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Old 06-03-2015, 09:01   #31
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

We have been using a set of the Cruising Solutions headsets since 2006 and have found them very useful and trouble free. While hand signals work well for some, in our case my (much) better half is "height challenged" (4'-11&quot and when at the helm station cannot see me on the foredeck very well, if at all at times, and with any strong wind over the bow, the sound of her voice is carried away with the wind so I difficulty hearing her. The headsets overcome all of these difficulties. They are also useful when I have to do work on the mast or, shore-side, when we're biking or doing similar activities. FWIW...
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Old 06-03-2015, 10:22   #32
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

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Originally Posted by DCRRenaissance View Post
We are looking for choices for communicating on deck easily without yelling, but without spending our life savings. LOL We have a 42 foot Passport. We have been researching different walkie talkies, wireless headsets, etc.

Would appreciate input on specific brand and model that you have experience with that works.

Thanks!
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But, I'm planning to secure some of these for the sea scouts on a big schooner where they each have a station to man.
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Old 06-03-2015, 11:54   #33
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

We also use hand signals when anchoring and it works well almost all of the time. We still need to practice a bit.


We've never picked up a mooring, and we can't see through the water here to need to be overly precise. I set up the anchoring gear and then come back to the cockpit. We cruise the anchorage standing next to each other and chatting about where will be best. When we're in position and we're both happy, I just walk up and release the anchor.


Hand signals are only used for taking up slack and setting (and when signaling free when raising).
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Old 06-03-2015, 13:48   #34
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Whats wrong with a whistle and the sound signals used by boats for Port, Stbd, Astern etc..


I can see why your not married Phil , I can just imagine my wife's reaction if I started using a whistle


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Old 06-03-2015, 15:25   #35
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

For anchoring...should not require headphones, UNLESS you have to re-anchor in the middle of the night in a severe blow.
HOWEVER, if any of you go to places where there are plenty of uncharted/possibly charted reefs about, I think headphones are essential. Person on bow/pulpit or spreader who can talk to helmsman who is also usually busy looking at the plotter and sounders.
I have had a set (VOX single channel)for a long time and love them......no shouting, or waving, etc. etc. just talking calming....I did need to put a lanyard on the ones used f'ward as they can sometimes get blown off.
Mine have all the mechanism plus battery etc. in the headphones, but the antenna about 300 long, possibly the more modern UHF models may be more compact and have shorter antennas.
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Old 06-03-2015, 15:38   #36
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

For $70 you can get marriage savers. I think a far more elequent solution than hand signals. They work in the dark, they are hands free and work in situations where you haven't thought of a hand signal for a particular situation.

Humans acquired the ability to speak at least 50,000 years ago. I see no reason to regress.
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Old 06-03-2015, 15:42   #37
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

We tried the headset communicators which turned out to be a confusing disaster. Almost lost one overboard the first time used. Returned headsets for a refund and switched to hand signals. Much better.

If there's any wind... Forget the headsets, all you'll hear is amplified wind, confusion and the other person trying to scream over the amplified wind noise.
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Old 06-03-2015, 15:59   #38
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

We use Marriage Savers as well. The only problem is when your in a populated area with radio transmission towers there is too much radio interference making them unusable. For $80 dollars we have learned to live with this. Mariner 500 Head Sets | Cruising Solutions


PS - use a short painter tied to the phone and clip it to your shirt, they easily fall overboard!
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Old 06-03-2015, 16:04   #39
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

We use hand signals. My wife and I are both ex military. With all the high tech defence has hand signals are still the most reliable.

Any of the tech available is not rugged enough.

We tend to use similar hand signals to big crane and rigging crews.

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Old 06-03-2015, 16:26   #40
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

1st, a short conference in the cockpit as we approach the anchorage, dock, reefing situation. Everyone knowing what will happen is key. If they know what you are doing, they can probably guess by your body movements.

2nd, hand signals for small adjustments to the plan.

Really, there isn't anything to talk about. Can't imagine using headsets if they were free. Dorkish.
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Old 06-03-2015, 17:39   #41
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

When we first started we used headsets - Cruising Solutions first and then Bluetooth headsets on our cell phones. That works really well as long as you have cell coverage. Now we've docked and anchored so many times it's 2nd nature to both of us. We talk a bit ahead of time and then we go ahead and do it.

This will no doubt raise some hackles but if the helmsman knows what he/she is doing there's little need for talking anyway. Quite simply the skipper puts the boat on the dock or the ball and holds it there while the line handler ties it up. Most of the time when I see crews yelling directions it's because the skipper f'd up.

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Old 06-03-2015, 17:49   #42
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

This is interesting. I didn't realise anybody used radios for docking small sailboats. I really can't imagine what's going on. I've routinely docked 150' ships and it's never occurred to me to use a radio- of course on larger ships I do but. What do you talk about?

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Old 06-03-2015, 17:57   #43
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

You know there is an App for this, for Apple anyway, called walkie talkie or similar,
I have no idea how well it works, just know it's either Wifi or Bluetooth, it doesn't require cell service, full duplex

Sounds too good to be true


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Old 06-03-2015, 18:23   #44
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

Around twenty years ago we went to that well known marine supply house "Toys R Us" and bought a pair of childrens head set walkie-talkies. Paid 19.95 USD for them. Silly looking, crude, awkward antenna... but they work just fine for when we need them. Put some open cell foam around the little mike to suppress wind noise. Don't use them for anchoring, for as others have noted, not that much to talk about. Do occasionally use them for picking up a mooring in the dark where hand sigs are difficult (one hand for the torch, one hand to hang on the forestay, one hand for boat hook... no hands for sigs). The best usage is for working up the mast... nearly essential IMO with a mast tall enough that shouting is required if one is to be heard at deck level. Can get height adjustments to the inch, tools fetched, lights switched on/off, wrath vented, etc. Also good when conning from the spreaders... don't have to keep turning around and shouting down "crikeys, you are about to hit a bommie... hard to port" and so on.

I can't quite see the good in using your multi hundred dollar smart phone on the foredeck in the rain... no matter how good the cell connection may be!

Cheers,

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Old 06-03-2015, 19:02   #45
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Re: Communicating On Deck From Bow To Stern

In reading the responses I wonder if there is a difference between who's in charge? When we are anchoring, mooring, or just manoeuvring in close quarters the deck person is in charge. The foredeck person can see what's going on, and communicates that with clear and simple hand signals to the helms person. The helm is responsible for depth, and maintaining reasonable speed. The foredeck person controls everything else.

For docking, the helms person is mostly in charge on our boat. The deck person is ready to manage the lines, and gives feedback as to direction and drift, but our helm is in better position to sense momentum, speed and planning.
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