Irish Anarchist Seán Toomey thought so, and for his thesis project last year at the Dublin Institute of Technology, he created the VHF Casemate to address this issue. It’s clever as hell; the Casemate is a ruggedized, waterproof phone case that contains the important bits from a VHF radio; slip your smartphone into the case (with a connector that allows the Casemate to use your phone’s power, processor, microphone and headphones) and you’ve got a phone that also functions as a VHF radio.
With many of us now taking our phones offshore for safety and even navigation, this is a nice addition, and with a price target under 100 Euros, it should be economical as well. Wanna help this thing get produced? Get in touch with Sean at the DIT Hothouse site.