Here’s a link to an informative article on choosing a VHF radio. It’s by my favourite radio company, Icom, but is by no means Icom oriented, the advice applies to selecting any VHF radio.
Once you’ve selected your radio you’ll need a top quality antenna and cable to extract its full potential. A Metz antenna with marine quality RG8X cable can be had from the Salty John website. You won’t do better for performance and you’ll have a lifetime warranty.
Two antennas fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much but the reception was fantastic.