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  #31  
Old 11-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
I always monitor 16 and if near the traffic lanes the local TSS channel.
No disrespect intended (I have the highest regard for the job that the USCG does), but a pet peeve of mine is that the USCG seems to only assign people that A. either have a mouth full of marbles or B. tend to get excited and talk WAY too fast while giving the location of an emergency...............I even contacted USCG in Seattle to try and make a suggestion to improve safety - Ha! - some higher up type practically laughed at me and said "you want the USCG to change the way we respond to an emergency just for you?
Sorry for the hijack, back to the OP's topic.
I don't think it's off topic at all. As I indicated, I was shocked at how confused the Coast Guard station was about the sinking situation! This prompted me to think about how we better make sure we are looking out for each other out there. As to the attitude of the Coast Guard (and the inappropriate response they gave you)....I could go WAY of topic on that! In fact, I may in another thread!
Here is is: titled "Coasties Gone Wild?"!Coasties Gone Wild?

Last edited by L124C; 11-19-2011 at 04:30 PM.
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  #32  
Old 11-19-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjablonowski View Post
Yes, I monitor Ch 16.

But I often sail with a radio/stereo turned on, and half the time the music on one cockpit speaker blanks out the [mumble-mouthed] VHF caller on the other speaker.

Yes, I know that some expensive VHF radios have a memory/replay function, but I don't wanna go that route.

What would work nicely would be some kind of switch that detected incoming traffic from a VHF and muted the signal from an AM/FM until the VHF again became inactive.

Now, I KNOW it's wrong to rig a single speaker with inputs from two radios; I'm told you'll FRY both.

Anybody know of a straightforward, automatic audio A/B swith made for such a situation? I haven't been able to find one via the usual suspects.
Excellent question...I would also like to hear a good response to this. I have two cockpit speakers running to my stereo in the pilothouse next to my radios so for me, it would be easy to rig this up if on fact a device/switch existed.
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  #33  
Old 11-19-2011
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Always a good time for this little reminder...


Quote:
Originally Posted by USCG Nav Center
Radio Watchkeeping Regulations

In general, any vessel equipped with a VHF marine radiotelephone (whether voluntarily or required to) must maintain a watch on channel 16 (156.800 MHz) whenever the radiotelephone is not being used to communicate.


Source: FCC 47 CFR §§ 80.148, 80.310, NTIA Manual 8.2.29.6.c(2)(e), ITU RR 31.17, 33.18, AP13 §25.2

And with that in mind......


Quote:
Originally Posted by USCG
COMMUNICATIONS

NON-EMERGENCY CALLS

If you need information or assistance from the Coast Guard (other than in a distress situation), call the Coast Guard on Channel 16 (156.8 MHz) VHF-FM. In this situation you will normally be shifted to a common working frequency allowing the distress and calling frequency to remain open. The shift frequency normally will be from Channel 16 (156.8 MHz) to Channel 22A (157.1 MHz).


*REMINDER:

Channel 16 VHF-FM is a Distress and Calling Frequency. All conversations should be shifted to an appropriate working frequency after contact is established.


UNDERSTAND AND FOLLOW THESE PROCEDURES AT ALL TIMES:

Channel 16 VHF-FM may ONLY be used for initial calls and Distress. Keep all calls as short as possible.


It is illegal to use Channel 16 VHF-FM for radio checks.

If requesting a radio check, use Channel 16 VHF-FM to hail the nearest Coast Guard Unit. Once the Coast Guard Unit acknowledges your hail, request Coast Guard Unit to switch and answer Channel 22A VHF-FM. Once Coast Guard Unit answers on Channel 22A VHF-FM, you may now request a radio check. The Coast Guard Unit will respond accordingly. Before transmitting, listen long enough to be sure there is not a distress in progress and to also ensure you will not interfere with another station making a call.

Children should be instructed how to operate the radio in case of an emergency, but they also must be taught that it is NOT a toy, land telephone, or CB circuit.

NO unnecessary communications of any kind are permitted on VHF. General "chit-chat" is not permitted.
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 11-19-2011 at 04:52 PM.
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  #34  
Old 11-19-2011
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I also monitor 16.....

I think of it as another feature improving situational awareness....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
Interesting that it would be required by the FCC, yet I don't find it mentioned in the NAV regs. Boats.com - Rules and Regulations: Navigational Rules.
Prior to looking this up, if someone would've asked me, I would've said that this stipulation only applied to commercial vessels...

Well...Learned something new tonight:


Radio Watchkeeping Regulations
In general, any vessel equipped with a VHF marine radiotelephone (whether voluntarily or required to) must maintain a watch on channel 16 (156.800 MHz) whenever the radiotelephone is not being used to communicate.

Thats linked directly from a Coastie website.

That said, after a nearly 15 year hiatus from boating, I've noticed that VHF monitoring and use for the average day sailing crowd has considerably declined....And I'd day thats directly related to cell phones.

Just take a look -and listen- at the chaos that is Clear Creek Channel on any given holiday Sunday for proof!

I do monitor 16 (and 12 in the shipping channel). Also just bought one of those new fangled AIS VHF's from Standard Horizon as my old radio died a couple of months ago...

Not useful for dealing with the average powerboat idiot, but is when talking to the party boats, and the bigger denizens you find in the shipping channel...

As for radio checks...SeaTow has a service thats better than sliced bread!


In areas across the country, Sea Tow is offering boaters a new way to conduct radio checks that doesn't require help from other boaters or watch standers. To use Sea Tow's free Automated Radio Check service, simply tune your VHF radio to the appropriate channel for your location and conduct a radio check as you typically would. Upon releasing your radio's microphone, the system will play an automated message and relay your transmission back to you, thereby letting you know that boaters can hear you loud and clear.

Last edited by sidmon; 11-19-2011 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011
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One of the advantages of the DSC radio is that you don't have to monitor it for emergency calls . The alarm will do that as it will for any incoming personal call .You can and should monitor 16 but it is for due diligence to know what is happening around you. The deadhead report , the tug and barge around the corner. or the kayaker dead head. Could be important. Incidentally .83A is the go to channel from 16 for CGG radio on the coast now. 22A for USCG .If it's not on, it's not helping.
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  #37  
Old 11-21-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Always a good time for this little reminder...
And with that in mind......
Funny you should mention this. The other day I heard a vessel ask the CG for a radio check on 16. I expected them to be admonished immediately, with the standard CG warning that radio checks are not permitted on 16. Instead, the CG responded that they heard the vessel loud and clear! Couldn't believe it!
In any case, why even involve the CG? I go on 68 (or a similar channel) and get another skipper to respond every time.

Last edited by L124C; 11-21-2011 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 11-21-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidmon View Post
That said, after a nearly 15 year hiatus from boating, I've noticed that VHF monitoring and use for the average day sailing crowd has considerably declined....And I'd day thats directly related to cell phones..[/B]
I don't know if it's cell phones, or more the view that the radio is there if I get into trouble (not to possibly help others). In either case, the cell phone may contact the CG, but won't alert other vessels in your immediate area that you need help. While the CG should eventually broadcast it, the delay could make the difference. As I mentioned in my OP, the boat was gone in less than 10 minutes! I found a piece of it on the beach the other day BTW.

Last edited by L124C; 11-21-2011 at 05:04 AM.
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  #39  
Old 11-21-2011
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Ah, DR? The CFR that you cite actually says:
"Each compulsory vessel, while underway, must maintain a watch for"

Emphasis on compulsory.

So if you are Joe Recreational Sailor, and your vessel is not required to be equipped with a VHF, you are not required to monitor it.

Now on the other hand, the FCC is required to base licensing fees on their internal costs. The FCC declines to explain why a VHF license for a boat is 10x more expensive than licenses for other services that cost the FCC about the same thing to support, and they decline requests for the cost basis information that is supposed to be available to support their fee strcuture for a VHF license.
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Old 11-21-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Ah, DR? The CFR that you cite actually says:
"Each compulsory vessel, while underway, must maintain a watch for"

Emphasis on compulsory.
§ 80.310 Watch required by voluntary
vessels.
Voluntary vessels not equipped with
DSC must maintain a watch on 2182
kHz and on 156.800 MHz (Channel 16)
whenever the vessel is underway and
the radio is not being used to communicate.
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