Join Date: Feb 2004
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 13
This is incorrect.
While it will give you a general idea of whether you radio is broadcasting at all....it will not reveal if it is working properly.
VHF is line-of-sight and very power-related (Unlike HF, there is no atmospheric bounce).
So if you do a radio check and get another boat on the line, you still will not know if you are braodcasting to the full extent of your power, or if you have left your radio switched to 1amp (Usually for marina and fleet communication, sort of like an intercom) and the boat you have reached is within a mile somewhere. Even if you are sure the switch is on your full broadcasting power, a damaged cable, connector or ariel can reduce the efficiency dramatically and leave you in the same position.
Asking for a radio check on 16 allows shore stations and volunteerrescue organisations to indicate whether they recieve you (or are hidden behind promentories and other physical obstacles).
The international convention dictates that there be a courtesy period of two minutes at the stroke of each hour, during which time very faint or distant distress signals can be listened for. Other then that, using 16 as a routing channel is the norm.
If your area has a log-out, log-in service run by coastgaurd or volunteer operators, then you can combine your radio check with your declaration.
So you call on sixteen,
they respon and tell you which frequency they would like you to go to in order to continue.
You state "SV Drunken Parrot, heading out of Gerbil Cove for a day sail, Back around midnight"
They reply with, "Thank you Drunken Parrot, You are coming through loud and clear, Say hello as you come back in"
You know know your radio is working fine and also that if you are not back or in communication by dawn, they are going to start making the odd phone call. Melbourne radio has printed out and framed the Jesse Martin radio check, which reads something like "SV Lionheart, going for a bit of a sail, see you in about a year..."
He then circumnavigated, called up radio Melbourne just as he entered the heads and reported back in, To be told he was a day or two ahead of schedule, was the fishing bad?