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Thread: Marine VHF Radio Communication

  1. #1

    Default Marine VHF Radio Communication

    http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/marcomms/boater.htm

    Here is the web site where this comes from by the way!

    Boater Calling Channel (VHF Channel 9)

    The Federal Communications Commission established VHF-FM channel 9 as a supplementary calling channel for noncommercial vessels (recreational boaters) at the request of the Coast Guard. A ship or shore unit wishing to call a boater would do so on channel 9, and anyone (boaters included) wishing to call a commercial ship or shore activity would continue to do so on channel 16. Recreational boaters would continue to call the Coast Guard and any commercial facility on channel 16.
    The purpose of the FCC regulation was to relieve congestion on VHF channel 16, the distress, safety and calling frequency. FCC regulations require boaters having VHF radios to maintain a watch on either VHF channel 9 or channel 16, whenever the radio is turned on and not communicating with another station.
    Since the Coast Guard generally does not have the capability of announcing an urgent marine information broadcast or weather warning on channel 9, use of channel 9 is optional. We recommend boaters normally keep tuned to and use channel 16 in those waters unless otherwise notified by the Coast Guard.

  2. #2
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    Default

    Great thread idea! Being a new boat owner, I wondered about this topic.

    Now ya won't have to worry about me breaking channel 19 for a bear report! lol

  3. #3
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for the post

    Great post, thanks for keeping the rest of us informed!!

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
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  4. #4
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default New?

    is this something new? and why?

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
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  5. #5

    Default No not new

    I don't think it's new at all. But I hear to many yak on channel 16, it's a hailing channel ONLY. The rules of the road apply.
    Just like the one who said a 100' tour boat yelled at him for going around with out hailing first. It's the rule of the road, just because no one does it don't change the rule.
    The rules are only designed for Safety reasons. I understand there are lots of rules and this web site is to large to read completely, that to don't change the rule> http://dnr.alaska.gov/parks/boating/
    You think these are bad should of seen the test I took!
    Safe Boating is the Rule !

  6. #6
    Member bhollis's Avatar
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    Default

    So it sounds like channel 9 is intended as a "hailing" channel for recreational boaters--i.e., a channel recreational boaters can use to contact one another. But very few boaters monitor channel 9, and monitor channel 16 instead, for all the reasons mentioned in the OP. So is channel 9 really serving it's intended purpose?

    One thing I've never really been clear on--is channel 9 only intended as a hailing channel, with the expectation that boaters will switch to another channel to actually conduct their conversation (as with channel 16)? Or are conversations permitted on channel 9?

    As an aside, what channels do most boaters switch to to talk to other boaters after hailing them on channel 16?

  7. #7
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    Default Channel 9

    Good thread! As Alaskapiranha has already posted the links to some very good sites for additional information, I won't repeat his efforts. The addition of VHF-FM Channel 9 as a hailing channel came about because many boaters 'abused' channel 16 (and, unfortunately, still do). If you've boated in the lower 48, you already know how congested Ch.16 can become and even in Alaska, especially during peak use times/days (i.e. Seward Silver Salmon Derby), you might wait for some time to get on 16; imagine what that would be like in an emergency!! Channel 16 is a hailing and distress frequency only; we've all heard boaters 'chatting' away on 16 and often, they'll get prompted to change to a working channel....either by other boaters or the Coast Guard. Another aspect of monitoring an alternate channel such as Ch. 9 is that many radios do not have the capability of dual watch; they can only do one channel at a time. If you have multiple radios or dual (or even tri-watch) capabilities, you'll be able to catch a hailing call on 9 or 16...if you're not using 16 to hail and can't monitor 16, you risk missing a distress call, so being able to listen to 16 is important as well. We've done several SAR cases where the boaters knew nothing about their radios, no idea about channels or protocol. Educate yourself and other boaters, the radio will likely be your only connection in an emergency. Boat safe! Mike

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskapiranha View Post
    Just like the one who said a 100' tour boat yelled at him for going around with out hailing first. It's the rule of the road, just because no one does it don't change the rule.
    There is no rule requiring one to radio a vessel when overtaking it. There is a 'sound signal' rule (lights work too)...
    Rule 34
    Maneuvering and Warning Signals
    (c) When in sight of one another in a narrow channel or fairway:
    (i) a vessel intending to overtake another shall in compliance with Rule 9 (e)(i) indicate her intention by the following signals on her whistle.
    two prolonged blasts followed by one short blast to mean "I intend to overtake you on your starboard side";
    two prolonged blasts followed by two short blasts to mean "I intend to overtake you on your port side".
    (ii) the vessel about to be overtaken when acting in accordance with 9(e)(i) shall indicate her agreement by the following signal on her whistle:
    one prolonged, one short, one prolonged and one short blast, in that

    order.


    Rule 9
    Narrow Channels
    (a) A vessel proceeding along the course of a narrow channel or fairway shall keep as near to the outer limit of the channel or fairway which lies on her starboard side as is safe and practicable.
    (b) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway.
    (c) A vessel engaged in fishing shall not impede the passage of any other vessel navigating within a narrow passage or fairway.
    (d) A vessel shall not cross a narrow passage or fairway if such crossing impedes the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within such channel or fairway. The latter vessel may use the sound signal prescribed in Rule 34(d) if in doubt as to the intention of the crossing vessel.
    (e)
    (i) In a narrow channel or fairway when overtaking can take place only when the vessel to be overtaken has to take action to permit safe passing, the vessel intending to overtake shall indicate her intention by sounding the appropriate signal prescribed in Rule 34(c)(i). The vessel to be overtaken shall, if in agreement, sound the appropriate signal prescribed in Rule 34(c)(ii) and take steps to permit safe passing. If in doubt she may sound the signals prescribed in Rule 34(d).

    Rule 13
    Overtaking
    (a) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Rules of Part B, Sections I and II, any vessel overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken.
    (b) A vessel shall be deemed to be overtaking when coming up with a another vessel from a direction more than 22.5 degrees abaft her beam, that is, in such a position with reference to the vessel she is overtaking, that at night she would be able to see only the sternlight of that vessel but neither of her sidelights.
    (c) When a vessel is in any doubt as to whether she is overtaking another, she shall assume that this is the case and act accordingly.
    (d) Any subsequent alteration of the bearing between the two vessels shall not make the overtaking vessel a crossing vessel within the meaning of these Rules or relieve her of the duty of keeping clear of the overtaken vessel until she is finally past and clear.




    Just some info, not pointing any fingers.

  9. #9

    Default Sorry my bad

    I used the word hail in a thread about radios. webster used Hail as a "getting some one attention"
    which if your preference is to blow a horn that works, but just blowing the horn and not getting noticed does not clear for any thing, attentioned and acknowlaged is a key point.
    Sorry you took all the time to go to such great lengths to prove a point.

  10. #10
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    Default raising another question...

    Reading the rules as BrianW posted brings a question.... Do these rules apply to interior rivers also? ie. narrow channels....? I have yet to spend a great deal of time on a traffic congested river in AK but are these rules of overtaking REALLY followed?

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskapiranha View Post
    I used the word hail in a thread about radios. webster used Hail as a "getting some one attention"
    And I replied about the use of radios. The Colregs doesn't address them. My point being, the tour boat operator didn't have a leg to stand on. It's every boats responsibility to maintain a look out...

    Rule 5
    Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.




    Quote Originally Posted by alaskapiranha View Post
    Sorry you took all the time to go to such great lengths to prove a point.
    Not a problem at all. I enjoy these sort of discussions.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by akiceman25 View Post
    Reading the rules as BrianW posted brings a question.... Do these rules apply to interior rivers also? ie. narrow channels....? I have yet to spend a great deal of time on a traffic congested river in AK but are these rules of overtaking REALLY followed?
    The rules for rivers are close, but slightly different. As for following the rules... no, it's not common practice to call another boat on the radio and let them know you're overtaking them. It can't hurt, but it's not common.

  13. #13
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
    The rules for rivers are close, but slightly different. As for following the rules... no, it's not common practice to call another boat on the radio and let them know you're overtaking them. It can't hurt, but it's not common.
    I would agree with Brian. In fact I have never heard anyone calling to pass......

    If this rule was applied on a nice summer day in Passage Canal, you would NEVER be able to get on the radio......

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
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  14. #14

    Default 100 foot tour boat verses a 24' pleasure

    Must be me I'm going to depend on my dinky little horn to get the attention of a bow forward 100' tour boat with no rear view mirror, and depend on him not having to make a hard port turn to miss a capsized boat and family in the water. NOT

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskapiranha View Post
    Must be me I'm going to depend on my dinky little horn to get the attention of a bow forward 100' tour boat with no rear view mirror, and depend on him not having to make a hard port turn to miss a capsized boat and family in the water. NOT
    I'm a bit more leery of the stern forward tour boats.

    Actually, you sound like a safe skipper. If for some reason you find yourself in a situation were you must pass a big boat, in such a narrow channel that you're unable to comply with the requirement that you, as the overtaking vessel, are required to maintain a safe distance, then a radio call is prudent.

    However, it's not a rule.

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