You can keep in touch with your friends and family by phone but you also need VHF when communicating at sea, either to make a Mayday call or to check with the marina about a berth. Just remember that many coastguard services and larger vessels no longer maintain a full-time VHF radio watch, relying instead on DSC to handle Mayday calls. All fixed VHF radios produced now are DSC-enabled. Also note that licensing requirements for VHF vary slightly from country to country but, in general, both the operator and set need to be licensed. The range of a VHF radio increases with antenna height and, whilst fixed sets transmit at 25 watts, hand-held sets are normally 5 or 6 watts. So you may possibly be able to receive a call from another set but not be received by them. Just try to get the antenna as high as possible, whether you are using a fixed or hand-held set.