Which handheld VHF?
Is there a brand that most run with? I would like one that floats for obvious reasons, has a long battery life and decent range and power. Maybe even weather alert if its possible. Thanks in advance!!
Take a look at the Standard/Horizon radios; I've owned a few and have nothing but rave reviews for them. Standard Communications is part of the Yaesu-Vertex company, and they are well known as making rugged, durable products. I don't think you can go wrong. I had a Standard marine mobile mounted in my boat back home in FL, and it was flawless. My ham radio is also from their product line (waterproof as well), and I'm very happy with it. I've used radios from that company that were decades old and still going.
One of the things I like about Standard/Vertex is value for dollars spent. You can buy a higher priced iCom and get a great radio, but I don't think the price paid is equal to the quality gained. Conversely you can go to West Marine (I used to work there so I know) and buy their "Sea Ranger" line (which is actually a Uniden product or was many years ago) and the complete lack of quality is reflected in the basement pricing.
The HX300 is their floating unit. standardhorizon.com
Standard/Horizon gets my vote too. I have had one for over 7 years and I use it a lot. Mine has a rechargeable battery pack and a battery pack that takes 9 AA batteries. The only thing that I have had go wrong was my Lab chewed the antenna up, but it still worked. I did replace the antenna