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View Poll Results: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?
Yes 30 27.78%
No 78 72.22%
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Old 18-01-2020, 05:41   #1
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Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

Iíve heard a few cruisers mention they leave the VHF on at anchor 24/7. Iíve been reluctant to do it because I didnít want to get woken up by random boat traffic in the middle of the night, but last night with the wind howling we decided to give it a try in case someone had an issue. I had it on channel 16, 1 watt setting.

Sure enough, at 1:00 am I get woken up by one boat calling another in the anchorage multiple times (the other boat wasnít responding - probably didnít have his radio on and it didnít sound like an emergency), and at 6:00 am I woke up again by two boats making passing arrangements.

I donít think Iím inclined to try this again for obvious reasons, but I was just curious what others do.
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Old 18-01-2020, 05:50   #2
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pirate Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

Only when sailing..
At anchor or in marina it only goes on when needed.
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Old 18-01-2020, 05:53   #3
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthoops View Post
I donít think Iím inclined to try this again for obvious reasons, but I was just curious what others do.
Depends on the anchorage, but often leave a baofeng uv5r little ham hand held on dual watch 16/whatever the common hailing channel is. Low cost and low power.
Down below in a steel boat the baofeng doesn't have a great recieve range so usually just picks up local boats. If chat is required then fire up a proper marine VHF, the baofeng just gets used for receive. Cruising circles the VHF gets used quite a lot like a mobile phone in anchorages, lots people leave it on.

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Old 18-01-2020, 06:00   #4
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

I generally do. The chatter doesn’t seem to wake me often, but hearing my boat name or mayday might.

But it might also depend on local conditions.
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Old 18-01-2020, 08:56   #5
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

No. When we were in St Martin the Cruisers net was on in the morning, so we had it on then and would monitor it during the day. But in other places we have it off.

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Old 18-01-2020, 09:00   #6
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

Wrong Question:

assume it is calm and by all knowlege it will stay calm or at max 3 Bft.
Then why should you keep VHF on?


4 Bft + and /or waves and others at anchor... yes you should keep it on.
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Old 18-01-2020, 09:06   #7
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

By all means, leave your VHF radio ON. You can turn down the volume so you don't hear random non-emergency traffic, but should someone push the RED DSC button on their radio in the event of a medical emergency, fire, etc., all radios within about 10 miles would sound the warlbing alert and give the mmsi number of the boat in distress and the channel they broadcast it on. It's the right thing to do, and only have a minimal drain on your battery. That's my opinion. Glenn Tuttle Boatwatch.org
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Old 18-01-2020, 09:07   #8
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

Anchored, moored, in a slip I normally don't have on as I probably wouldn't hear it anyway. But sometimes if anchored in a spot that I feel there could be an issue I leave on "in case". Underway of course it is always on.

I voted "no"
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Old 18-01-2020, 09:19   #9
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

Of course leave it on! Crank the squelch down so only nearby calls come through. Nothing like missing the “Look Out” dragging down on you, or lost my steering. Or worse yet, “did you loose an inflatable? One just drifted by.”
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Old 18-01-2020, 09:30   #10
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

Nope, too much crap on it. From people playing music to other making animal noises. Also even as far north as Menorca, I was getting broadcasts from the Algerian coastguard. Then repeated migrant boat warnings for boats that are over 200-300nm away. As such I often turn it down or off even whilst sailing.
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Old 18-01-2020, 10:04   #11
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

I use the rule ready to respond. being a diving instructor and rescue instructor if I'm not ready to respond then I dont have it on.
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Old 18-01-2020, 10:14   #12
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

Yes, we leave ours on, but I admit to having gotten up and turned it off, on nights when some motormouths get going on 16 for some reason. But, when we're moving, always.
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Old 18-01-2020, 10:18   #13
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

I usually do. Partially for practical reasons as someone may be trying to contact me or may be in distress nearby. I also do it partially for entertainment. In places like the San Juans where there are many boats around, the number of minor catastrophes which develop seem almost limitless.
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Old 18-01-2020, 10:20   #14
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

It depends on the anchorage... Generally I leave it on, scanning the hailing, bridge-to-bridge, port, and CG channels. (13,14,16,22A hereabouts.) But I tend to boat in "quiet" areas. Eventually two fishermen start gabbing on the hailing channel, and off it goes for the day.
In fact, I usually have a handheld scanning in my office at home all the time. Maintains a little bit of connection to boating life on a wurk day. Although invariably, I get a business call 30 seconds before the daily Notice To Mariners broadcast begins, and I have to jump up and turn it off. Hey, at least it guarantees I get business calls!
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Old 18-01-2020, 10:20   #15
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Re: Do you leave your VHF on at night in an anchorage?

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Originally Posted by Group9 View Post
Yes, we leave ours on, but I admit to having gotten up and turned it off, on nights when some motormouths get going on 16 for some reason. But, when we're moving, always.
Same here. Compared to other places there's not much VHF traffic around here but we usually start out leaving it on and if for some reason it gets disturbing, it goes off.
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