Welcome Guest - Sign Up today
Welcome Guest - Sign Up today
Store Links Mobile - Shop Now

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

VHF radios

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • VHF radios

    This is all based off an assumption but nonetheless it brings to light the importance of a VHF radio. Yesterday we were out on the river and went down river and turned around about 1/2 mile before the dam. There is a slight bend in the river so we couldn't actually see the dam but on the way back up a river rescue boat came flying by headed towards the dam with lights flashing. We anchored up and about 20 minutes later the rescue boat came by towing a smaller boat. It was a nice day and there were tons of boats out on the water but maybe nobody close enough to the dam to see them in distress. I can only assume they called 911 on their phone as I never heard any mayday calls on the radio. I am guessing they didn't have a VHF and needed help but nobody around to see them. River rescue doesn't typically patrol our rivers so it is up to us boaters to help each other. If they weren't out what might have happened to that boat? Cell phones were no help to them if rescue hadn't already been out. I think everyone should have at least a handheld VHF on board.

  • #2
    I have a mounted VHF with a very long range. I got rid of the hand held as the range was only 5 to 10 miles with zero obstructions. Here in Canada *16 will get you the Canadian Coast Guard on any cell phone.
    Experience is a lifetime of mistakes, wisdom is not making them again.

    Comment


    • #3
      http://www.boatingmag.com/marine-vhf-radio-range

      Not nearly as far as most think, some claim.

      You'll die waiting for the Coast Guard to respond to an emergency.

      That boat over your shoulder is your best hope. Hummm...what is their cell phone number?
      Last edited by dingbat; September 8th, 2017, 08:01 AM.
      ....

      Comment


      • #4
        We have a dam about 3 miles downriver and another about 12 miles up river. On a nice weekend there are probably about 40 or so boats in that pool so a VHF should be able to reach just about every boat in that pool. The majority congregate about right between the 2 dams so they could likely hear any calls anywhere in that pool. I only have about 5 other boaters cell numbers but if they aren't out then I'm on my own, even with several other boats out there. I know I won't boat without a VHF.

        Comment


        • #5
          Completely agree with having a good, working VHF on board. Thank you for the practical reminder.

          Is there a requirement to have a VHF radio/monitor channel 16? maybe on certain size boats or certain areas? We were discussing this on the docks the other day, and figured the good folks here would know.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by boatman37 View Post
            We have a dam about 3 miles downriver and another about 12 miles up river. On a nice weekend there are probably about 40 or so boats in that pool so a VHF should be able to reach just about every boat in that pool. The majority congregate about right between the 2 dams so they could likely hear any calls anywhere in that pool. I only have about 5 other boaters cell numbers but if they aren't out then I'm on my own, even with several other boats out there. I know I won't boat without a VHF.
            Unfortunately the problem is two fold......1. How many of those boats have VHF?. 2. How many are actually monitoring (turned on) their radios per CG regulations?
            ....

            Comment


            • #7
              Believe it or not one Sunday I was cleaning the boat in the driveway and turned on the 23 year old VHF and put up the 8' antenna monitoring channel 68 which is what we fishing nuts use here to lie to one another. I was getting great reception, we are on the lakeshore but surrounded by woods. I heard a few guys bantering away when I realized one was a pal that has a little bait shop and Marina on a feeder creek about 20 minutes away by car. I called him and we heard each other perfectly. I guess some units are better than others, I would never have believed I would get reception between 2 land points. I have learned that the VHF is only as good as the antenna.

              I was breaking the law using the radio as I don't have authorization to do so here in Canada without taking the civilian Power Squadron course. Emergency use is permissible.
              Experience is a lifetime of mistakes, wisdom is not making them again.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Old Ironmaker View Post
                Believe it or not one Sunday I was cleaning the boat in the driveway and turned on the 23 year old VHF and put up the 8' antenna monitoring channel 68 which is what we fishing nuts use here to lie to one another. I was getting great reception, we are on the lakeshore but surrounded by woods. I heard a few guys bantering away when I realized one was a pal that has a little bait shop and Marina on a feeder creek about 20 minutes away by car. I called him and we heard each other perfectly. I guess some units are better than others, I would never have believed I would get reception between 2 land points. I have learned that the VHF is only as good as the antenna.
                That wasn't the antenna or the units involved. It's a well know phenomenon known as signal skip.

                Under certain conditions, the atmosphere acts like a mirror for radio waves. When weather conditions are right and the atmospheric layers are at the right height, VHF radio signals can reflect off these layers and bounce back to Earth well beyond the radio horizon.

                There are days when I can pick up the communications between vessels 30 and 40 miles away. then there are days you're lucky to get out 4-5 miles due to to a combination of atmospheric conditions and the rocking of the boat

                ....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dingbat View Post
                  That wasn't the antenna or the units involved. It's a well know phenomenon known as signal skip.

                  Under certain conditions, the atmosphere acts like a mirror for radio waves. When weather conditions are right and the atmospheric layers are at the right height, VHF radio signals can reflect off these layers and bounce back to Earth well beyond the radio horizon.

                  There are days when I can pick up the communications between vessels 30 and 40 miles away. then there are days you're lucky to get out 4-5 miles due to to a combination of atmospheric conditions and the rocking of the boat
                  Similar to when we had a UHF antenna here for the old analogue TV. Watching the Sabres and Dallas play the 7th game of the Stanley Cup in the 3rd OT period very late and suddenly we are watching the news in Brazil crystal clear. Same goes for AM radio late at night.
                  Experience is a lifetime of mistakes, wisdom is not making them again.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dingbat View Post

                    Unfortunately the problem is two fold......1. How many of those boats have VHF?. 2. How many are actually monitoring (turned on) their radios per CG regulations?
                    No idea but if I didn't have one it wouldn't matter if they all had theirs on and listening. I always have mine turned on when I am on the boat, even if we are sitting at the dock.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sign up today
                      Depending where you go boating I think everyone should have vhf. If you just go to small lakes with few boaters then maybe not. Here in California many if not most fishermen have them whether boating on Lakes, the California delta, bays or coast/ocean. The coast guard monitors ch. 16 and so does sheriff and police water patrols and we havelaw enforcement patrolling many of our lakes and the delta.
                      VHF is basically line of sight transmission so the taller the antenna the further you can transmit and receive signals. Hand held VHF while better than nothing are pretty ineffective. If you get a VHF get a permanent base mounted unit with at least an 8' antenna on a ratchet mount so you can lower and raise it. . Besides emergency, people use them to chit chat back and forth and get fishing info. from each other. Many boaters put their vhf in scan mode which monitors all the frequencies. They are not expensive. You can get a decent unit for about $120 plus the antenna. Another nice feature is you can get up to the minute weather forecasts where ever you are. So it's an individual decision. If you want one get it, if not for you then don't.

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X