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New guy on the ocean worries / horrible radio comms!?!?!?

Nov 22, 2011
981
Ericson 26-2 San Pedro, CA
Thx for the clarification, Alan. I did go back and read it. And you're right. In my case, what the CCG said was "There is an open mic near..." They did not name a vessel. I have never heard of a CG hail like that where they did so. Not saying they don't, of course, just that in 38 years of sailing, I have never heard one (SF Bay to 2016, now here). Honest question: how would they know?
Hi, Stu. I think we're still talking past one another here. Let me see if I can do better....

I did not say that the CG mentioned the exact name of the open mike vessel, which of course they would not know. When I said they called the person "'by name,' as it were" (note the quotation marks around "by name," followed by the qualifier "as it were"), I did not mean that they literally knew the actual name of the vessel. Rather, I meant that they were directing their remarks explicitly to that particular vessel (whatever its actual name might be) vs. a general communication to everyone else but that vessel. And that has been my only point.

Ok. I'll stop beating it to death:deadhorse:Hope I made myself understood--this time! And if not, I'll just need to learn to live with it. :tongue:
 
Jan 25, 2011
2,223
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
I’ve been through Dodd Narrows 3 or 4 times on charter boats. I recall the last time in 2013 the best. A whole fleet of boats leaving Nanaimo and the anchorage at Newcastle Island to arrive there at slack water with a whole bunch of other boats on the other side waiting to come through heading north. It’s barely wide enough at the north entrance for one boat passing through at a time but we were facing “two-way traffic.” :yikes: If you choose not to go through, then back to the “end of the line.”:mad:

Actually, I found the Malibu Rapids more hair-raising.:pray:
Wait until one of those oncoming is a tug with a log raft tow
 
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Feb 26, 2004
21,959
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
I did not mean that they literally knew the actual name of the vessel. Rather, I meant that they were directing their remarks explicitly to that particular vessel (whatever its actual name might be) vs. a general communication to everyone else but that vessel. And that has been my only point.
Thx again. I think we're in agreement perhaps except for the purpose, 'cuz if the offending vessel can't hear them, what is the CG hail for at all? I'll quit now too. :)
 
May 7, 2012
969
Hunter e33 Maple Bay, BC
Until about a decade ago, maybe two:doh:, you needed a “station license” and call letters to legally operate a VHF radio in the USA. That rule has been suspended for boats but you can still get one. One may need it if going into Canada.
Let’s see if you can follow this:
1. All Canadian recreational boat operators require a Pleasure Craft Operators Card if the vessel is motorized regardless of length of vessel or engine horsepower or age of the operator.
2. All Canadian recreational boat operators require a Radio Operators Certificate Marine (ROC-M) to operate a VHF radio.
3. Canadian boaters do not require a Station Radio License unless they travel in international waters including the US.

I carry 3 documents onboard but have never ever been asked to produce them.

4. In Canadian waters, US boat operators do not require 1, 2 nor 3 above even if their boat is moored in Canadian waters semi-permanently (say 10 years+)
5. Why do many (most) US based marinas operate, on an already very busy channel, VHF channel 16 and Canadian marinas are on 66A?
 
Oct 22, 2014
16,146
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
how would they know?
It is old school “Automatic Direction Finder (ADF)”. You triangulate the radio signal. From three points and you can identify the area. Within 100 ft. You have AIS data that you can use. You have radar you can use. If really important you can use photography.
 
May 24, 2004
6,799
CC 30 South Florida
My beef with radio operations has to do with the USCG transmitting important information for boats in the area, but they speak so fast without enunciating words that often miss or can't understand what they are saying. sometimes I have to wait for them to repeat the announcement to be able to try and figure out what it is about. It seems that they hand out radio communication duties to any guardsmen with very little regard for speech aptitudes or training about the concept and purpose of communication. To read an announcement as fast as they can is not efficient if the message does not get through. I have called back, asking they slow down and speak clearly with no acknowledgment.
 
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Jan 18, 2016
686
Catalina 387 Dana Point
Thx for the clarification, Alan. I did go back and read it. And you're right. In my case, what the CCG said was "There is an open mic near..." They did not name a vessel. I have never heard of a CG hail like that where they did so. Not saying they don't, of course, just that in 38 years of sailing, I have never heard one (SF Bay to 2016, now here). Honest question: how would they know?
Here in SoCal they definitely get computerized position location from triangulating the position of a transmission. Coupla weeks ago there was a person trying to start a mayday with "Hello? Hello?" (I'm guessing pax, and non-English speaker) The CG was calling back with an approx lat/lon position. (Ended up being a boat in distress by Catalina, good samaritan boat had them within minutes. Good sam boat had much better radio etiquette)

Alan Gomes is right - "Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles..." (repeat 3 times) "There is an open mike on Channel 16" ... Sometimes they give a position, most often not.
 

Dr. D

.
Nov 3, 2018
211
Beneteau Oceanis 35.1 Herrington Harbour North
The VHF channel code I have (which is an old one) lists Ch 68 as recreational (non-commercial) “ship-to-shore” whereas Chs 71 & 72 are recreational “ship-to-ship” (intership). If the RC is ashore, Ch 68 would be the proper channel according to that. If anchored, then Ch 71 or 72. But I hear a lot of intership traffic on Ch 68, as do we all.
Your information is out of date. 68, 69, 71, and 72 are all non-commercial general use, with only 72 as ship-to-ship.
 

DougM

.
Jul 24, 2005
2,183
Beneteau 323 Manistee, MI
The pet peeve with me is local fishermen, both charter and recreational, plugging up the river entrance from the lake when the salmon are starting to move upstream. Planer boards out on both sides, with God knows how much line, and nose to tail with other boats. Then they yap at you that they have the right of way because they are fishing.
When freighters come in or depart, it takes repeated 5 blast signals to even begin to get the fishermen to get out of the way. I sometimes think that even a shot from a freighter’s bow thruster wouldn’t succeed in moving them out of the channel. As for use of VHF? duh, what’s that?
 
Jul 1, 2010
871
Seaward 25, Catalina 350 Erie, Pa
We recently heard "Breaker, breaker one six". It was on Lake Erie, I think, maybe Huron. That kept us entertained for a while that day. I asked my wife if she thought they were part of a "convoy", and whether there might be any "smokies" on the water we should tell them about. Sheesh...that and the incessant radio checks. At least up on Huron the CG tries to shut the radio checks down.
 
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Jul 27, 2011
4,530
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
We recently heard "Breaker, breaker one six". It was on Lake Erie, I think, maybe Huron. That kept us entertained for a while that day. I asked my wife if she thought they were part of a "convoy", and whether there might be any "smokies" on the water we should tell them about. Sheesh...that and the incessant radio checks. At least up on Huron the CG tries to shut the radio checks down.
Funny.