handheld VHF radios live miserable lives, yet we depend on them to work when we need a lifeline to the rest of the world. To find out if these three were tough enough to make the grade, I dropped them from my boat onto a concrete boat ramp — and then put them through a battery of torture tests.
Splash Test: Icom claims it’s not only waterproof but that it floats as well. So I chucked it into the harbor and let it bob around for 10 minutes. Flotation confirmed!
Bash Test: Since the radio proved it can go swimming without damage, I returned to the concrete boat ramp and “accidentally” flung it 20 feet into the air. The impact caused nothing but a few scratches, so I gave it another throw. That one knocked the volume button out of kilter and it was slightly harder to turn, but the radio still worked like a champ.