Fistmike prone to failure, screws made of carbon steel so starts to rust as soon as it's out of the bag, on my second and that's no longer functioning. NAVTEX never used, aerial being sold on ebay. By all accounts ICOM or SIMRAD are very reliable.
My good lady bought me one for my Chrissy 2003 and it was a bit of pain to install on to a bulkhead as it's a funny chape. After much messing about I got it fitted in July last year as I had to take half the flybridge off my boat. Ok slight exaggeration! I interfaced my Furuno GPS for fun but the Silva display is a bit small - actually tiny. I would only use it as a repeater for a proper GPS, which I suppose is what it's for. The mainj thing I didn't like about operating it is that it's all buttons, which I find a pain. Give me a knob anyday. Oops that sounds bad. I will rephrase that - give me a potentiometer anyday! Now for the really bad bit. It started steaming up after about a month despite the fact that you are supposed to be able to put it underwater and it will survive. To cut a long story short it's back at Silva and I am awaiting a new replacement. To be fair they didn't quibble and offered me a replacement immediately. I have got a NASA Clipper Navtex which is brilliant bit of kit and to be honest if I was buying a radio I would buy the three items seperately. For me the big benefit of Navtex is that it's all the time so when I come doen to the boat for a weekend I have the latest forecast available. As the radio is swithed off when I leave the boat it would not be any use at giving me the current forecast. On another issue. What's the point in DSC? Yes I know what it's meant for but in all honesty it seems like a load of bo£$£ocks to me. I've got a DSC licence and for anything other than a major emergency, talking on channel 16 the old fashioned way is infinitely easier and quicker. Does anyone actually use the mmsi number to call there buddies up?
I have called Thames on DSC with a passage plan on many occasions , no problem. I called Dover as I progressed round the coast and in the course of the call I asked them for there MMSI so I could call them on it in future. They must have had to look high and low as it took a while to give it.!
I bought one at the LBS in Jan (bad move???)...not installed it yet. I've read all the old posts, and the problems with the receiver seem to have been mainly with early versions of the firmware (previous to version 1.3). I have a sticker on the back of mine stating version 2.0. I wonder if all the bugs have now been sorted? Does anyone know?
I've had 3 go back for replacement in just over a year!. The last one had the new version 2 firmware which was a lot better. It allows you to silence the Navtex beeps so you can sleep, and direct the output to an external speaker which you can then unplug. This seems to be the only way to get around the problem of having to leave the set on to collect Navtex overnight or when when the boat is unattended. If you don't kill the speaker then DSC alarms going off when the boat is unattended is undesirable as someone will break in to shut it up!.
The V2 firmware allows you to select International, Local or Both NAVTEX frequencies. Can't see the point of this as you still need to manually flick the switch on the Silva NAVTEX antenna cable to either Local or International.
I've just sent my 3rd one back for exchange, as although the software seems sorted now it wouldn't actually transmit at all. Probably the same fist-mike issue that others have mentioned.
S15 replacement radio number 4 arrived yesterday - yippee!
Button clip on back of microphone fell off immediately - booo!
Now has version 4 firmware. I'll update further when I've had a chance to use it on the boat (unless of course I need to use it in a distress situation in which case you probably won't hear from me again as it probably won't work).