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  #1  
Old 05-11-2010
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Radio ID question

If your boat has a name, but the name is not on the hull anywhere (no lettering), what is the proper way to make a radio call to a marina or whatever? I'd think you'd use the name in the initial call so that whomever you are calling would have a "handle" with which to call you back, but at some point I'd think you'd have to say "28 foot sloop with navy blue hull" so that they'd have some way to get a visual ID on you as well.

Is there a protocol for this situation?

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Old 05-11-2010
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I think you answered your own question. That is exactly what I would do. You are XYZ until you are describing yourself, then you are lenght, beam, and keel depth for seeking a slip at a marina and you are XYZ, a 27' sailing vessel with navy hull for the coast guard in an emergency.
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Old 05-11-2010
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Also, vessel names are often on the stern, and when approaching a marina, if they are trying to get a visual on you, they will not be able to see the stern anyway, so a description will likely be required whether the name is on the vessel or not.

In an emergency coast guard hull, a description will also be necessary, since it is hard to read names from a long distance. In that instance, I would probably also mention the name is not on the hull, since if they are trying to find you among other boats, they may assume it is not you if they do not see the name they are looking for.
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Old 05-11-2010
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On Channel 9

You say; "Marina (or whatever), Marina (or whatever) this is S/V Free Spirit on channel 9."..."Marina (or whatever), Marina (or whatever) this is S/V Free Spirit on channel 9." ... (wait 2 min)
Marina (or whatever) responds; "This is Marina (or whatever) to Free Spirit."
You say; "Marina (or whatever) do you have a preferred channel?"
Marina (or whatever) responds; "Our working channel is channel xx."
You say; "Thank you. Please switch to Channel xx."
Marina (or whatever) responds; "Switching to channel xx."
switch to channel xx
You say; "Marina (or whatever), Marina (or whatever) this is S/V Free Spirit on channel xx."
Marina (or whatever) responds; "Go ahead Free Spirit."
You say; "We are a 28 foot sloop with navy blue hull. We have an x foot draft, and are y feet long..."
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Old 05-11-2010
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Here the marinas answer with "Free Spirit, this is XYZ marina, please switch and answer on Channel X". They move you immediately to their working channel unless you called them on it..
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Old 05-11-2010
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Realize that the dialog above was for a marina, or whatever.

Hail on the working channel (preferred), or hail on channel 9 then move to working channel.
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Old 05-11-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Realize that the dialog above was for a marina, or whatever.

Hail on the working channel (preferred), or hail on channel 9 then move to working channel.
I know 9 is a hailing channel, but how often do people find the marina ( or whatever) actually monitoring it?
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Speaking only for Lake Michigan, but most marinas monitor 16 and their working channel which is usually listed in the guides. Some also monitor 9, but many do not.
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Old 05-11-2010
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I've never had a problem with them not listening. If ch 9 fails then ch 16 will work but I've never had to do that
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Old 05-11-2010
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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"
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