VHF Protocol - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 74 Old 06-02-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: VHF Protocol

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Originally Posted by scratchee View Post
I've seen people stammer and sweat trying to use a particular format, when they could just use plain English to pass the necessary information.
Ain't it the truth! I've heard some really funny examples of this. Then there are the people who simply give too much information. There is a Vessel Assist skipper in my area who really needs to cut back on the Red Bull! The CG thanked him for coming to the aid of a kayaker the other day on 16 and he went off on a diatribe. I could just imagine the CG looking at each other, thinking "Why did we say anything?". He obviously spends a lot of time by himself on the boat and likes to talk!

Last edited by L124C; 06-02-2013 at 02:26 PM.
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post #32 of 74 Old 06-03-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

This thread is part of the reason why the Canucks require a certification before a pleasure boater keys up that microphone.
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post #33 of 74 Old 06-10-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

I sail the 100+ mile long Lake Champlain. Other than the state registration bow #, 50% of the boats I see have no vessel name affixed and of those 50%, the font is so stylized, even at 50 yards - it's still unintelligible.

Of those that can be seen/read, many cannot be spoken, e.g. "Faux de casa," "Reconistration," "Sphinxster."

With binocs, bow numbers are never styled, always in the same place and visible equally from both sides.

My 2-cents
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post #34 of 74 Old 06-10-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

When I've heard a distress call to Baltimore the first question from the CG is "is everyone wearing a PFD?" Never heard a request for call sign or registration number. Proper protocol on VHF is honored mostly in the breach.
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post #35 of 74 Old 06-10-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

I think you're confusing apples an oranges, Zeek.

Bow numbers are usually required by state registration laws and specificed as arabic numberals of a certain height and type that people buy "off the shelf" which also means a limited font selection.

Transom art, including names, is entirely optional and extra for those folks, much like your choice of socks. Argyle, tube, whatever, that's unregulated.

Except for the folks who have documented vessels, and there's a limited use to that for folks who will mainly keep and sail a boat in one lake. Folks with documented vessels have different and fairly simple requirements as to the legibility of transom names, and "illegible" is flat out illegal for documented vessels. Not that I'd expect the USCG to care much in a lake, even in a big lake. Their priority will be BWI and potty checks.

But one is apples the other oranges, two different sets of rules apply.
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post #36 of 74 Old 06-10-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

No apples and oranges here. Just stating known observations.

Been sailing for 50 years and can count the number of vessels with no state required bow alpha-numerics - on one hand.

True, I've only sailed the Atlantic from the Chesapeake to Block Island via Pt. Pleasant, NJ and a few large NY/NJ/PA/VT lakes, not counting a two-day-sail in the FL keys, but I can only tell you what my experience has been - and a rational argument as to why boat names are inconsistently a bad ID choice (at best) - while State mandated bow alpa-numerics are overwhelmingly superior forms of ID.

In that rare instance where the boat is in fact "named" - and that name is legible, easy to enunciate, spell and on all three sides of the hull, always use the boat name for ID.

My experience suggests, that is rarely the case.

Lest we forget, a Winesap and Mac are both apples
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post #37 of 74 Old 06-10-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

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Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
No apples and oranges here. Just stating known observations.

Been sailing for 50 years and can count the number of vessels with no state required bow alpha-numerics - on one hand....

Lest we forget, a Winesap and Mac are both apples
But your last post was talking about sailing on a lake and I believe that's what hellosailor responded to. If you're introducing your experience offshore, then yes, there are a mix of both.

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post #38 of 74 Old 06-10-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

I was speaking of my experience and observations, using Lake Champlain, as just one illustration, to make my point.. BTW, Lake Champlain is international water.

Part of the lake is in Canada and one can (and many do) sail from NYC Harbor to the Atlantic - via the St. Lawrence Seaway, a canal system, and traverse Lake Champlain, all 100+ miles of it, to get there.

Offshore, onshore, lakes or in your garage; boat names vs. state registration bow alpha-numerics are the topic - not what waters they're found in - or why.

Last edited by Zeke; 06-10-2013 at 12:55 PM. Reason: typo
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post #39 of 74 Old 06-10-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

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Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
Been sailing for 50 years and can count the number of vessels with no state required bow alpha-numerics - on one hand.
Documented vessels may not display state registration numbers:

"Vessels may ONLY be identified as either a State Registered Vessel or a Federally Documented Vessel - BUT NOT BOTH. When a vessel becomes Federally Documented, the State Registration Numbers and Letters must be removed. However the State Validation Sticker showing proof of paying sales tax may still be displayed on the vessel in accordance with the individual stateís regulations."

http://www.usps.org/national/vsc/pol.../vesselreg.pdf
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post #40 of 74 Old 06-10-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

I don't now what Vermonts rules are with respect to naming a State registered boat, but with clear block registration numbers, one would think the naming convention is less precise.

USCG documented vessels must carry a name not more than 33 characters long, at least 4" tall and it must be legible. I dare say that most boats in my marina are documented and, therefore, have no state registration numbers. None are illegible that I've noticed.


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