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-   -   VHF Radio in the cockpit (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/gear-maintenance/94178-vhf-radio-cockpit.html)

dvuyxx 11-17-2012 08:46 AM

VHF Radio in the cockpit
 
So our 35' has a vhf radio mounted in the cockpit and one inside the cabin. The one in the cockpit is in the way, and people run into it all the time. I might relocate it to a better position, but I'm also considering just removing it entirely ... just relying on the cabin radio and my handheld VHF.

Honestly, in the four seasons I've had this vessel, I've used it once in a non-emergency. Cell phones seem to be our primary means of communication now.

Is there really any argument (or requirement) for keeping the radio in the cockpit?

marianclaire 11-17-2012 09:08 AM

Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit
 
On the MC I had a base unit in the cabin and used a handheld in the cockpit. This worked fine until I got a call from another boat that the base unit would pick up but my handheld did not have the range to reply. That made me think what happens if I need to call the CG etc. I single hand and in rough conditions can not leave the helm long enough to go below and make/answer a call. I have moved my base unit to the edge of the companionway and can now use it and stay at the helm. So I think it is important to have long range radio accessible from the cockpit unless you are always only a few miles from help. Dan S/V Marian Claire

klem 11-17-2012 09:08 AM

Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit
 
Unless your radio in the cabin is accessible from the cockpit, I would leave the one in the cockpit. Maybe you can relocate it or go to something more low profile like a ram mic.

There are many situations where having the ability to speak to someone without going below is extremely helpful. For example, if you are sailing in fog, the last thing that you want to do is go down below. Basically, any tight quarters sailing/motoring is probably a situation where going below doesn't make sense. Also, can you hear the VHF down below if you are motoring?

From a strictly safety standpoint, unless you have an EPIRB, the best way to call for help is with your VHF. There are plenty of situations where the unit may still be working but you don't want to go down below including sinking, fire, etc. I have read more than one report where the conclusion was that a distress call could have been made if the radio could have been operated from on deck.

I don't know what type of sailing you do and if you stay very close to your home marina and are in protected waters without much fog, then using a handheld in the cockpit is probably acceptable but a fixed mount as well as the handheld is always better.

Bartasaurus 11-17-2012 09:16 AM

Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit
 
I suppose it's a judgement call.

I would consider where you sail (dangers/traffic) into the equation. I would also consider if you sail with crew regularly. If you have a crew/people to work with, they can make calls while you stay on the helm, for example. So ultimately I don't think it would be irresponsible to remove the cockpit VHF provide there are no aggravating factors which suggest you keep it to be responsible (and it doesn't sound like there are).

Jiminri 11-17-2012 10:03 AM

Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit
 
Does your cabin VHF radio have the option of adding a remote mic? When I upgraded my VHF radio (to include DSC) on my last boat I made sure I purchased one with that option. I then mounted the remote mic right near the helm. It included all the controls to change channels, volume, make an emergency call etc. I'll probably do the same thing on my new boat.

Faster 11-17-2012 10:06 AM

Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jiminri (Post 949632)
Does your cabin VHF radio have the option of adding a remote mic? When I upgraded my VHF radio (to include DSC) on my last boat I made sure I purchased one with that option. I then mounted the remote mic right near the helm. It included all the controls to change channels, volume, make an emergency call etc. I'll probably do the same thing on my new boat.

THIS is the solution!

sd1953 11-17-2012 10:12 AM

Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit
 
Is this remote mike in the cockpit what they call a RAM mike?

Jiminri 11-17-2012 10:53 AM

Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sd1953 (Post 949636)
Is this remote mike in the cockpit what they call a RAM mike?

Yup. I installed a Raymarine Ray55 and added a RayMic. But several companies make these with the RAM mic option.

svHyLyte 11-17-2012 11:12 AM

Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit
 
Like Jiminri, our radio--a Standard Horizon--is mounted in a nice safe spot at the Nav Table but is connected to a wired "RAM" Mic with full functionality in the cockpit (and we have a spare RAM Mic "just in case" as they're relatively cheap). These days, there are several VHF Radios available that allow the use of a wireless RAM Mic (several in some cases) which is an improvement over ours considering what a PITA running wiring to a cockpit might be. As a back-up and for close in comm's we also have a hand held that we keep tethered to the Binnacle or to the helmsman--so it doesn't take a dive over the side although it will float. (We also have small, waterproof, individual VHF's on each safety harness just in case a crew goes for an unexpected swim during foul weather.) I find the foregoing arrangement works very well.

FWIW...

SawWhet 11-17-2012 11:23 AM

Re: VHF Radio in the cockpit
 
In our area Saint John River NB Canada we have to communicate with the cable ferries.
Our VHF is mounted inside at nav station (Beneteau 321) with a remote full function mic
in the cockpit.


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