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Old 29-07-2017, 06:33   #31
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Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

[QUOTE=wcapital;2443602]Our former boat (a 44' cat) was in charter for years, and we added a wired remote at the helm. BUT.....almost every time I came to the boat myself, it wasn't working. The biggest problem was the connector at the helm (that allowed removal) - constantly corroding and losing one or another contact.

Next time I would perhaps hard-wire it all the way from radio to remote -
but if it's always at the helm it's vulnerable to theft and deterioration due to exposure....but maybe with a well-protected connector inside and an enclosed locker of sorts at the helm.....

That's the solution. Here's one way that could work. On a Center console Boston whaler I had I flush mounted a small Pelican waterproof box into the console . Inside the box I installed bilge pump and running light switches. With the top of the box closed everything was completely protected. It would be easy to install a mike connector in such a box and you could even store the mike there when not in use. It's even lockable.
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Old 29-07-2017, 07:31   #32
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Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

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Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
On a charter or delivery my min is to bring my own H/H radio, laptop with charts and GPS with a decent screen and PLB. You can never rely on what may be on board to work in an emergency!


Ditto.

Except I have a full EPIRB and update my NOAA sourced charts in iNavX before leaving on a delivery. Just finished a delivery where plotter had 8-10 year old charts and VHF died.
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Old 29-07-2017, 08:29   #33
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Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

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............ At sailboat speeds you can safely duck below when you wish. .............
Not in a narrow channel or canal and this is when someone is likely to want to call you to arrange a pass. And of course if you can't hear it from the helm, it's pretty useless.
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Old 29-07-2017, 08:35   #34
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Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

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Never approached a marina or fuel dock? Bad time to not be at the helm when getting directions over the VHF.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. I approach marinas and fuel docks all the time and I use my VHF. Mine is at the helm within reach.
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Old 29-07-2017, 08:42   #35
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Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

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.............. A remote Mike at or near the helm is a better solution though even with its inherent maintenance problems. ................ .
What "inherent maintenance problems" ?

I've never heard of "maintenance problems" on a microphone.
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Old 29-07-2017, 08:52   #36
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Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

I have improved performance of my cockpit mic by cleaning and lubing contacts so there is a tiny bit of maintenance involved.
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Old 30-07-2017, 09:23   #37
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Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

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What "inherent maintenance problems" ?

I've never heard of "maintenance problems" on a microphone.

Connectors primarily if you want the mic removal. There's also the deterioration of anything left in the sun, wiring pulling loose from the molded in strain relief due to constant pulling on the cord, switches on the handset if you want to be able to switch channels or control volume or squelch, etc. Depends on what you have, how you mount it, how exposed it is to UV and salt spray and how well you maintain your gear.
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Old 30-07-2017, 09:39   #38
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Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

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Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I think the question was why not mount the VHF at the helm?

[as John pointed out while I was typing the below!]

My own experience is that this is a fundamental difference between the sailing and power traditions. It seems sailboats always have the VHF, and usually the majority of other electronics, down below at the nav station. Power boats (except maybe those rigged by a former sailor) have little or no electronic gear below, and all of it at the helm. They are far less likely to even HAVE a nav station.

Maybe it's just a different mindset. Going for longer periods at a slower pace just naturally causes the navigation task to separate from the task of manning the helm.

Yes, exactly.

It's rather standard and traditional to operate the radio from the nav table, on sailing yachts. It used to be, also, that chart plotters and other electronics were mounted only at the chart table, with only wind, speed and depth visible in the cockpit.

That's because before the advent of good autopilots, it was standard and traditional for the skipper to work at the nav table, with a crewmember at the helm.

So there is nothing criminal about the way your charter boat was set up. It's set up for a different way of working -- you are supposed to be at the nav table giving instructions to the helm, not standing at the helm yourself.

So bring a handheld if you expect to do it differently.
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Old 03-08-2017, 16:07   #39
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Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

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Yes, exactly.

It's rather standard and traditional to operate the radio from the nav table, on sailing yachts. It used to be, also, that chart plotters and other electronics were mounted only at the chart table, with only wind, speed and depth visible in the cockpit.

That's because before the advent of good autopilots, it was standard and traditional for the skipper to work at the nav table, with a crewmember at the helm.

I believe where some of the confusion may lie is the difference between "navigating visually" in narrow channels, marinas, fuel docks, anchorages, etc. and "navigating" in the traditional sense of plotting a course and directing the helmsman. During a passage sure I can see your point, but how much are you using the radio while plotting a course? Okay, checking the weather, talking to another vessel who is to weather of you, calling ahead to a marina and so on, I get that. What my original post was attempting to address was not having easy access to the radio while in situations where a visual reference is necessary. Sure a handheld will work in non-emergency situations but why not make it simple and easy? Put the radio and it's mic at the nav station below and a remote mic near the helm. Then no matter what the situation communication is near to hand.
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Old 04-08-2017, 13:37   #40
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Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

Nani Kai, yes to your last bit. But on a charter boat it costs more $ to have a microphone at the helm. So to be save bring your own well tuned, battery up to snuff, and the one you are familiar with. No worries.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:38   #41
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Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

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Originally Posted by Nani Kai View Post
I believe where some of the confusion may lie is the difference between "navigating visually" in narrow channels, marinas, fuel docks, anchorages, etc. and "navigating" in the traditional sense of plotting a course and directing the helmsman. During a passage sure I can see your point, but how much are you using the radio while plotting a course? Okay, checking the weather, talking to another vessel who is to weather of you, calling ahead to a marina and so on, I get that. What my original post was attempting to address was not having easy access to the radio while in situations where a visual reference is necessary. Sure a handheld will work in non-emergency situations but why not make it simple and easy? Put the radio and it's mic at the nav station below and a remote mic near the helm. Then no matter what the situation communication is near to hand.
Well, my boat is set up so that one person can do everything from the helm. I didn't say that the old system is the best. I just said that it exists, and that many charter boats are set up like that.

Again, the old way is that is that crew would be at the helm, and the skipper is at the nav table doing comms (where he can be heard, out of the weather) and nav, and giving steering orders to the person at the helm.

If you don't like it (and it's not the way I run my boat), then bring your own handheld. Simple solution.
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Old 06-08-2017, 07:25   #42
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Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

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Originally Posted by Nani Kai View Post
Connectors primarily if you want the mic removal. There's also the deterioration of anything left in the sun, wiring pulling loose from the molded in strain relief due to constant pulling on the cord, switches on the handset if you want to be able to switch channels or control volume or squelch, etc. Depends on what you have, how you mount it, how exposed it is to UV and salt spray and how well you maintain your gear.
Most of those things are related to actually using the microphone. If it is at the helm, you will likely use it when you should. If it's out of reach, you won't and that's the problem.

As a real life example, the only "maintenance" I have had to do on my remote microphone was to replace the cord after I got it caught in an electric buffer while waxing the boat. Unplugging it first would have avoided this.

If you don't have the microphone (and speaker) within reach while running the boat, you might as well not have a VHF in the first place.
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