So I am new to sailing, I can work a VHF radio, but i would love to find a book or article on when and what to say when i do. Any advice?
Well, at least as far as the Sea Tow automatic radio check goes, it seems to be a thing of the past: "The Sea Tow Automated Radio Check System is no longer available." Radio Checks | Sea TowNo doubt there is an automated radio check frequency, which is very helpful. I check every single time, prior to leaving the dock. For that you can say anything you like. I just say Radio Check. It picks it up and plays it back, so you can hear your own transmission quality.
I'm surprised by the variations in who uses what channel. Here in Charleston channel 13 is used by the working boats and harbor pilot, channel 9 is what the bridges use... The harbor pilot hails boats here fairly regularly just to make sure everybody stays out of the way of the container ships... It would be awfully embarrassing to be the guy who got the 5 earth shattering blasts from the ships horn....
Very true... I think it's safe to assume that answers are about local practice of the poster. I do recall years ago in Antigua... the VHF was like a party line and people would jump on and off and make contacts and move to working channels... before the days of cell phones...Just remember, all the advice given here is extremely local specific.
Most countries there is no automated radio checks; there is no hailing on #9; port frequencies / bridge freqs are different
In some countries the locals use the VHF like a phone as they never had phones to connect the islands and they still use VHF to discuss the washing, shopping etc.
Some countries / areas, cruisers have their own frequencies, and radio nets.
Most countries the VHF is not policed by authorities.
Since its VHF you can easily enough listen to, for example, someone hailing a marina and being asked to switch to 6-8 and then follow that conversation there yourself. The folks above have hit upon several of the typical jargon (with a couple exceptions) and you'll figure it out quickly.So I am new to sailing, I can work a VHF radio, but i would love to find a book or article on when and what to say when i do. Any advice?