Our Best-Selling Fixed VHF Radios This Year

Last year, we sent an email to our subscribers looking at our top 3 best-selling Handheld VHF Radios to recommend to our customers.

This year, we’re looking at Fixed VHF Radios, so without further ado…

What are our best-selling Fixed VHF Radios so far this year?

1. Standard Horizon GX1700E Fixed GPS/DSC Radio. RRP £213.99. NOW £179.95. SAVE 16%.

GX1700-Fixed-VHF-Radio

Out of the box, the GX1700 is ready to go. DSC calling, position sharing, waypoint navigation, and navigation to DSC distress calls can all be performed with just a few simple steps. Plus, DSC is made easy with internal 12 Channel GPS built into the front panel meaning there is no need to deal with wiring the radio to a GPS for DSC.

The GX1700 is an ITU-R M493 Class D class VHF with a separate Channel 70 receiver, which allows DSC calls to be received even when listening to communications. This model is capable of entering and saving up to 100 waypoints. These waypoints can be selected and navigated to by using a unique navigation compass display with the internal 12 channel WAAS GPS.

The use of Clear Voice Noise Reduction Technology eliminates unwanted background noises like engines and wind during transmission. It ensures transmissions are crystal clear along with dedicated 16/9, H/L keys and channel selection. The GX1700 can also be set to monitor WX channels and provide an audible alert to inform of pending storm advisories.

Find out what our customers have said:

Out of all the radios on the market this one is a cut above the rest in both quality and features. Compact size, clear display even in bright sunlight, Rapid start and satellite aquisiton time with a host of clever features.

My favourite is the way point navigation which is useful as a […] backup in case the plotter packs up. Voice tx and rx both crystal clear and with a good range. Don’t think about it, buy it; you won’t regret it.

Jimmy

If you’re looking for a new radio you won’t go wrong with this one. Easy to install and setup with an impressive range of features. Surely the best value for money radio in this price range.

Michael

If you require private channels to be programmed, please call us on 01463229400 or detail your requirements in the Order Notes section of the checkout process.

2. Icom M330GE Fixed VHF DSC Radio with GPS Receiver. RRP £262.49. NOW £209. SAVE 20%.

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Icom created one of the smallest fixed VHF/DSC radios in the world with the M330GE and its front face that is so compact that it matches the size of a modern smartphone. It was also one of the first Icom fixed marine VHF radios to comply with the maritime ITU standard “ITU-R M493014” which required it to have an external GPS antenna.

The combination of the directional keypad and soft keys provides simple and smooth operation. The most-used functions are assigned to soft keys for quick one-push function access. The newly designed speaker offers distortion-free, dynamic and clear audio, even when it’s at full volume, over a wide bass and treble range.

The radio will also monitor CH 70 continuously, even while you are receiving another channel. DSC functions include distress, individual, group, all ships, urgency, safety, position request/report, polling request and DSC test calls.

The GPS receiver provides your location, bearing and speed by using information from GPS, GLONASS and SBAS. The acquired position information can be used for DSC calls. An external GPS antenna is supplied to maximise coverage.

3. Standard Horizon GX2200E Fixed VHF DSC Radio. RRP £394.49. NOW £339.95. SAVE 14%.

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The Matrix AIS/GPS GX2200 makes AIS simple and easy right out of the box. The GX2200 is the first fixed radio to include built-in receivers for both GPS and AIS.

Remarkably, it can display AIS targets in a radar-style format on the large 1.8 inch LCD screen featured at the front of the radio. This allows the user to not only clearly identify each target from the MMSI information being transmitted, but also to determine its course.

The screen will provide a target’s MMSI number, call sign, ship name, bearing, distance, speed over ground and course over ground. There is also a Closest Point of Approach alarm if a target vessel strays too close.

For quick and precise communication, an automatic DSC call can be made to a specific AIS equipped vessel by simply selecting the target and pressing the call button. Polling is used for vessels that wish to keep abreast of each other’s location, such as a cruising flotilla, or a group of fishing boats.

Find out what our customers have said:

Simple to install, amazingly feature packed, reasonable to operate given number of functions available. With DSC, GPS and AIS all built-in [it] is excellent value for money.

Garry

Having used secondhand radios previously, this Radio is the Bees Knees, as they say. Not used all of its features yet, but simple to add all the detail you want. GPS connects quickly, and the AIS is a real help, especially for a small boat offshore.

Geoff

If you require private channels to be programmed, please call us on 01463229400 or detail your requirements in the Order Notes section of the checkout process.


So which Fixed VHF Radio are you using?

Gael Force Antifouling – Trusted By Our Customers

Since launching our own brand of Gael Force Antifouling over five seasons ago, we continue to receive excellent feedback from a range of boat owners across the UK. It is a copper based, economical (cruising grade) self-eroding antifouling with a proven performance within a wide variety of UK conditions and many European locations.

The antifouling is self-priming when topping up existing (similar copper based) antifoulings; otherwise Gael Force Multi-Purpose Metallic Primer is required before application. We have found it to be most suitable for general sailing and for fresh water.

It is best known for creating less ‘build-up’ than many traditional antifoulings – a revelation to some given the value of this product. It is best suited to GRP, Wood, Steel and Ferro-Cement as well as use on drying moorings. It is not suitable for aluminium or galvanised surfaces.

Find out what our customers have been saying about our antifouling over the years.

Sandy G (14/01/2015):

Hauled the boat out after seven months on a swing mooring and was very impressed with the results of this antifouling – just a thin layer of slime, otherwise clean as a whistle. A quick blast with the jet hose and she’s ready for winter storage. I shall be using this again.

Peter S (21/08/2015):

It has done a very good job this season. No seagrass or other fouling. I cannot see any difference in performance between Gael Force Antifouling and the far more expensive, highly promoted brands.

Web Review (07/03/2018):

Gael Force own brand antifouling did a good job last year and have bought another tin for this year. Had been using far more expensive brand which was not much use, bottom was always bad after 7 months. This paint did much better, less sludge/weed/barnacles and the bottom was a lot easier to clean. So very happy with this product.

Mr Fulton (21/07/2018):

I just wanted to give some positive feedback about your antifouling – this is after 16 months afloat. The barnacles have always been a problem regardless of the antifouling used and I know other boats on the same moorings have the same problem… They really did just fall off. I didn’t have to scrape a single barnacle off they all came away with the pressure washer.

Alongside this fantastic feedback from Mr Fulton, he supplied some great visuals of the effectiveness of our antifouling when the boat first came out of the water and after it had been washed.

He even showed us how the boat looked once the new antifouling had been applied. Isn’t she a beauty?

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Graham (14/12/2018):

I used this three years ago on my Broom 35 European. I use the boat on the Thames, hence fresh water and low hull speeds. I had the boat lifted this year and it was clear that this product had produced good anti foul protection. So I have bought it again.

How to apply it:

  1. Stir well before use.
  2. Apply by roller, brush, or spray.
  3. Ensure surfaces are clean, dry and free from salt.
  4. Apply 2 coats per season with extra around areas of turbulence such as rubber, keel, waterline, and leading edge allowing from 4 to 16 hours between coats dependent on temperature.

Gael Force Antifouling is available at £39.99 for a 2.5-litre tin. Grab yours here.

Special Offer: When you buy one or more tins, you’ll get a roll of long-life masking tape worth £4.99 FREE!

Gael Force’s Top Gifts for Christmas

With 4 weeks left until Christmas, you’ll be joining the camp of one of two types of people. Either you have all of your Christmas shopping completed and have done since at least mid-October.

Or, you’ve barely even thought about Christmas and reading how little time is left until Christmas Day has sent you into a panic. (There’s also the Christmas Eve shopper but we won’t count them).

That’s where we come in.

We’ve created a range of Christmas shops to provide you with inspiration but we’ve also gathered together our top 10 favourite gifts to give to your loved ones this Christmas. Check them out below!

1. Limit Pro XR Watch – £29.99

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Limit Watchmakers have a knack for producing superb designs with great features for great value and this watch is no exception!

The Pro XR watch has rugged marine styling in navy blue with features such as a stopwatch, countdown timer, pacer, day/date, alarms and night-time illumination!

It’s also waterproof to 100m and boasts a two-year guarantee. Even better, it comes gift-boxed, so you don’t need to worry about presentation this Christmas!

Another great Limit watch we have available is the Digital Countdown Watch in red/black for the same price.

2. Gael Force 7×50 Focus-Free Waterproof Binoculars – £39.99 (or 2 pairs for £70)

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Our own brand waterproof binoculars are superb value for money. These nitrogen-filled binoculars have long relief and are manufactured with a robust rubber armour body. They come with a carry-case and strap and offer a range of 367ft (132m) at 1000 yards.

The focus-free aspect means they use your eye’s natural ability to focus, rather than relying on manual adjustment and focusing mechanisms.

Our two pairs for £70 deal offers you an even better saving than buying one on its own so you can either get two gifts for less or you can treat yourself while you’re shopping for others!

3. Nauticalia “Ship Faced” Tankard – Only £9.99

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Everyone loves a good gag gift so why not combine something funny and perhaps a little silly with something useful?!

Whether it’s for a boating-themed party, a gift for those hard-to-buy-for ‘Yachties’, or simply keeping track of which drink is whose, this tankard is sure to make the recipient, and everyone else, smile!

Please be aware that it isn’t suitable for microwave or dishwasher. Size: 1 pint.

4. Garmin Striker Plus 4cv Fishfinder with GT20-TM Transducer – RRP £246.99 NOW £209.99 (Save 15%)

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The Garmin STRIKER Plus 4cv fishfinder is the perfect gift for the fisherman in your life. The built-in GPS feature (with CHIRP traditional sonar and CHIRP ClearVu scanning sonar) lets them mark and navigate to waypoints and shows the boat’s speed.

The Quickdraw Contours mapping software creates HD fishing maps of the places they’ve been, storing up to 2 million acres of content with 1-foot contours.

This fishfinder makes fishing a breeze and it’s built to work in any environment. The bright 4.3-inch display and intuitive user interface make it simple to navigate so they are ready for anything on the water.

5. Nauticalia Pocket Hammock – £14.99

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From the late 1600s onwards, hammocks (derived from the Spanish word ‘hamaca’) were widely used on ships with sailors having to share a double one.

Thankfully, you won’t have to share this one with anyone else. This frameless mini-hammock is woven from tough nylon and rolls up into a fist-sized ball that can slip easily into your pocket.

It is versatile in its use as you can take it out on the boat with you or when you go camping. It is suitable for people up to 6 ft 3 inches tall.

6. Holebrook Men’s Windproof Joar Sweater – RRP £138.98 NOW £109.95 (Save 21%)

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The ‘Joar’ sweater is the latest to be added to our range of Holebrook knitwear. Holebrook is known for producing high-quality sweaters which is why we’re sure your loved ones would appreciate one as a gift.

This black t-neck sweater is 100% cotton and structure knitted with brown Alcantara patches over the elbows and shoulders making it fashionable, comfortable, and functional.

This windproof sweater is perfect for keeping the chill away, regardless of the season, while still remaining light in warmer weather.

Check out our great range of other Holebrook sweaters for men and women.

7. NauticaliaWooden Dominoes Set – RRP £19.99 NOW £11.95 (Save 40%) SOLD OUT

dominoes-set

This set is a great gift and also a nice way to pass the time over the festive period, wherever you may be, regardless of age.

This smart wooden box with glass panel set in the top and brass inlaid corners houses a full set of quality wooden dominoes.

Box length: 8 inches.

8. Nauticalia Salmon Cushion – £19.99

salmon-cushion

Cushion, pillow, toy or ornament, it’s entirely up to you! This unusual fabric fish is highly realistic and a great quirky gift to someone.

It’s printed on both sides and is firmly stuffed to give it an authentic shape and appearance. The cushion is made from strong hardwearing polyester with a shiny gloss finish and is 33 inches long.

It’s also CE tested for toy safety (ages 3 upwards) so you don’t have to worry about that.

We also have Crab Cushions and Shark Cushions available, if Salmon doesn’t take your fancy.

9. Standard Horizon HX210 Handheld Radio –  RRP £134.95 NOW £118.95 (Save 12%)

hx210-radio

The HX210 Marine Handheld Radio is a handy compact transceiver with a high capacity Lithium-Ion battery and a buoyant case. It is waterproof to 1 metre for 30 minutes and is designed to float face up if it’s dropped overboard. It also has a 3-year warranty so overall, it’s the perfect gift for that clumsy person in your life!

Despite its compact size, it boasts one of the largest screens in its class with a bright (yet dimmable option) backlit LCD screen and easy to operate menu system. The water-activated strobe light on the cover makes it easy for the radio, or the person using it, to be found at night.

It’s the perfect time to upgrade your loved one’s old radio and with all USA, International and Canadian channels available, it’ll suit you wherever you are in the world.

10. Gael Force Chandlery Gift Vouchers – £10-£50

gift-vouchers

Still struggling for what to get your loved ones for Christmas?

If you’re not sure what they need, why not give them one of our gift vouchers so they can treat themselves at a later point?

Vouchers are redeemable over the phone or in-store at our Inverness, Glasgow, and Plymouth branches. They’re also valid for 1 year so there’s plenty of time to use them.


Visit our Christmas shops for more inspiration! We’ve made Christmas easy this year by setting up shops by budget, by ‘who it’s for’ and everything else in between. Happy shopping!

Top Products for Laying Up Your Boat

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. The clocks will soon be going back again, lulling us into a false sense of security with our ‘extra hour’ in bed… It must be that time of year again.

Time to lay up your boat.

But what is “Laying Up”?

Laying up or “winterisation” is the process of preparing your boat to withstand the winter weather. This is an important part of your boat maintenance in order to prevent damage and ensure a smooth, problem-free, and worry-free return to sailing come spring-time.

So, where should you start?

Here at Gael Force, we have a wide range of products for all your boating winterisation requirements but it can be time-consuming to find all the right products for this process.

To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of our top picks for laying up your boat this year:

1. Tetrion Moisture Mate Absorber – £7.49

1.moisture-mate

The “Moisture Mate” absorber is a simple and safe way to help reduce moisture in the air on your boat. If moisture is left unattended, it can lead to serious problems such as condensation, damp and mildew. This is also a much cheaper alternative to buying a dehumidifier and most effective when placed in the harder to reach places and little nooks and crannies.

2. Polygon Eco Bilge Cleaner Sachets – £10.49

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This bilge wash is an eco-friendly way to clean out the bilges. The polymer powder-filled sachets are water-soluble so they can be pre-dissolved in water or simply added straight to disperse oil and disinfect the bilge.

Everything about it is biodegradable so using this product will reduce the need for the usual plastic containers, helping us do our bit for the environment while making this job easier too.

This product is really handy and versatile as you can also use it to clean the decks, superstructure and hulls. And while you’re doing this, you should also test out of the bilge pumps to ensure they are working as they should!

3. Starbrite Sail & Canvas Cleaner – £10.99

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This handy little product is specially formulated to get rid of dirt, grease, and stains from both natural and synthetic fabrics, including sails, boat covers and bimini tops.

It is easily applied once diluted and the solution does not weaken fabric or thread. It’s the perfect product for ensuring your sail and other fabric on your boat are spotless after a busy season.

You can also follow this up by applying Starbrite’s Waterproofing Treatment to make material watertight and resistant to future soiling, giving you less work to do in the future.

4. Polyform F-Series Fenders – from £16.49

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Fenders are important for taking the hit in bad weather so your boat doesn’t have to because they absorb the kinetic energy of your boat berthing against a jetty and prevent damage to vessels and berthing structures.

This is especially relevant with the stormy conditions we’ve been hit with recently and will stand you in good stead while your boat is unattended over the next 6 months for any other storms forecast.

These heavy-duty fenders come in a range of sizes to suit your vessel and have high abrasive resistance and energy absorption. They’re also tested in temperatures ranging from -30 degrees to +60 degrees Celsius so you know they’ll withstand all weathers.

5. Starbrite Non-Toxic Premium Anti-Freeze – £10.49

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Starbrite’s anti-freeze is the perfect solution to provide cold weather and corrosion protection for your water systems and engines, preventing them from freezing up while in storage.

It is safe and effective to use on aluminium, copper, brass, and all types of plastic without compromising rubber, seals, or hose materials. It is an incredibly versatile and useful product!

This anti-freeze provides burst protection to -46 degrees Celsius and freeze protection ranging from -11 degrees to -9 degrees Celsius. And even better, it’s ready to use immediately – no dilution required!

6. CT1 Unique Sealant & Construction Adhesive – From £12.99

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Be careful not to let any gradual gaps or flaking old sealant to fester over the winter period – some might say it’s cheaper to deal with the problem now rather than let it deteriorate.

You’re in luck though! CT1 Sealant is a unique all-purpose adhesive that can be used in most applications without the need for any additional fixings. It can successfully bond metal, glass, wood, polystyrene, mirrors, and almost any material, making it a must-have for this time of year for any boat maintenance needs.

It is resistant to chemicals, UV, and fungal growth while maintaining environmental compliance. It can be painted, does not shrink and is odourless. Most importantly, it works in wet or dry conditions.

7. OML Small Outboard Motor Slot Lock – £44.99

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Don’t leave your outboard open to theft over extended unattended periods of time! Made from brass, this slot lock contains a number of improvements learned from manufacturers work with Honda to create their Honda lock. The OML Small Slot Lock is a single unit using a seawater friendly Alko lock. It is suitable for Suzuki 2.5hp and Honda 2.3hp outboard engines only.

Other OML Engine Locks are available on the website.

8. Gael Force Mooring Compensator – from £10.99

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Also known as “rubber snubbers”, this mooring compensator is designed for use on small boats and can be used with up to 15mm rope. Rubber snubbers reduce boat movement at a mooring or on a marina berth.

It is sturdy, constructed from natural rubber, and resilient to sea-water, sunlight, and weather, meaning it’ll take the strain in bad weather conditions and you won’t have to worry about it when it’s docked for the winter, just like your fenders.

Also available in two other sizes.

9. Hylite Slimline Tube Heater with Thermostat – from £26.95

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Hylite’s Tube Heater is a great addition to your boat to ensure good air circulation in enclosed spaces and assists with preventing condensation and dampness. This choice is low power at 240v and slimline with an energy-saving thermostat which can be left on the boat.

It can be fitted using the brackets provided, either by mounting them on the wall or on the floor. It is fitted with a UK plug and IP44 rated for water resistance. Available in 3 sizes: 0.5m, 1.0m and 1.5m with a 1.5-metre long cable.

Protect your tube heater with Hylite’s Heater Guard.

10. Jabsco Twist N Lock Toilet (Compact Bowl) – £139.95

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Depending on when you prefer to kit out your boat, this might just be the perfect time to replace your toilet. The ‘Twist n Lock’ toilet from Jabsco is our best-selling toilet so it won’t leave you wanting for quality.

The white vitreous china bowl and enamelled wooden seat and cover lend themselves to the twist n lock function which is an action handle to seal down the toilet seat and protect against symphonic flooding and waste backflow.

It has also been designed for easy left or right-handed installation and with easy access for maintenance. So, if it’s time for you to upgrade, this is the toilet you want!


For a further list of products suitable for this process, visit our “Laying Up Your Boat” shop.

A quick look at the Gael Force Marine Megastore

Did you know that Gael Force has 3 stores across the UK (with sites in a further 3 locations)?

Our Marine Megastore in Inverness (South Kessock) is one of our biggest sites. Here we stock products from many areas of interests, including leisure marine, commercial fishing, and commercial marine.

We also have a large warehouse adjacent to the store, with 400,000 cubic feet of storage, and between the two, this Summer, we’re filled to the brim with stock and look forward to helping you find what you need!

In addition to Inverness, we have our Marine Centre in Glasgow (Hillington Industrial Estate) which stocks a smaller range of commercial marine and leisure marine products while our Plymouth Marine Centre (Sutton Harbour) focuses largely on products for commercial fishing.

Watch this short snapshot of our Inverness Marine Megastore and pop in to see what’s in store for yourself. Take the chance to get up close and personal with our range of kayaks, dinghies, creel, engines, boat maintenance products, clothing and more!

Inverness Megastore Opening Times:

Mon-Fri: 8am – 5.30pm

Sat: 9am – 5pm.

Sun: Closed.

Glasgow & Plymouth Opening Times:

Mon-Fri: 8.30am – 5pm.

Sat & Sun: Closed.

Get our addresses and contact numbers through our Store Locator.