How many boaters....

StodgeStodge Member Posts: 2,738 ✭✭✭✭
How many of you:

  1. Use your VHF radio (transmit and talk to other boats)?
  2. Have an MMSI number programmed into your VHF radio?
  3. Have a GPS/plotter connected to your VHF radio for the enhanced DSC distress function?
When I do vessel safety checks I tell folks that the VHF radio is the single most important piece of safety equipment on their boat and ask the questions above.  A VHF radio can "hear" just fine with a broken antenna.  But you need to make sure others can hear you.  A better test is to use a SWR meter (see your local ham radio operator) to verify that the antenna is good.

Registering for an MMSI number is free and easy.  It lets you put contact and boat information on-line for the Coast Guard to access.  The distress button sends out your MMSI number with a distress signal.  So everyone who gets the alert knows your MMSI number.  The watch standers at the Coast Guard stations can then look that up and see your name, boat description, etc.  With the GPS connected to your VHF radio they also get your last determined LAT/LONG they know where you are in addition to who you are. 

Just some things to think about for next boating season.

2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

Comments

  • Liberty44140Liberty44140 Member Posts: 4,309 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, No and No. Will definitely look in to getting these done, especially the MSSI. We do always have a PLB on board so we are covered in a dire situation but you can't have enough back-up/alternatives when it comes to safety. Thanks! 
    07' Cruisers 390 (Previous Rinker's: 06' 342EC & 01' 310FV)

  • luvinlifeluvinlife Member Posts: 501 ✭✭✭
    edited January 2018
    I have two VHF radios, one built into the boat and a handheld. I did not register an MMSI number and need to learn more about that. My GPS is not connected to the radio. I  have a handheld GPS back up as well   I am generally a bay boater but plan to be venture to Block Island and Martha's Vineyard this summer. Things to think about. 
    Post edited by luvinlife on
  • WillhoundWillhound Member Posts: 4,182 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes. Yes and yes. And took the Canadian Power Boat Squadron course and obtained the Resricted Operator's Certificate:Maritime for VHF/DSC use in Canada. Drives me nuts when I hear improper use and chatter on the radio. I found the course very interesting and useful. Even touched on some basic navigation and safety points.
    Should be a requirement in my opinion.
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270
  • IanIan Member Posts: 2,765 ✭✭✭✭
    Yes, yes and yes. I test radio when first launched with marina and then as I need to come up from the Hudson to the Mohawk, it gets used to contact the lock masters. I also have programmed in the VHF the MMSI test call function and send a test each start of season and at least twice in the season and get the automatic acknowledgment. 

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Secretary, Ravena Coeymans Yacht Club

    https://www.rcyachtclub.com/

  • StodgeStodge Member Posts: 2,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Duh@me!  Forgot URL for getting MMSI:  https://www.boatus.com/mmsi

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

  • J3ffJ3ff Member Posts: 4,030 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I do 1 and 2. But I also have a handheld vhf with gps built in... 
  • Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You must do all of the above to boat where I do as well as having a VHF licence for U.S. waters or face extremely punitive fines. Of course I agree with all of @Stodge's suggestions on this subject.
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,537 mod
    Yes, yes, & yes. :)  Also hav the additional handheld.  Definitely something every boat should do.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • IanIan Member Posts: 2,765 ✭✭✭✭
    Michael T said:
    You must do all of the above to boat where I do as well as having a VHF licence for U.S. waters or face extremely punitive fines. Of course I agree with all of @Stodge's suggestions on this subject.
    I was under the impression that US waterways had no VHF licensing requirements, it's only when in Canadian waters?

    Regards,

    Ian

    The Third “B”

    Secretary, Ravena Coeymans Yacht Club

    https://www.rcyachtclub.com/

  • StodgeStodge Member Posts: 2,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Correct.  US boats do not have to licence marine VHF radios and can operate in US and Canada.

    2002 FV 342 on Lake St. Clair - Past Commodore SHC - Vessel Examiner USCGAUX

  • WillhoundWillhound Member Posts: 4,182 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Canadian Federal law requires a license to operate VHF as well as obtain a MMSI.
    Unfortunately hard to enforce and any idiot can buy a radio. I guess the only positive is that I'd rather have an unlicensed user call in a distress than have a tragedy. But too many of the idiots yak on it like it's a CB. 
    "Knot Quite Shore" - 2000 FV270
  • Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @icoutha - some of the requirements may depend  on the LOA of the boat.  We were told that to opertate our VHF in Canadian waters we had to pass the operator's licence (which an idiot could not pass). We got those. That required an MMSI which we applied for, paid for and got. We were told by the local USCG station in Alexandria Bay N.Y. that we had to register our VHF with U.S. authorities and retain proof on our boat. We were also required to have a U.S. registration decal due to the LOA of our boat.  I double checked this in 2011 when renewing our NEXUS cards at the U.S. boarder. Maybe some requirements have changed? Agreed that 80% of those using VHF in our area are too lazy to use the proper call signs, protocols and channels.
  • LaReaLaRea Member Posts: 7,474 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, yes, yes.  Two completely redundant mounted VHF systems plus a handheld, all with MMSI and DSC.  Overkill?  Maybe.  If they save one life in my boating career, it'll be worth it.  (I've already been in an emergency where radios weren't enough.)

    Great topic.
  • rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I need to do much more....
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