Join Date: May 2008
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I've found Channel 16 to be much more effective than Channel 9 in making initial contact. Obviously, the switch to another channel must be made immediately unless it's an emergency. There are areas that utilize certain channels for specific purposes (bridges, vessel traffic, etc).
In any case, I was taught to repeat the party you are trying to reach three times, followed by who you are. You could use your vessel's name, state registration numbers (ie CF 1234 XX), or an official call-sign. I think everyone will agree, someone would have to be pretty close to be able to read the registration numbers or vessel name...and by then it's too late. Sail numbers are a help and these are frequently used during races. Keep in mind that many people won't have a clue in being able to tell one brand sailboat from another (ie Islander, Farr, J-Boat, Catalina, Ericson, etc), and still others don't know the difference between a sloop, cutter, ketch, or yawl.
All I can say is do your best... "Marina X, Marina X, Marina X...this is Zero Tolerance." ...Marina X: "what is your location?" ...Zero Tolerance: "I'm the sailboat circling at your enterance..." This seems to have worked well so far.
Skipper, J/36 "Zero Tolerance"