Originally Posted by TheFish
Hello, first post from a soon-to-be first timer on ICW. I have learned from reviewing forum posts and reading in various ICW guides that when communicating w/another boat or a bridge that you should use the "low power" setting on your VHF. I understand WHY but have a question about what to do in my particular circumstance.
I am not using a large powerful bulkhead unit w/antenna but rather a hand held West Marine
unit that has three settings. They are 1, 2.5 and 5 watt. Which should I use so that I don't contaminate airwaves w/irrelevant broadcasts yet am able to contact bridge or another ship about passing, etc.?
Many times on the ICW you will be within range of more then one bridge.
Of course you identify the bridge when you hail them.. but things can get confusing when there are multiple boats transiting multiple bridges.
It is good counsel to use low power to speak to the bridge. Even with your handheld, you are unlikely to be having the conversation much earlier then when you can see the bridge anyway.
If nothing else, it will aggravate the snot out of the rest of the tenders (they can get cranky) if you use High Power, and they have to talk over your conversation to operate the other bridges in range.
If you don't get a reply on 1w, then use a higher power setting.