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Old 03-01-2014, 11:48   #46
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

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I'm not sure if it is still required in Canada but I had to take a written and oral exam at Industry Canada office to get my Marine Restricted Radio Operators License, even though I had my Restricted Aviation Radio Operators License and my Ham License.
Yes, it is still required if you want the DSC certification. Unfortunately, the laws on VHF use are not enforced and you have to be a complete tool to get any kind of sanction from the CG or Transport Canada.

The problem began when we discontinued, in 1999, the need to have VHF "base" units to be licensed as "stations" with callsigns. The deterioration of radio etiquette (which is not about politeness but is about concision and ambiguity reduction) started almost immediately.

I bought my first boat in 1999 and had prior radio experience, so I was fine continuing with the "old" forms, minus the VHF callsign. But if you don't get the RoC(M) card and the associated course, the contrast can lead to a Whisky Tango Foxtrot level of disbelief when monitoring 16. Who on this side of the ocean even observes the silence periods internationally mandated? I mean, I do, but then I'm (along with Eric, I guess) irredemably old-fashioned in that I don't think the VHF is a sort of cellphone of the seas.

The contrast with other countries is stark. I was just in Brittany on an RYA course, and my French is good enough to follow most radio calls once I puzzle out the place names.

Why? Because French sailors on 16 not only use the radio exceedingly sparingly compared to chatterbox idiots in North America, but they are all frighteningly professional.

Why? Because there are real penalties in the EU for screwing around on the radio, which is seen as a piece of safety gear (as are the call channels). So calls are very brief and formulaic, but even when you switch to a working channel, the discussion seems as abbreviated as possible, probably because the French sailor takes it for granted that he is being monitored and the nature of marine VHF is not to blather on arranging barbeque menus and who will bring the Jimmy Buffett mix CD (I have heard this, on 16, on Lake Ontario in the summer, alas).

But you tell this to people and they blather on about their "freedoms".
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:56   #47
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Re: This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

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Who on this side of the ocean even observes the silence periods internationally mandated?
Done away with on VHF, only now applies to MF/HF

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Why? Because there are real penalties in the EU for screwing around on the radio, which is seen as a piece of safety gear (as are the call channels). So calls are very brief and formulaic, but even when you switch to a working channel, the discussion seems as abbreviated as possible, probably because the French sailor takes it for granted that he is being monitored and the nature of marine VHF

There are no real penalties in France, once you don't screw up ch16. What determines the "professionalism" is the mandatory VHF training that instils a professionalism

Remember in Europe the CEPT SRC VHF license you do as a leisure sailor , is a full commercial VHF license, good for VHF on supertankers. !!.

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Old 03-01-2014, 12:07   #48
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Re: This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

in the bahamas, until fairly recently in some places, and still in use in other places, the vhf IS the telephone.

lots of shoreside units have never been on a boat, never intended to be on a boat, owner doesn't even own a boat. but the local telephone system was either substandard or non existant and vhf's were relatively cheap, so, instant 'pirate' telephone!

and in some places, like the abacos, taxi drivers carry a vhf and answer to channel 6 when someone needs a taxi. entirely possible the person calling for a taxi is a shoreside resident or a restaraunt owner calling for a diner who needs a taxi.

probably would drive rebel heart nuts....
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:16   #49
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Re: This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

Industry Canada has deligated the Canadian Power Squadron to give the ROC-M course. The study materials are here:
Maritime Radio | Boating Courses

There is a free study guide here:
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&...58187178,d.b2I
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:28   #50
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Re: This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

Back in the day if you expected a reply from Bermuda Harbor Radio donít hail them as Bermuda Radio!
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:56   #51
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Re: This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

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there are international regulations concerning the use of a marine VHF. It's always convenient to disregard a law when you personally deem it a hindrance.
So throughout the Caribe, the locals use vhf like telephones. They sing in them, whistle in them, disregard any channel designations, use them on land, and a hundred other "illegal" uses.

Are you going to take on the international policing of them also, or just the rich white folks? Or are you just going to relax about it and turn your radio off or tune it off the "cruiser" channel if it gets too much for you.

Since you are discussing international regulations, are you flying proper day signals at anchor and while motoring, not having garden lights on your boat, striking your ensign at the proper time each night, etc?

If so, are you enjoying your cruising life?

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Old 03-01-2014, 13:02   #52
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

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This one irks me. As SimonV said, every channel is assigned a purpose. In the US, it's 68, 69, 71, 72 (intership only), 79 and 80 (Great Lakes only). I have a sticker from a label maker next to each radio which lists these, in case I forget. The "A" next to some channels indicates the radio has to be set on the "US" setting to use those.

The complete list for the US can be found here.

17 is for state and local government ONLY. So if you just "go up one" from 16, you may find yourself interfering with an important SAR case, or worse yet, a LE officer who THINKS he's important.

People who won't take the time to learn how to use their basic safety equipment, like radios, scare me.
Well, you can keep that stick up your backside and press the issue all you want to deaf ears, or you can adjust your channel usage to reflect how they are actually used in practice in the region you are cruising in. In many countries, the locals have completely different ideas of what are "proper" channel usages.

Frankly, people who can't adapt outside their limited comfort and familiarity zones scare me out here more than those who don't have any safety equipment at all.

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Old 03-01-2014, 13:05   #53
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

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One thing I have resorted to, is using a handheld VHF at night in the cabin to guard 16.

I might not hear as much as on the main radio, but it is more pertinent to my location.
I do something similar. The masthead antenna gives me way too much range. Almost a constant stream of chatter at times. I use the handheld, but also want to install a very poor antenna at deck level to use most of the time.
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Old 03-01-2014, 13:33   #54
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Re: This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

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Are you going to take on the international policing of them also, or just the rich white folks? Or are you just going to relax about it and turn your radio off or tune it off the "cruiser" channel if it gets too much for you.
Radio Nazis!!?

And you'll yell on the radio 'who said that??' when someone says 'Up one'? Maybe shame them on 16? 'Sea Life just said Up One! Oh my god, someone paddle over and spank him.'

As Mark said, if you cant handle listening to the VHF turn it off, or squelch most txs out.
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Old 03-01-2014, 14:24   #55
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Re: This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

Radio shorthand doesnt bother me at all. Try flying into LGA on a busy stormy night and using STANDARD phraseology and I guarentee you will be chastised. There is simply to much going on to tie up a frequency for the time required to make every call STANDARD. I hold FCC licences for employment requirements and have for years had to sit through classes yearly rehashing all this manutia. Many of the protocalls some of you who are bemoaning not being followed were put in place back when radios were not as high tech and subject to distortion, hence niner instead of 9 or over to indicate you are done tranmitting. Technology has moved on, we should to. Im in the boat of adapt to local radio practices or turn your radio off.
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Old 03-01-2014, 14:43   #56
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Re: This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

Aloha Rebel,

I'm totally 100% with you on this. Keep the Coast Guard monitored channels clear and don't say anything more than is necessary to switch channels.

My first VHF station license was in '81 and some of the USCG auxiliary courses I took covered proper procedures.

I was amazed at how the traffic was in La Paz. Much different!

I'll just vow to set a good example.
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Old 03-01-2014, 14:47   #57
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Re: This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

we had to use a police band in hospital trauma units....lol
makes vhf easy and kindergarten material.
tolerance is just that.
rigidity is not a bonus in cruising.
flexibility is a blessing ....

good ears and ability to filter is also a blessing., not many apparently are able to do that. that is sad.

and i heartily laugh at radio police who police the vhf cruisers net channels in summer , here , when no one is using them.....
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Old 03-01-2014, 15:11   #58
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Re: This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

I can really deal with the short hand- "up 2 or 3" "fishing the same spot as yesterday". That is understandable. What ticks me off is the USCG doing a shorthand Securite call. Just calling Securite with no overview telling mariners to flip to 22 for details and not giving any info.

Instead of saying it is an important broadcast "about shoaling in the ICW by Haulover" or "a security zone in Miami harbor" the CG just says to flip to 22 for important information. This means that someone making 7kts is legally supposed to flip to CH22 several times an hour, all day- because the CG is using "shorthand" and not giving what most would consider proper radio calls.
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Old 03-01-2014, 16:06   #59
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Re: This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

I guess the radio police are everywhere. The OP would have died if he ever cruised the Bahamas where the vhf is still used like the telephone on many of the islands. It's less now with the advent of cell phones but the locals still use it to advertise restaurants, call taxis,tell you someone's at the airstrip, etc., etc.

Go to Staniel Cay and you'll still hear "Chubby, come in, Chubby, come in." Apparently Chubby (dockmaster) is always hiding somewhere and his employer can never find him. Or maybe "Chicken n fries, Chicken n fries". Don't know who he/she was. We do know French Fry was a cute French woman that worked there.

I like "Happy hour tonight at Scorpio's, rum punch two for one ." And all Bahamas cruisers will recognize "Lorraine Cafe, barbecue night".

Now from time to time the radio police click their mikes to interfere with announcements they don't like. One instance in Georgetown resulted in death threats and threatened lawsuits when someone consistently clicked vhf calls or conversations in French.

Out.
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Old 03-01-2014, 19:30   #60
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Re: This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

I'm not even close to cruising yet, but I'm perfectly sure I would not mind the described use as abusive or let it become a priority issue in my life. I'd think as others offered, you'd adapt or move along, or tune out. After all, there are much larger crimes against humanity to rally against. Count your blessings, breath deep, forgive their infractions against what you hold so sacred. It's bordering on creepy, control freak behavior. Adapt. Chill. Relax. But most importantly, enjoy! Those conversations and life's moments are to be enjoyed and cherished as a unique experience. Not to be condemned by the rules and regulations you try to carry along and impose.
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