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Hi Pete
I’ve just done the radio course and went up to the London Boat Show researching hand-helds. The consensus was you cannot economise on safety equipment and I was directed to ICOM and bought a IC M33 for a bargain £115, I think normally £130. One source was a RYA instructor and that is what they use, apparently its also the choice of the RNLI. My course cost £95, had I been a member of the club it would have cost £55, and then you have to send off a further £25 ?? to the RYA for the “license document.” All in all not cheap and not essential and it doesn’t make you 100% safe, but hopefully a worthwhile addition (when I get to cruise the Solent in reality).