Join Date: Jun 2006
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Some options ...
- Whispering - works well between people sitting beside one another.
- Talking - great for cockpit communication so long as both parties know and use the same language!
- Yelling - limited range, sometimes effective, not very good in wind but works great across a quiet anchorage.
- Sign language - longer distance than talking, but not that many people understand it.
- Waving your hands like an idiot - get someone's attention.
- Holding up two cold beverages - universal gesture of goodwill.
- Hand-held flares - signal an emergency to anyone who can see.
- Semaphore flags - good line-of-sight communication but not very many people understand them. Still used, however, with single flags meaning various things such as telling other boats that a diver is down in the water so they won't run over the diver. See here for more information.
- Anchor light and anchor ball - communicate to someone that you are anchored.
- Running lights - communicate your direction, etc ..
- Flags - communicate your nationality and club affiliations ..
- Spotlight - good for getting someone's attention, works especially well if you shine it on your sails at night because people can see that pretty far away.
- Smoke - good for getting someone's attention.
- Fog horn, bells, etc - read all about it here.
- Whistle - see above
- Bull horn - like yelling except much louder.
- Banging metal together under water - signal someone who is under water, you can even send morse code back and forth like this!
- Signal lamp - works great for sending morse code to another boat, still in use to this very day, but not that many people know morse code anymore. Still, a surprising number of people do know morse code. Just about anything can work as a signal lamp so long as you can send dots and dashes with it, even putting something in front of an oil lamp can work. For long distance communication you probably want some binoculars so that you can receive as well as send long distance, you have to be able to see the other person's lamp! More information here.
- Rocket flares - signal emergency long distance to anyone who can see.
- Signal mirror - a mirror to signal an emergency to airplanes, etc.
- Dye - pour it into the water to signal aircraft.
- Signal fire - get attention, useful on shore in an emergency.
- Marine VHF - like talking or using a bull horn except even longer distance, requires the other person have a receiver tuned to the correct frequency.
- AIS transmitter - signal other boats telling them where you are so they don't run over you.
- Radar reflector - use other boat's radars to signal them by (in theory) giving a good return when they shine their radar on you.
- Wifi - gives you Internet access when near access points (see Email below).
- Cellular telephone - talk to anyone who has a telephone when you are near cellular telephone towers.
- Cellular broadband - gives you Internet access when near cell towers (see Email below).
- Spot - send simple signals from most of North America and surrounding waters via satellite.
- SSB - communicate over large distances using SSB bands, requires license, person at the other end needs a receiver.
- HF - communicate over large distances using amateur radio bands, requires license, person at the other end needs a receiver.
- CW - often used on HF amateur radio bands, you can communicate over great distances using CW (morse code), person at the other end needs a receiver and ability to send/receive CW.
- Email - send email messages, requires connectivity either by Internet/Wireless, etc, or by Sailmail and other HF mail systems.
- Snail mail - slow, great for communicating to people long distance so long as they don't move around very often.
- Satellite phone - talk to almost anyone (except long distance cruisers who tend not to have telephones), almost anywhere, at any time via satellite. expensive.
- EPIRB - signal an emergency from just about anywhere in the world that there is satellite coverage.
There are many more options, those are some of the ones that came immediately to mind.
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