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Some may recall our trials with finding a suitable waterproof case for our phone. We never did select one, opting instead to purchase a rugged Otterbox case (non waterproof) and simply, be careful with the phone when out on deck. Our friend Douglas just brought to my attention the other day a new solution, a waterproof floating handheld VHF radio that can integrate with your phone. After pairing it to the phone via Bluetooth, you can apparently make and receive calls right from the radio, leaving your phone inside the boat where it can remain safe. Now, if only this radio would let us access Facebook too.

6 Comments

  1. That is an awesome idea! We have been using FRS radios on the farm to keep in touch with the kids for the same reason! The iPhone 6+ is too spendy and not nearly tough enough for real life!

  2. Cool product. We went with something similar, but not waterproof. It did, however, solve four problems at once: poor (more like non-existent) cell coverage below decks in our steel boat, lack of any sort of intercom system, convenience of a person-to-person radio system when docking or anchoring, and, of course, not having to bring an expensive smart phone on deck.

    We bought a Panasonic six-station cordless phone/intercom system with Bluetooth integration. This system can also connect to a wired phone line and serve as an answering machine, but no wired line is needed. It integrates with two separate cell phones, and you can then make and receive cell calls from any of the wireless stations on board. Our cell phones sit safely in the pilothouse or saloon when we are on deck.

    The handsets look like any other cordless phone and also have a 2.5mm headset jack. We bought inexpensive cell-phone headsets for two of the phones so we could have hands-free communication from the helm to the line/windlass handler when docking or anchoring, much easier than hand signals or shouting.

    I think the set we bought a couple of years ago has been superseded, but this one is similar:
    http://amzn.com/B0073W729K

    At $120, it’s hard to beat, and we don’t worry so much about losing one of the handsets over the side (though we never have).

    -Sean

  3. There’s no good reason why a smartphone can’t be waterproof and impact-proof. They have no moving parts, no need for any case penetrations…. they’re completely sealed up with glue anyway, except for the speaker and that little gap around the USB port.
    But a $410 waterproof version of a regular $400 smarphone? Well, if we made that, people wouldn’t replace broken ones nearly so often, and that’s no good for the bottom line…..
    [ End rant 😉 ]

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