Amen to floats! Learned that the hard way, when we dropped a VHF into the waters of the Broken Group. A tether works as an alternative.
I’m still using an older ICOM IC-M34 model, which has been very durable. I’m going to look into a battery replacement for this year.
The InReach or similar is a good idea; portable VHF’s operating at 5 watts don’t have much range; much more useful for receiving than sending.