Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ian, who shared the following response to our post regarding the best shortwave receiver for you boat or yacht:
An icom M802 package can be had for less that $3k… but the installation may run up anywhere up to $5k hence the OP’s ~$8k cost and request for alternatives. The bulk of cost (for pretty much anything in a boat) is always in installation…not the cost of electronics, as boats have unique issues regarding their ground.
As a sailor, when faced with a budgetary issue of installing a marine SSB radio system, IMO the answer is most definitely not “get a ham radio and your license”…the answer is most definitely “get a good SSB portable with an external antenna input”.
To get valuable weather resources such as Chris Parker (www.mwxc.com), weatherfax and eavesdop on atlantic nets, a quality portable SSB receiver is all that is required, provided that some sort of external antenna is used.
In my case, in the Bahamas, a 25ft length of wire semi permanently rigged to the flag halyard presented a strong and clear enough signal to reliably get the morning weather, and any weatherfax data I needed (along with the laptop).
My radio back then was the Satellit 800, and this year that behemoth will be replaced with a Tecsun PL-880… such a setup is ALL that is required.
Thank you for your input, Ian! It’s been seven years since we originally posted that article about HF receivers and transceivers on boats and yachts. I’m curious if any other readers might have suggestions they would care to share. What has works for you? Please comment!