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Old 24-12-2008, 12:12   #16
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reminds me of a song.........Changes in Latitudes...Changes in Attitudes....
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Old 24-12-2008, 14:00   #17
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If a little thing like radio procedure bothers you , you should come to cayman and listen to the fisherman repeat everything 3 times on 16 like.

How's da fishn, catch any ting, fishen good?
No nut ting, not one , no fish in the sea.

and over and over. Then rent a car and go for a drive. Wow locals and expats alike.
No signal lite, shoulder checks or abilty to merge.etc......can't drive without cellphone in use. Point is don't let the radio stress you, lead by example, it's all we can do without going Rambo.
Merry X-mass all
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Old 24-12-2008, 16:31   #18
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The VHF radio course in Europe lasts for 2 days,in the UK it lasts for 1 day.At the end of the course you recieve a certificate that allows you to apply for the Licence,once the VHF on your boat is registered to a certified operator then anyone on board is covered to use it.

my sailing buddie here in the UK is a Yank and he tells me that he does not have to do the course,but i do believe (from memory) that a handheld VHF cannot be used on land in the USA.
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:16   #19
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I operate a commercial tour boat in the Tampa Bay, Florida. In addition, I hold an FCC Marine Radio Operators License as required by the USCG. Generally I setup my radio to scan 13, 16, 22A (USCG), 73 (our working channel). If I need to hail another vessel, I will hail on 16 or maybe 13 (if they are commercial). If I am calling our office/desk I will call on 73 (our working channel). I also carry a small handheld VHF that I setup to scan 16 and 73 (our working channel) so if I'm away from the boat, the office can call me. Sometimes on weekends 73 is busy, so I call the office on the cell phone or vice versa. We keep a company cell on the boat.

bastonjock-you are right in the fact that a VHF cannot be operated on land in the USA without a "special license" from the FCC. You have to have a specific reason to do so.
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:27   #20
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I'm a Brit currently cruising in the
Now I don't mean to suggest that the first example above is confined to our North American cousins, because it's not, lots of people do it. But the question is, are US citizens trained in the use of VHF in the same way as we are in Europe? Perhaps this is just an example of becoming a bit more laid back in true Caribbean style, I just don't know but I can tell you it's driving us nuts! If anyone can explain this phenomenon I'd love to hear it!
I'm wondering why you don't use DSC? Then you can just listen for your beep or tone that the radio will make when it is a call for you and will change to the calling frequency selected by the caller, or are you just upset that people aren't following protocol, and want to change the world?

While I think requiring some training in the U.S. would be more optimum, in Puget Sound the Coast Guard is active in informing people on 16 when they are not using it appropriately, providing lowest level basic training for all that are listening.

John
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:44   #21
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VHF Safety Watch Required When Underway -- Not Optional

Note that under FCC rules, if you have a VHF radio -- whether mandatory or voluntary -- you must maintain a listening watch on Channel 16.

The relevant language from the FCC is:

Quote
  • Maintain your watch. Whenever your boat is underway, the radio must be turned on and be tuned to Channel 16 except when being used for messages. Unquote

The addition of Channel 9 for calling really complicates things, IMHO. In some jurisdictions, like parts of New England, the requirement is to listen on Channel 9, viz these instructions from the Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection:

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If you have the radio on, you must maintain a watch on VHF channel 9 or 16. In CG District I waters (northern New Jersey to Canada), urgent marine information broadcasts, such as storm warnings, are announced on channel 9. (NOTE: Instructions on this page are based on Coast Guard District I in which channel 9 is the designated calling channel.)
Unquote

Bill
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:01   #22
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If the safety watch was directed at my DSC post. My intent was that your radio would be tuned to 16, you could ignore the normal chatter, and be listening for your DSC beep and distress calls.

John
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:08   #23
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No, John, not at you specifically. Just a general note, since many folks believe they don't have to listen to the VHF when underway.

I agree with you re: Channel 16. Here in the Chesapeake region, the Coast Guard does a bang-up job of keeping idle chatter off of Channel 16. Sometimes they're a bit too aggressive, but it works.

Don't know why they can't do the same everywhere, 'cuz the Channel 9 thing is an unneeded complication and often a real mess for a lot of reasons IMHO.

Bill
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:40   #24
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My expereince has been that even in busy SE florida, having one hailing channel works fairly well, and the vast majority of users, use it appropriately even without any official training. Obsusers, usually get harmmered on fairly fast. I think once out the reach of FCC and others, (Bahamas for example), many get more relaxed. In addition, a much higher percent of US cruisers in the Caribbean are charter people who know less about boating protocals in general. (and I say that as someone who has chartered myself.)

I really don't like the idea of separating the emergency channel from the general hailing channel such as using channel 9. People will be more likely to monitor the hailing channel than the emergency channel, so in my mind, this greatly reduces the effectiveness of using an emergency channel to notifiy people of emergencies. Having one to eclusively to deal with emergencies is something different.

I find another big help that people often ignore to reduce chatter is to switch to low power when you don't need to transmit far. A transmit circle with twice the radius, has much more than twice the area or listeners it will affect. Swtiching to low power will usually do more free up a hailing channel than cutting the hailing process by a couple seconds.

When I have trouble hailing someone, it's rarely because people using proper procedures to hail each other are taking too long, it's because a very small percent of people just don't know (or more likely don't care about) using proper protocals. Either that or there's a big group of boaters constantly hailing each other to chat about nothing.
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:55   #25
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For whatever reasons, the closer you get to the equator, the less "proper" radio procedure matters. Don't let it get to you. You will never be able to change those who see the VHF as a 25 watt CB radio. So long as people are not discussing Aunt Thelma's health on Ch 16 and staying off the channels used by the commercial boats, that's all I really care about.
x2 on that sentiment.. one can check a channel to see if there is no traffic on it.. but by the time they do, hail the other boat and get on that channel there is always that possiblility that it might be in use..

There are not regulations but as I recall there is, possibly on the USCG website, a criteria that we are, theoretically, supposed to use.. does everyone use it.. NO...

Try any local area on a Sat afternoon in midsummer... new to boaters powerboatres have an absymmal habit about chatting about aunt lucy and then gettting upset when the Coasties come in and tell them point blank to GO TO A WORKING CHANNEL.. it is humorous..

Then you have someplace like Key West, where the cruise ship docks are right next to the holiday inn marina.. and all damn day long you hear
"Securite! Security! SV or MV XXXXX, entering Hoiday Inn Marina"... thank you 9/11 and HS for making us do that.. its ludicrious.. it got so bad that I turned off the vhf.. what bothered a lot of us in KW was that a very real emergency might get missed.. what a PIA..

A lot of times my buddies and I would do that initial call and then say 68, and 72.. if 68 was busy, we knew to auto go to 72 and so on..

OTOH, I know people that put the handheld on 68 and the fixed vhf on 16.. then do thier call on 68 and if they don't get thier party go to 16 as a semi last resort..

YMMV
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Old 09-02-2009, 14:03   #26
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A Ham operator will tell you that if you tell another station to meet you on a different channel and that channel is in use, you simply wait for radio traffic to finish, or if urgent, ident yourself between their transmissions, and ask to use the channel for urgent reasons, or tell your other station to move to another channel.
This is easy to avoid by using your handheld to moniter another channel making sure that it is clear wile waiting to contact on 16.
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Old 09-02-2009, 17:40   #27
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VHF is "glorified CB".

If people can't learn right of way rule, what makes you think they will use proper procedure.

I monitor 13 and 16.....while underway.

The ones that really get me are the ones that scream into their radios to "slow down" in the Harbor here....nvmnvts
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Old 09-02-2009, 18:44   #28
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I typically respond to a hail with "Channel 3o and up" that lets the other party know we will try 30, if it is busy 31, then 32, well you get the idea. You will be amazed at how quickly this catches on if YOU start using this as a response. Other wise you could play VHF bingo. We made up cards that have different phrases on them. We listen to the VHF and play bingo. Half the fun is making the card with your crew. You could use the "no channel in mind before communications" as the "free space". Another one is repeat hail on 68. We often put in boat names in the harbor and other local attractions. It is quite fun.
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Old 09-02-2009, 18:49   #29
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I typically respond to a hail with "Channel 3o and up" that lets the other party know we will try 30, if it is busy 31, then 32, well you get the idea. You will be amazed at how quickly this catches on if YOU start using this as a response. Other wise you could play VHF bingo. We made up cards that have different phrases on them. We listen to the VHF and play bingo. Half the fun is making the card with your crew. You could use the "no channel in mind before communications" as the "free space". Another one is repeat hail on 68. We often put in boat names in the harbor and other local attractions. It is quite fun.
LOL
Please post sample card and basic rules please.
Thank you.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:01   #30
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Make sure you add "Radio Check" to you bingo card. Good lord those get annoying.
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