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  • Hailing a Marina on VHF?

    Hi guys,,,,what is the protocal on hailing a marina when approaching from the water?....is there a "formula" like sending out a mayday, or in general do you approach it like a phone call?.....when "Pez Gordo" hits the ocean for the first time in july i want to explore a bit(not too far) up and down the coast near Prince Rupert, and perhaps stop in for fuel etc!...so, was wondering what you guys normally do?....thanks for any help larry
    sigpic
    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

  • #2
    If you're just stopping in for a visit to the fuel dock, you shouldn't have to call the harbormaster. If you're looking to tie up for a bit, then hail the (city/harbor name) harbormaster on VHF channel 16. When they answer, they'll usually prompt you to switch to another channel (often 68). Besides making distress calls, channel 16 should only be used to make initial contact and then switch to another channel.
    "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MRFISH View Post
      If you're just stopping in for a visit to the fuel dock, you shouldn't have to call the harbormaster. If you're looking to tie up for a bit, then hail the (city/harbor name) harbormaster on VHF channel 16. When they answer, they'll usually prompt you to switch to another channel (often 68). Besides making distress calls, channel 16 should only be used to make initial contact and then switch to another channel.
      thanks mr fish!...so when i hail on 16 do i say,,,,

      "....this is pez gordo, hailing harbourmaster..."xyz" marina in "xyz town, come in please?....."

      .....or something like that, then follow his/her lead?....is that enough info on the intial call or would you add morel?....also, if i already know the marina's working channel, can i call there first?.

      thanks larry
      sigpic
      29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
      18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by bcriverhunter View Post
        thanks mr fish!...so when i hail on 16 do i say,,,,

        "....this is pez gordo, hailing harbourmaster..."xyz" marina in "xyz town, come in please?....."

        .....or something like that, then follow his/her lead?....is that enough info on the intial call or would you add morel?....also, if i already know the marina's working channel, can i call there first?.

        thanks larry
        Larry, your call sounds just fine...keep it simple for the initial contact (who you're calling and your vessel name)...and if the harbor has a standard operating channel, just give them a call on that, instead (some harbors have a sign at the entrance to tell what radio channel to use).
        "Fishing relaxes me. It's like yoga, except I still get to kill something." --Ron Swanson

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bcriverhunter View Post
          thanks mr fish!...so when i hail on 16 do i say,,,,

          "....this is pez gordo, hailing harbourmaster..."xyz" marina in "xyz town, come in please?....."

          .....or something like that, then follow his/her lead?....is that enough info on the intial call or would you add morel?....also, if i already know the marina's working channel, can i call there first?.

          thanks larry
          It's been a while for me, but I think you want to call something along the lines of "xyz Harbor, xyz Harbor, this is the Pez Gordo". Saying their name first, and repeating it once, gets their attention, then you can say who you are. If you say your name first, they may not be paying attention to it until they hear their name.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by anchskier View Post
            It's been a while for me, but I think you want to call something along the lines of "xyz Harbor, xyz Harbor, this is the Pez Gordo". Saying their name first, and repeating it once, gets their attention, then you can say who you are. If you say your name first, they may not be paying attention to it until they hear their name.
            ok!!...so, i see there there sign near the harbour, , say channel "68"..tune in to 68 then say....


            " ..xyz marina....xyz marina...hailing harbour master....this is pez gordo, come in please.."


            cool....all trained up??...thanks guys larry
            sigpic
            29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
            18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

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            • #7
              Sounding Experienced can help a lot,...Some Tips

              Originally posted by bcriverhunter View Post
              ok!!...so, i see there there sign near the harbour, , say channel "68"..tune in to 68 then say....

              " ..xyz marina....xyz marina...hailing harbour master....this is pez gordo, come in please.."
              That'll work fine there bcriver,

              but if you wanta sound cool, like you know what you're doing,...:whistle:
              (they'll treat you better, I promise)
              you can skip the "Hailing" or "Come in please" part.

              It's just their name,.....
              (maybe twice, but that's for offshore out of sight, hoping they can recieve you, not when right in front of their office)

              then your vessel name,... so like this, "Kodiak Harbormaster,....Radiance, .....on 16."

              then wait, til they come back, or try again in a minute.

              Saying what channel you are on is a courtesy for the reciever who will undoubtedly be monitoring more than one channel, more than one radio, sitting right next to each other

              So, that's my vessel, the Radiance, and the harbor folks will just reach for the radio that is monitoring 16
              then when they respond, "Radiance, ....Kodiak harbor, switch to 68 ?"
              you just come back with, "68, thank you"
              and start all over again after switching to 68, but now your probably hooked up,
              "Kodiak Harbor, Radiance, I'm looking for a Transient spot for the afternoon,..."

              Another tip, as mentioned earlier, you won't need to contact anyone to just slide in to the fuel dock,
              and once you contact the harbormaster, usually the charges begin right then,
              just so you know, they'll often ask you to come up to the office to register, (as in get your credit card number, which is fine but often there is an area where you can lay for a few hours if you are thinking of walking up for a cup of coffee and to stretch your legs, then departing same day. Worth asking them about that.

              Or if you pull in after hours, you can often lay at the fuel dock for free overnight if you are gone before they open in the morning, or if you buy some fuel either just before they close or first thing in the morning.
              That can save you some moorage fees

              man I wish I was you, planning that trip, you're gonna have a blast.
              Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

              Comment


              • #8
                KodianRain has it right. A couple of other comments are the reason he says 'on 16' is that often they monitor multiple channels so it makes it easier for them to know where to respond to you on. Related to this, if there is a sign for the harbor or the fuel dock saying they monitor a different channel than 16, use that one so that you keep the clutter down on 16, since it is only for hailing and emergencies. I don't know that I have ever bothered to hail a fuel dock. I just pull up where there is room.
                2009 Seawolf 31'
                www.seawolfmarine.com
                Fully Loaded

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                • #9
                  Some (most?) harbors will allow you a couple hours of free time if you just want to stretch, or whatever before they start charging for moorage. Also, in some smaller ports, you have to hail the fuel dock to get them to come in, as they are small operations and aren't right there all the time.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kodiakrain View Post
                    That'll work fine there bcriver,

                    but if you wanta sound cool, like you know what you're doing,...:whistle:
                    .
                    ok,,,,clear throat,,,ahem..


                    Me "....Port Simpson harbourmaster..........Pez Gordo.......on 16......"

                    Them "....Pez Gordo........Port Simpson harbour.......switch to 68........"

                    me(68) . "......Port Simpson harbour, Pez Gordo......i'm looking for yada yada...."



                    now is that cool or what??roud:......all it is missing is the "aye!".....thanks KR, excellent!.....

                    yes, looking forward to july and 3 weeks on the chuck!....hopefully by then i am ready to "cut the cord" from you guys????::whistle:......thanks all!....larry
                    sigpic
                    29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
                    18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bcriverhunter View Post
                      ok,,,,clear throat,,,ahem..

                      now is that cool or what??:proud:......all it is missing is the "aye!".....thanks KR, excellent!.....

                      yes, looking forward to july and 3 weeks on the chuck!....hopefully by then i am ready to "cut the cord" from you guys????::whistle:......thanks all!....larry
                      heh, heh, glad you took that well,

                      Hey, Pez Gordo, you Actually, are pretty cool already, coming up with a boat like that, and pulling off running it up around Canada, as as break-in,
                      bordering on "over the top' in the cool department in my opinion,....
                      just so you know, probably also in the opinions of lots of boaters, most of whom, only dream of pulling off what you are up to

                      So, your asking about stuff like that, really is appreciated by guys like myself, and is going to come back to ya well on your voyage and yrs following on the ocean

                      So, that being said, yeah, efficiency on the radio is something to pay attention to, and as another guy has mentioned, if you can, skip calling on 16 and go straight to the channel you know they are standing by on already, that's always best.
                      That's why they'll ask you to switch fro 16, to keep that clear,
                      If you get chatty on 16 eventually the CG will come in and ask you to move to another channel, or if you are talking to someone else on 16 and they get a bit talkative, you can suggest the switch, we all appreciate the guy making that move
                      (you can also find this harbor channel in your cruising guide on info about ports, they always have the Harbor operations VHF channel listed somewhere.

                      Have you found any of those yet, the Cruising Guides? I don't have access to mine right now or would give you the info, but those are Highly Recommended to have on board, the spiral bound ones, about 14"x20" with charts that all link up to guide you through the entire Inside Passage, in great detail with other valuable info alongside the chart page, you'll love having one along.

                      Another thing to mention is the need to contact the Canadian Coast Guard when approaching the border, I can't remember all the "who to call" details of this but when south of Victoria, you should be listening to ch 16 to hear how the commercial guys, or other travelers are doing this,

                      They'll want you to let them know your plans as a foreign vessel, just a short call on the VHF, they'll ask if you are traveling through, which you may be, once you get a feel for how fun it would be to "Go all the Way North,":think:,........ or how long you'll be in there, etc. and eventual return destination,
                      Then they know you are in the system for the time you are traveling in Canadian waters.
                      Best to not skip that,

                      and by the way, personally I love helping folks have an easier time in any way,
                      so no need to cut the cords on your boat operations queries, ask away,....
                      By this thread alone, there are apparently several of us,
                      More than willing to help someone, especially guys not too proud to ask questions like this thread,

                      Good One :topjob:
                      Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Of course, there's no need to call on 16 first if you know what channel the harbor is on. Just use the channel they use and keep the chatter off of 16.
                        Originally posted by northwestalska
                        ... you can’t tell stories about the adventures you wished you had done!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kodiakrain View Post
                          Have you found any of those yet, the Cruising Guides? :
                          thanks KR for the kind words!!....at this point the only guide i have are the naut charts for, say 100+/- miles north and south of prince rupert!....i dont think i will have the VHF station lic for crosing into the states by july, so will stay in canada---but, NEXT YEAR, ..kethican/elfin cove here we come:cool:!.....oh, i do have the waggoner cruising guide 2011!......this july trip is for getting our feet wet in the bigger boat in the salt, start close to rupert, then as i get brave, and weather permits, start to venture off for a few days then back to rupert to the slip!..i do want to spend some time at the griz sanctuary "kutzamateen" and try for those big halibut in the area.......last year in the 18 foot, open bow/jet we spent 16 total days on the chuck, "work channel' and 2 weeks over into qeeen charrletts, so i am still VERY GREEN, but we got a taste and love it!......in two weeks its off to harrison lake for 10 days-- west of Vancouver to learn how to drive pez Gordo,,,,,large lake, big wiinds, and cuttrout, we will be staying on the boat!!...been busy packing for it already.......thanks again for the great info everyone!! larry
                          sigpic
                          29' Wooldridge Pilot House, Twin 200 Hp Etecs! "...Pez Gordo..."
                          18' Wooldridge Sport with 200 hp sport jet. "...Little Pez..."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Larry,

                            I bought a bunch of cruising guides before my Inside Passage trip, and the best ones seemed to be the 'Exploring...' series. Here is a link to one of them on Amazon:

                            http://www.amazon.com/Exploring-Nort..._bxgy_b_text_b

                            You REALLY need to get one of these soon so you can get a feel for where you want to go. They really have a wealth of information and you will miss a lot of neat things if you try and figure it out on your own.
                            2009 Seawolf 31'
                            www.seawolfmarine.com
                            Fully Loaded

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                            • #15
                              Some great info, but what do you say when you just got a funky riverboat with no name......?

                              I could try....... "Seldovia Harbormaster........My Big Johnson....on 16..............."

                              Which is whats written on the motor............LOL

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                              “We have digressed from a Nation of Revolutionaries to a country of entitlements"

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