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Old 01-03-2018, 03:42   #16
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

I emailed the RYA asking them to clarify and the response was that while 'pleasure vessels' are not required to comply, 'class XII vessels' (pleasure vessels over 13.7m) are required to comply either with the 1998 Regulations, or with the Exemptions.

"Class XII vessels complying with the Exemptions are required to have a*maritime radio capable of transmitting and receiving calls and messages appropriate for the area of operation."
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Old 01-03-2018, 10:29   #17
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

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Originally Posted by terah View Post
I emailed the RYA asking them to clarify and the response was that while 'pleasure vessels' are not required to comply, 'class XII vessels' (pleasure vessels over 13.7m) are required to comply either with the 1998 Regulations, or with the Exemptions.

"Class XII vessels complying with the Exemptions are required to have a*maritime radio capable of transmitting and receiving calls and messages appropriate for the area of operation."
Well done for reporting back
Bet not many people know that, either sailors or officials.
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:39   #18
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Originally Posted by terah View Post
I emailed the RYA asking them to clarify and the response was that while 'pleasure vessels' are not required to comply, 'class XII vessels' (pleasure vessels over 13.7m) are required to comply either with the 1998 Regulations, or with the Exemptions.

"Class XII vessels complying with the Exemptions are required to have a*maritime radio capable of transmitting and receiving calls and messages appropriate for the area of operation."
And.. a VHF ships radio does just that.
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Old 01-03-2018, 11:45   #19
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

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Originally Posted by terah View Post
I emailed the RYA asking them to clarify and the response was that while 'pleasure vessels' are not required to comply, 'class XII vessels' (pleasure vessels over 13.7m) are required to comply either with the 1998 Regulations, or with the Exemptions.

"Class XII vessels complying with the Exemptions are required to have a*maritime radio capable of transmitting and receiving calls and messages appropriate for the area of operation."
That's a rather ambiguous reply and the words are copy and paste straight from the class XII regs so really has a can't be bothered feel to it. I'm making a big guess here, but maybe what they meant previously is that their interpretation of what constitutes an appropriate radio for a class XII vessel is an MF/HF radio when the boat is out of VHF range of a shore based coast guard.

If that is what they are saying then it is imposing a huge and unrealistic burden on boaters. In the Med for example there a a zillion class XII motor yachts, who will at some point make a trip requiring an SSB yet nearly nearly none have one. They also need to say why they think you have to be able to contact a shore based station. I see no mention of this anywhere in the rules.

It is possible also that the reference to radios being appropriate for the area of operation was referring to the fact that in different countries VHF radios have sometimes slightly different channels available.

It is possible that the reference to radios being appropriate for the area of operation means that you need a radio capable of calling someone to help you. When you are coastal sailing a couple of miles off shore that you are fine with a 5w hand held VHF, but if you are out at sea and need to summon help from a ship far away then a 25w VHF unit is the appropriate radio that is required.

Does a satellite phone constitute being a radio? It is one if a radio is equipment communicating using radio frequency radiation, which of course is what a radio is. So if you have a sat phone then you have an appropriate radio also and they shouldn't restrict you to an MF/HF.

I've got an SSB, so this matter has no impact on me, it's just it doesn't make sense.
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Old 01-03-2018, 13:56   #20
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

I had misread the RYA response and it was the "The Merchant Shipping (Life-Saving Appliances For Ships Other Than Ships Of Classes III To VI(A)) Regulations 1999", not the 1998 Regulations, that was one option to comply with, the other option being the Exemptions.

I've just read through those regulations (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/2721/made) and there's not anything in there about HF/MF radio though.
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Old 01-03-2018, 16:54   #21
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

But the original RYA advice is clear. I think it is wrong and needs their focus. If they stand by it they need to explain it well.
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:24   #22
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

I agree. I've emailed the RYA back and will update this thread when I hear back - it was a few days last time.
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Old 08-03-2018, 10:50   #23
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

I've had a reply back from the RYA and they maintain their interpretation as being correct. Class XII vessels (pleasure boats over 13.7m) must either comply with the Merchant Shipping (Life-Saving Appliances For Ships Other Than Ships Of Classes III To VI(A)) Regulations 1999 (detailed in MSN 1676), or with the Exemptions in relation to Life Saving Appliances on Class XII vessels (detailed in MGN 538).

So you can choose to comply with the Merchant Shipping regulations (which do not require MF/HF radio) but are in general more difficult to comply with. Or you can comply with the Exemptions which should be easier to comply with, but which state:

(3.4.2) "Unlike the Merchant Shipping Regulations, the agreed equivalent standards require boats to carry maritime radio and this means of summoning help is reflected in the scale of equipment required, which varies according to the distance from the coast that the vessel will be operating", and later:

"Three means of distress alerting in accordance with Annex 4 of the COLREGs, one of which must be a maritime radio capable of transmitting and receiving calls and messages appropriate for the area of operation and one of which must be distress flares (3). "

While it doesn't specifically mention Mf/HF radio, I don't really see any other way to interpret "maritime radio" and "varies according to the distance from the coast".

The bit that stands out to me is that the Exemptions are intended to be easier to comply with (and in other areas clearly are), but are more restrictive around radios. The RYA's response really only restates the legislation, without really explaining it. I've again gone back to them to query the rationale behind it, but that might not be easy for them to answer.

Would also be quite happy if someone could point at anything that contradicts this view.
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:11   #24
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

A means of communication appropriate to the sailing area pretty much DOES explain and qualify itself.

VHF radios are basically good only for line of sight. Since they're talking about +40'OAL craft here, one can reasonably assume the VHF antenna on the mast will be about 55' above sea level. So using that as a basis and assuming the "help" will be of equal or better antenna height, that's a nine mile range you can reliably expect on that VHF. (If you can do better, great.)

If you're going ten miles offshore, that would be insufficient for safe reliable communications, and HF/MF marine band or similar radio gear would be necessary. Or, arguably, satcoms of various purposes, since a satphone or EPIRB is after all capable of communicating with the authorities, and it is radio equipment.
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Old 08-03-2018, 11:36   #25
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

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VHF radios are basically good only for line of sight. Since they're talking about +40'OAL craft here, one can reasonably assume the VHF antenna on the mast will be about 55' above sea level. So using that as a basis and assuming the "help" will be of equal or better antenna height, that's a nine mile range you can reliably expect on that VHF. (If you can do better, great.)
Who on earth told you that? I think you will find it is over 20 miles for two antennas of 50 feet in height.

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Old 08-03-2018, 13:02   #26
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

Pulled from one of the many online calculators. Yes, it does seem short and yes, I have used VHF over longer distances. So let's say you are right and 20 miles can be reasonably expected.

If you're really heading "offshore"...you're going more than 20 miles offshore anyway. A difference without a distinction. If the difference is important to your sailing plans, then by all means, conduct your own experiment with your own VHF and the local receivers, fleshing out all the details for your own situation.
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Old 08-03-2018, 13:30   #27
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

You should read the tables below the calculator again to see why your distance you quoted is rather short:

Radio Line of Sight Calculator for use on VHF/UHF Ham Bands
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Old 08-03-2018, 14:13   #28
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

Gee, Pete, if you're referring to the variables of "the other" antenna height?

I did say up front, rashly assuming BOTH antennas were of the height. Which is good enough for the case of general purposes. You have no way of knowing if the OP's nearest coastal station will be just that, a boathouse on the beach with the antenna on the roof, or a 300-foot tower on top of the white cliffs of Dover.

"Offshore" it won't matter if your range is 10, 20, or even 50 miles on VHF. The ocean is a whole lot wider than that. Two whole orders of magnitude.

So the antenna height really doesn't matter.

Of course, if you are a CLEVER sailor, you can use a five watt handheld amateur radio and place a relay call via the International Space Station. Folks contact that all the time, on just five watts.

Getting back down to earth and what safety regulators might consider a wider case....
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Old 08-03-2018, 15:20   #29
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

Quote:
Originally Posted by terah View Post
I've had a reply back from the RYA and they maintain their interpretation as being correct. Class XII vessels (pleasure boats over 13.7m) must either comply with the Merchant Shipping (Life-Saving Appliances For Ships Other Than Ships Of Classes III To VI(A)) Regulations 1999 (detailed in MSN 1676), or with the Exemptions in relation to Life Saving Appliances on Class XII vessels (detailed in MGN 538).

So you can choose to comply with the Merchant Shipping regulations (which do not require MF/HF radio) but are in general more difficult to comply with. Or you can comply with the Exemptions which should be easier to comply with, but which state:

(3.4.2) "Unlike the Merchant Shipping Regulations, the agreed equivalent standards require boats to carry maritime radio and this means of summoning help is reflected in the scale of equipment required, which varies according to the distance from the coast that the vessel will be operating", and later:

"Three means of distress alerting in accordance with Annex 4 of the COLREGs, one of which must be a maritime radio capable of transmitting and receiving calls and messages appropriate for the area of operation and one of which must be distress flares (3). "

While it doesn't specifically mention Mf/HF radio, I don't really see any other way to interpret "maritime radio" and "varies according to the distance from the coast".

The bit that stands out to me is that the Exemptions are intended to be easier to comply with (and in other areas clearly are), but are more restrictive around radios. The RYA's response really only restates the legislation, without really explaining it. I've again gone back to them to query the rationale behind it, but that might not be easy for them to answer.

Would also be quite happy if someone could point at anything that contradicts this view.
Thanks for asking them, but really if they can't expand on what they previously said then it is a bit of a waste of time and takes us no further forwards. I don't agree that HF is the only way to interpret marine radio as I mentioned in my earlier post, where I gave some alternative interpretations.
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Old 08-03-2018, 15:38   #30
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Re: MF / HF Radio mandatory for UK flagged boats going offshore?

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Thanks for asking them, but really if they can't expand on what they previously said then it is a bit of a waste of time and takes us no further forwards. I don't agree that HF is the only way to interpret marine radio as I mentioned in my earlier post, where I gave some alternative interpretations.
No, it's very clear and prescribed precisely by GMDSS accordingly to the Sea Area. See: https://www.egmdss.com/gmdss-courses...ew.php?id=2213

In A2 you need MF and in A3 and A4 - HF. And it only counts if youhave DSC.
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