VHF Protocol - Page 6 - SailNet Community
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post #51 of Old 06-11-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

For every "one" you can find without visible markings, I can find 100 with

With or without visible markings, which ones do you think will be "found" first?

"Mayday. I have a white boat with no name or registration numbers visible and I need help. I'm near Martha's Vinyard on 4th of July weekend and need you to find my needle in a haystack before we sink - over."

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post #52 of Old 06-11-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

Well, this has devolved into a silly argument now hasn't it.
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post #53 of Old 06-11-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

It's silly, but only to those who think it unnecessary to have written, visible, positive ID somewhere on the hull of your boat - BEFORE keying up # 16 summoning help...
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post #54 of Old 06-11-2013
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For every "one" you can find without visible markings, I can find 100 with
Not around here you can't.


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post #55 of Old 06-11-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

You gotta get out more lad.
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post #56 of Old 06-11-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

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It's silly, but only to those who think it unnecessary to have written, visible, positive ID somewhere on the hull of your boat - BEFORE keying up # 16 summoning help...
No, it's absolutely outright silly.

The majority of boats on the water are not marked except with 3 inch registration numbers that are not visible at more than 50 yards.
Look it up, 90% of boats are little sport fishers, john boats etc. They don't even have a name. My 15 foot Lyman runabout has no name. I can call it Fred on the VHF one day and Ginger the next - legally.

Besides, I punch up 16 for a distress call I'm going to do it via DSC, with full boat info INCLUDING GPS.
I think that trumps a eyeball bouncing at 20+ knots in a first responders boat trying to pick out my scripted fancy name on the back of the boat obscured by a swim ladder and a dinghy - don't you?

My registration via the state of Marland, and my title do not have a boat name on them.
My Coast Guard documentation information is not available to the local first responders. I know that to be true because I work the databases for the local first responders.

In a crowd of boats the one shooting flares, or even waving skivvies in the air is the one the first responder is going to see from any meaningful distance away. I have to pull my 7x50 bino's out to read a boat name from over 100 yards away.

Call me MD 4653 AS on the vhf and you'll get a static air response I'm just not listening for it and neither is anyone else - but at least I know my registration (and CG #), I doubt many do.

We were traveling up the bay on Saturday while the CG was broadcasting every 20 minutes that they were wanting info on a boat named Pycho, 40 foot long, white boat with blue trim and white sails - you know, like 90% of the boats out there.
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post #57 of Old 06-11-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

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I gave you more than one hands full and can provide hundreds more...
Please do, those were georgeous boats in beautiful settungs and the photo were high quality. I love to see boats without license plates.
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post #58 of Old 06-11-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

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It's silly, but only to those who think it unnecessary to have written, visible, positive ID somewhere on the hull of your boat - BEFORE keying up # 16 summoning help...
All USCG documented vessels are required by law to have a name and hailing port on the hull. I have never seen one that does not.

By what I see the majority of boats that ply the Maine coast, at least out of Falmouth Maine, are documented. I was just working in Falmouth this morning and it has over 1200 boats in the mooring field, mostly sail boats. From a rough count it appears less than 25% of the 1200+ boats are state registered.. That means about 75% of the 1200+ boats in Falmouth, ME are documented vessels. Any boat over 5 tons qualifies for documentation and most boats of that size I see are documented.

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 06-11-2013 at 04:32 PM.
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post #59 of Old 06-11-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

This all reminds me that the first info one should give after hailing is their location....

IOW...... Mayday, mayday, mayday, this is the S/V Not Registered, located at XXXXXXXXX.......

Location can be given as lat/long, if you know it, or general location, such as, 5 miles south of Beavertail lighthouse. If you don't know this, knowing your boats registration number isn't going to be useful.

If your transmission died right there, the nature of your mayday isn't as important as your location. The USCG will immediately announce to request all vessels in that vicinity be on the look out. The vessel itself should be displaying an appropriate distress day signal.

Both the name and registration number are ultimately irrelevant.


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post #60 of Old 06-11-2013
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Re: VHF Protocol

Have had the floor boards floating on one occasion. Didn't call Mayday fixed the issue but caused me to think about it. Now instruct crew in proper way to call for help. All VHF radios on board are DSC enabled. Crew knows to deploy EPIRB at time Mayday called as well. At least one crew besides myself knows how to use SSB to call for help. Coastal in home waters have phone # of CG and harbormaster at nav station. Belt and suspenders.
Had occasion to be asked to be a standby vessel when commercial fish boat got in trouble when only ssb ( neither of us had it) and VHF were available. CG are incredible. Don't worry about them getting there in US coastal waters. Given it's federally illegal to not lend assistance even if boat in trouble is filled with the great unwashed don't think above concerns are usually operative with the weekend warriors in close coastal settings. Don't think sailnet crowd would not know how to act correctly. Do think we should all know proper radio protocols. They are even taught in the first basic power squadron course. My 2 cents.

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