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Old 01-07-2012, 18:14   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bayfield, Lake Superior, WI
Boat: C&C 34
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DSC on VHF?

Needed a new VHF and Practical Sailor gave a recommendation to the Standard Horizon GX1700. That's the one with a built in GPS so you don't have to connect it to a separate GPS to enable the DSC feature. I applied for a MMSI through Boat US and now have it. And south and west Lake Superior has recently become part of the USCG's DSC grid. So, my question is, was it worth it? Does anyone have any experience or stories about using DSC for boat to boat communication or for requesting assistance...the good/bad/ugly?
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Old 03-07-2012, 20:37   #2
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Location: CHARLESTON, SC
Boat: IRWIN 10/4
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Re: DSC on VHF?

The DSC option with gps could help a SAR case, especially if you don't have much time to abandon your vessel, and spend a lot of time describing your boat and problem. There is nothing like flipping up the cap and pushing the distress button. If you are on the Great Lakes, most of the time you will be within tower range of the Coast Guard. Your biggest concern is to ensure you have 12 volts to make the call. Dead batteries are one of the biggest problems with boats. I have been working on emergency back up battery systems, or designated batteries that only run the radio. The best dependable back up for loss of electricity, is a PLB that floats, or EPIRB with gps if your concern is getting help quickly..
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