I'd rather be sailing
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The state of s/v/ Pelican
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Real general info:
Channel 16 - International hailing and emergency channel. This is the channel that most people monitor, and it's OK to hail someone (My boat is pelican and I'm calling bobber, so I say "Bobber, Bobber, this is Pelican, over". Bobber responds "Pelican, this is bobber." Then you arrange for another channel to actually talk on - "Bobber - switch to 68, over". Bobber acknowledges - "Bobber to 68, over" and then switches. Once on 68, the two greet each other similarly "Pelican, this is bobber on 68, over" and then have a conversation. Generally, once you are finished transmitting you finish up with "over" to signify you are clearing the airwaves for the other person to respond). Channel 16 is also the station that the Coast Guard primarily monitors and you can ask for information, report problems or issue mayday/pan pan calls. You also can do securite calls for hazards to navigation, or your position in the fog. Radio checks are generally frowned upon on 16, and the CG will get right on top of someone who uses 16 as a conversational channel.
Channel 9 - The second most monitored channel and the primary "recreational" channel in use. It's OK to do radio checks on 9 and many people are listening. You can have conversations on 9, but once again it's recommended that you find a free channel to converse on.
Channel 13 - Commercial traffic, bridges, tugs, etc. GENERALLY, tugs or other commercial traffic, plus drawbridges, will monitor 13, but not always. If you are going in a commercial shipping area, 13 is a good station to listen to.
Channel 22 (and sometimes 23) - Coast guard informational updates. If the CG is issuing an advisory (weather, navigational, etc.) they will often tell people to tune to channel 22 "alpha", which is really just channel 22 on an ordinary VHF.
Channels 68-72 (and some others) - Recreational channels. When you "meet" someone on 9 or 16, these are generally the channels you'll agree to tune to. Once your conversation is complete, most people go back to monitoring 9 and 16.
This is really basic info and I recommend reading the links above.
s/v "Pelican" Passport 40 #076- Finished Cruising - for the moment -
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"Don't dream your life, live your dream" - Bob Bitchin'
"I'll see it when I believe it" - Me