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Old 02-01-2014, 17:45   #1
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This Short-Hand VHF Stuff is Driving me Insane

I'm near Puerto Vallarta right now and it's the middle of winter so there are hundreds of cruising boats around. All stripes, all flags, but mainly the 35'-50' sailboat sporting a USA or Canada ensign. This is typical and I just heard it on the VHF:

Quote:
"Boat x, boat y."

"Hey what's up?"

"Down one?"

"Sure."
Last year it wasn't this bad but this "up one" or "six-five and up" stuff although handy just get sloppy and I've probably heard maybe half a dozen boats, tops, actually using the VHF correctly.

Sitting in the same marina it's no big thing, but when the signals are weak and the squelch won't tell you when they stopped, or you're wondering if they indeed switched channels... it drives me nuts.

It's a marine VHF, not facebook-radio.

/angry-sailor-rant
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Old 02-01-2014, 17:55   #2
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

Must be a location thing, since you seem surprised. Throughout the US East coast and Caribbean, that is pretty much standard procedure for cruiser vhf contact, and has been that way for years. Guess I got used to hearing it a long time ago.

Pretty much makes the case for using DSC. We never listen to hailing channels anymore - just monitor 16 and use DSC for communication.

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Old 02-01-2014, 17:58   #3
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

Kinda sounds like old days of "CB" talk....really got bad unfortunately.
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Old 02-01-2014, 18:03   #4
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

Oh yes - you still hear the "10-4" and "gotcher ears on?" stuff all the time. At least once a week someone won't get a response when hailing another boat and actually tell that boat over the radio to turn their radio on because they are trying to call them on it.

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Old 02-01-2014, 18:13   #5
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

Up one - go one channel higher (from 16 to 17)
Down 5 - same
65- channel 65

Remember you aren't supposed to do anything but hail and switch channels on the calling channel.
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Old 02-01-2014, 18:24   #6
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

I would have thought it would be trending much better with the use of local SIM cards and Text messaging.

Here in the Philippines, VHF is rarely used for social comms.
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Old 02-01-2014, 18:28   #7
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

Hey as long as they get off of 16, I don't care how they do it. I'm used to extended conversations about whether Grouper is in season or not
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Old 02-01-2014, 18:29   #8
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Up one - go one channel higher (from 16 to 17)
Down 5 - same

65- channel 65

Remember you aren't supposed to do anything but hail and switch channels on the calling channel.
To me that stuff is basically like deciding a blue light would be better than a sternlight, or a strobe light is better for an anchor light.

There are international standards for a marine VHF and cobbling together some other set is bogus. It saves, what, a few seconds?
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Old 02-01-2014, 18:31   #9
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

I would be easier on the ears if more people used DSC.
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Old 02-01-2014, 18:55   #10
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

Gee Eric, why you sitting in the marina with the V on? Pray tell you go to the fabulous stupendous cruising ground (TM) which is Mexico yet you sit and stew about the others who follow behind you. Don't you have better to do? Hardly anything irritated me more than the dock mate with his VHF loud and breaking squelch. If you ain't leaving the dock in a few minutes turn the bloody thing down or better yet, off.

If you think it's awful on slow moving boats you should hear it in aviation. Same blasted crap. Many airports share the same freq and comms can be heard for miles (bleeding across multiple aprts) including busy aprts.

But get out and go do something or at least turn off the V. I've even turned off the comm radio in flight. I'm not about to drop the plane to pick up the radio.
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Old 02-01-2014, 19:09   #11
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
To me that stuff is basically like deciding a blue light would be better than a sternlight, or a strobe light is better for an anchor light.

There are international standards for a marine VHF and cobbling together some other set is bogus. It saves, what, a few seconds?
Undoubtedly these are guys used to talking in code, ie, commercial outfits. (Or, more likely, it could be pleasure craft adopting the behaviors of the commercial craft.) They are banking on guys not being able to follow along exactly on their conversation. They really don't care about you sitting in the marina. And I don't care to hear it sitting across the dock from you. Turn the bloody thing off or take it off scan at least. Be a good boy and get along.
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Old 02-01-2014, 19:17   #12
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard5 View Post
Undoubtedly these are guys used to talking in code, ie, commercial outfits. (Or, more likely, it could be pleasure craft adopting the behaviors of the commercial craft.) They are banking on guys not being able to follow along exactly on their conversation. They really don't care about you sitting in the marina. And I don't care to hear it sitting across the dock from you. Turn the bloody thing off or take it off scan at least. Be a good boy and get along.
I'm with Rebel Heart. The nonsense you here in areas with little VHF usage knowledge is shocking

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Old 02-01-2014, 19:27   #13
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
To me that stuff is basically like deciding a blue light would be better than a sternlight, or a strobe light is better for an anchor light.

There are international standards for a marine VHF and cobbling together some other set is bogus. It saves, what, a few seconds?
So, I agree with what you are saying, but where (at least in the US) does one find the book on proper VHF usage? I was never able to find one that walks you through a conversation and how to do it properly. I guess what bugs me more is that we don't teach people how to use the VHF, or navigate, or the rules of the road, etc. Asking people to learn something interferes with their "freedom". Our zeal for "freedom" to do whatever we want as Americans is morphing into celebration of ignorance and stupidity.
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Old 02-01-2014, 19:27   #14
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
The nonsense you here in areas with little VHF usage knowledge is shocking

Dave
I do not dispute that. However, the point of contention is why one even is listening since it A) only aggravates them; B) does not warrant their attention.

The only compelling reason I can think of is if one is sitting at the marina and expects an arrival to hail them. Even then a schedule can be had that quiets the chatter (a discrete freq) or agreed upon window of time. Or, cell phone when within range. Absent that compelling reason why sit at the dock listening to the endless chatter?

This reminds me of one who comes to the islands and stays for a year. Then they act like big time local with respect to next years arrivals.
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Old 02-01-2014, 19:32   #15
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Re: this short-hand VHF stuff is driving me insane

Among my favorites is "Hey, sailboat XYZ, do you read me?" repeated several times. What do they expect to hear "Yes, this is XYZ and I read you, but don't feel like answering any of your 8 calls within the last 2 minutes; I'd rather listen to you block VHF16 for another 5 minutes."
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