Standard Horizon VHF radios are excellent value. They are very well built, perform well, modestly priced, and Standard has excellent technical support and repair policies.
For a handheld in the ditch bag, I'd look at the HX-851. It has DSC
and a built-in GPS
, as well as other features which make it attractive -- including an optional battery
pack which takes 5 AA alkaline batteries in lieu of the normal LiIon battery
pack. I have one and like it very much.
The fixed-mount radios are great, too. They make a model with built-in AIS
if you want that; other models are excellent as well. I have an older GX2360S and a new GX5500S. The latter model is a Class D DSC
radio, has a keyboard to facilitate entry of, e.g., MMSI numbers, and I believe is the one chosen as a standard on USCG boats.