Jim and I often use children's walkie-talkie toys. The range is good enough for our 46 footer. We cured the wind noise
problem partially, by placing some sponge over the microphone, to block the wind. We find them useful in fine weather
only, as they are not waterproof. We use them a lot when one of us is aloft, so as to not have to shout to communicate, and also when conning the boat into new places, with Jim in the dinghy
ahead, or standing on the bow pulpit to get his eyes higher. Ours came from ToysRus for about $20, and use the transistor radio batteries
. Their frequency is close to some AM radio
stations, and that can cause interference
. Ideally, you'd have something waterproof, but we've never made the effort, because we switch to hand signals.
Hand signals. You could learn gilanas, workmen's signals, or make up your own, which is what we did. What we needed:
Stop the boat
Forward dead slow
Set the hook
Leave the anchorage
Turn in direction pointed
Kill the engine
Although the one on the foredeck uses a head
lamp for anchoring
at night, a head
lamp that is watching the chain descend does not illuminate hand signals; therefore, I prefer the foredeck light is on, which illuminates the whole foredeck. The other downside, for me, is that if he looks at me, then I lose my night vision, and, of course, he needs to see on his way back to the cockpit
, and there I am in the way of the light!
If comms are difficult, I whistle briefly but loudly, so Jim knows I heard and am complying at the helm, as he is on the foredeck, and with over 45 knots blowing, voices get lost
, but the whistle penetrates.
Of course, we do prefer quieter anchorages
, but we don't always get them.
There are times when we anchor
in a mooring
field, and then have to leave without fouling the mooring
. Sometimes he points towards the clear water
, sometimes to the mooring. It is easier for me when he points to the clear water
, because the mooring ball is often so close to the side of the boat that I can't see it till it's abeam. Sometimes it is easier to very slowly back away from it till I can just see my own way out.