You know, if you bought a washing machine that leaked every time you put a load of washing in you would not waste much time in calling the retailer and complaining or contacting a consumer watchdog to warn about the product.
What has that to do with sailing? Well I am specifically thinking about handheld VHF radios.
Almost by definition they are meant, or at least intended to be used on deck, often in less than favourable conditions. In fact there are a number of models that are splash proof, will withstand immersion or even float.
Now that is all very commendable but it is very rare to find a hand held VHF which has the most important facility of all built in to it.
I am talking about a wind cut filter which considering where they are used – outside where, in an emergency there is likely to be a lot of wind.
I have seen people with those pukka waterproof backs to put them in (not needed if the radio is immersion proof), electrical tape across the mike, a plastic bag or piece of plastic over the mic/speaker, or cup your hand over the mike
Why do the waterborne users, of what may be a vital piece of safety gear have to put up with such a crazy omission on a piece of equipment used outside in generally windy conditions when the transmission is soften garbled because of wind noise.
I have just completed 2 days at a match race event and this was one of the biggest bugbears, wind noise on the VHF with the umpire calling the wing not being understood becasue a borrowed radio didn’thave a cover – wake up manufacturers, surely a windcut filter would not increase the overall manufacturers cost’s a great deal.