Welcome to the SubCommittee
Part of your decision for a radio needs to include the number of channels that you would like to have. For an R/C fleetboat, a realistic minimum is 4 channels (rudder, stern planes, motor, ballast)....including working bow planes, including the retract, can add two channels. Adding other working items like periscopes, torpedoes, etc. can add more channels.....
The choice of radios for surface use is somewhat limited unless you wish to consider having an air frequency radio converted.
The likely surface frequency radios (in no particular order) include:
- Futaba Skysport (4 channels)
- Polk Tracker III (6 or 8 channels)
- Robbe F-14 (8 channels)
- Airtronics VG400 or VG600 (4 or 6 channels)
Of the above, only the Polk Tracker is a computer radio. (perhaps this is a separate discussion?)
Some of us go the route of buying a radio that is sold as an air frequency unit and having it re-tuned (converted) to a surface frequency. For example, I had been using a Futaba 8UAF until recently replacing it with a Multiplex Evo 9.
My suggestion is that unless there is a specific air radio that you really have to have, then get one of the ground frequency radios.
Hope this helps as a start. Please ask any questions!
p.s. you don't live too far away from me, perhaps we can get together to talk subs?