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Old 11-17-2012
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Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit

I moved my VHF to the companionway where it can be operated from inside or outside. Recently though, I've been re-thinking how I will use the radio.

I always monitor 16, because I think it's the right thing to do, but fortunately/unfortunately for me the previous owner did a great job with the antenna and wiring and I have a really long range. What that means is that in the summer I hear every Tom, Dick & Harry calling each other on the radio all day. I find that the constant radio chatter interferes with my wanting to be at one with nature, enjoy the peace and quite of sailing etc.

What I will try next summer is have my handheld attached to my PFD and use that to monitor 16. My thinking is that I can receive all the coast guard broadcasts on this (because their antennas are on the tops of mountains) and any boat that wants to call me, or is in distress but CLOSE enough for me to actually be able to help can also be received with this radio.

Basically, I don't want to receive any transmissions (except the coast guard) that originated, say, more than 15KM away. A boat hailing me would likely be line of site, and any mayday beyond that distance is 2-3hrs motor away and I would not likely be of any help. Besides, most maydays are re-broadcast by the coast guard anyway.

Hopefully this will reduce the unnecessary chatter, but still allow me to keep an effective radio watch. The main unit can be used for my own mayday call if needed.

MedSailor
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