Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-07-2017, 11:08   #1
Registered User
 
Nani Kai's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Boston
Boat: In between boats
Posts: 106
Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

My wife and I just returned from another week of chartering a sailboat in the Caribbean, this time on a 41' Beneteau monohull. While approaching a large unfamiliar bay, I wanted to communicate with the captain of a passing, local vessel about details of the anchorage. As a licensed 100T power boat captain, I am used to having the VHF mike right at the helm. In this case I had to send a crew member down below to the nav station amidships in the salon. I tried to relay my questions by shouting to the crew member who communicated with the other vessel and then shouted back at me. What a FUBAR that turned out to be. My choices were to turn the helm over to another crew in a shallow anchorage with minimal nav aids and go below myself or skip the comms, rely on charts and instruments and forgo the local knowledge and advice. Which is what I did. I have chartered Cats and monohulls from different charter companies multiple times and it's always the same. The VHF comms are inside the salon with no ability to transmit or receive from the helm. At the least this is inconvenient and at the worst downright unsafe as there are many occasions when communication with another vessel can be critical to both vessels safety. How do other captains handle this?
__________________

__________________
Nani Kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-07-2017, 11:19   #2
Registered User
 
S/V Illusion's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FLORIDA
Boat: Alden 50, Sarasota, Florida
Posts: 1,723
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

Always bring a handheld. Trusting anything a charter boat has is never a good idea.
__________________

__________________
S/V Illusion is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-07-2017, 11:21   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Refit in Port Townsend, WA
Boat: 1984 Slocum 43
Posts: 425
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

Always take your own handheld DSC/GPS VHF radio with you on charters. That way you always have immediate commas in the cockpit of any boat you're chartering.

The reason for no remote mic is likely $$$. It costs bucks (or time) to route a remote mike and install it properly.
__________________
Mycroft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-07-2017, 11:29   #4
cruiser

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Adriatic Sea
Boat: Oyster 53 Cutter
Posts: 8,595
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Always bring a handheld. Trusting anything a charter boat has is never a good idea.
Always bring a handheld.
__________________
Kenomac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-07-2017, 12:43   #5
Registered User
 
Auspicious's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: HR 40
Posts: 1,847
Send a message via Skype™ to Auspicious
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nani Kai View Post
In this case I had to send a crew member down below to the nav station amidships in the salon. I tried to relay my questions by shouting to the crew member who communicated with the other vessel and then shouted back at me. What a FUBAR that turned out to be.
At the risk of digression, your experience is illustrative of the procedural issues that likely contributed to the collision of the Fitzgerald and the Crystal.
__________________
S/V Auspicious
AuspiciousWorks
Beware cut and paste sailors
Auspicious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-07-2017, 13:53   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Sailmonkey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Houston
Boat: '76 Allied Seawind II, 32'
Posts: 6,143
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

Again, Bring a handheld.

On our boat we've got a handheld as well as a remote station mic at the helm.
__________________
Sailmonkey is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2017, 05:03   #7
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 4,037
Images: 6
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

Every charter boat that I've ever been on, had a handheld available.
__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2017, 05:25   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Tortola, BVI
Boat: 2017 Lagoon 42
Posts: 121
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

Modern yachts often have a wireless (remote) handheld, but due to likely loss/damage, charter companies do not put them on board except with owner.

Agree with Handheld being your best choice.

I too would prefer a hardwired mike beat helm.
__________________
DeepCut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2017, 05:31   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
John_Trusty's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Michigan, USA
Boat: Catalina 36 (1999)
Posts: 277
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

I fully agree with @Nani_Kai's point -- it's not a question about equipment on charter boats or what you should bring, but a question of design ergonomics. I understand that historically, "valuable" and "fragile" VHF radios were mounted below decks, and there's no easy way to retrofit other than a handheld in the cup holder or a remote mike. But, if you were designing a boat from scratch, would you put the most common communications tool 15 feet and a flight of stairs from the helm station? OP is right to be frustrated. On catamarans and all motor yachts that I've seen, the VHF is accessible from the helm station. Certainly monohull builders could figure out a way to mount a VHF, or at least a remote mike, so it is readily accessible at the helm.
__________________
John Trusty

Better to trust the man who is frequently in error than the one who is never in doubt." -- Eric Sevareid
John_Trusty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2017, 05:43   #10
Registered User
 
CaptTom's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Southern Maine
Boat: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Posts: 1,174
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

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.
__________________
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2017, 06:56   #11
Registered User
 
Nani Kai's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Boston
Boat: In between boats
Posts: 106
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

Thanks for all the sympathetic replies. Yeah guess it's time to buy a handheld and add it to my "useful stuff not supplied by the charter company" bag. That bag gets bigger and bigger. Just seems like it's a no brainer and should be included in sailboat design as John_Trusty notes. I've chartered Cats with Sunsail, and monohulls with Moorings and Dream Yacht Charters and haven't seen hide no hair of a handheld VHF. Next time we charter I'll make it a point to ask for one.
__________________
Nani Kai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2017, 07:00   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
John_Trusty's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Michigan, USA
Boat: Catalina 36 (1999)
Posts: 277
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

Unless there was a designated place for a VHF radio designed into the cockpit area, I would not just mount one in the cockpit of existing monohulls. They are too exposed to water, striking, magnetic interference, and theft with the current cockpit design. What should be done is design a convenient flush mount (away from the binnacle compass, please). Alternatively, equip the boat with a standard remote mike, which is the solution that most of us do as retrofit. A designed solution does not seem to be beyond the capability of power and cat designers.
__________________
John Trusty

Better to trust the man who is frequently in error than the one who is never in doubt." -- Eric Sevareid
John_Trusty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2017, 07:10   #13
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,627
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

Why mount a radio at the helm?
The helmsman is busy full time steering the boat, and probably keeping an eye on the sail trim too.
The helmsman is rarely if ever alone on the boat, because any long distance solo sail, or even popping below for a head break, would be an illegal failure to keep watch while under way.
So there's always someone to send down to the radio. Which is going to be much more reliable when it is kept in the shelter of the cabin, as opposed to a wet cockpit.
Sailors deal with this, it is normal. and fixed radio installations are never really reliable, so most of us have at least one handheld on board, and that is often kept in the cockpit anyway.
Radios are normally optional equipment on pleasurecraft, simply having one installed and operating is a step above what is required.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2017, 09:25   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Cap Sante Marina Anacortes, WA
Boat: Kettenburg 1977 32 ft.
Posts: 219
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

Why no VHF at the helm? Simple, $$$
__________________
1Sunseeker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-07-2017, 10:58   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Alert Bay, Vancouver Island
Boat: 35ft classic ketch/yawl.
Posts: 1,082
Images: 4
Send a message via Skype™ to roland stockham
Re: Why is there no VHF mike near helm of charter sailboat

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!
__________________

__________________
roland stockham is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boat, charter, helm, sail, sailboat, vhf

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Fun: Helm Steer or Helm Tiller ? GaryMayo General Sailing Forum 57 15-05-2016 09:15
One of those hey there, hi there, ho there posts Noreasta Meets & Greets 13 25-09-2013 11:44
VHF radio mike cord ronbo1 Marine Electronics 3 14-05-2013 08:08
VHF remote mike connection RDW Marine Electronics 0 08-11-2012 09:07



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.