Standard Horizon HX870 Handheld GPS VHF $249.99; www.standardhorizon.com
THE STANDARD HORIZON HX870 VHF FLOATS. It’s got a built-in WAAS-enabled GPS receiver. It’s got a one-touch DSC distress button. It’s even got a beefy, integrated, spring-loaded belt clip on the back, and a strobe on the front. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) a lot. But what could be better than effecting your own rescue by speaking to someone directly within radio range, and calling them into your position in the water. Anyone who boats alone should consider carrying a waterproof handheld on their person at all times, and that includes boaters who take nonboaters out with them who may not be able to help. With the integrated GPS the HX870 is a terrific choice. One key: Remember to input your MMSI number into the handheld, so it can speak via DSC distress call, when you are unable.