Jonny40QBH

VHF Radio

17 posts in this topic

Just purchased my first boat.  Will be using it on the Chesapeake Bay.  It does not have a VHF radio and I asked the dealer today if he thought I should get one.  He said that I shouldn't waste my money.  So what do you all think??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I don't use mine in land because no one else does, I do use it when around coastal regions.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Phillbo said:

Waste the money.. I have never owned a boat without a VHF. 

I felt the same way..  not a lot of money and peace of mind.  Do you use it to call harbor master at marinas when you are heading in to use a slip??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Jonny40QBH said:

I felt the same way..  not a lot of money and peace of mind.  Do you use it to call harbor master at marinas when you are heading in to use a slip??

Yes, it's good for unfamiliar ports, hailing help (emergencies or even just a tow), and most certainly if you ever go offshore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your going on a trip in your car, would you leave your cell phone at home?

This summer 2 hrs after I come out of the Cape Cod Canal.  A bow rider was swamped and the boat over turned. A sail boat sent out a Mayday on channel 16. The first ones there were near by boaters and one was a diver with his gear still on half on. He just came up and heard the call. A child did passed way, so sad, but it could have been a lot worse. There were about 10 on board with 1 to 2 foot waves.

Hand helds are good, but have far less range than a fixed unit. About 5 times less power with a antenna that is just as small. 

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes get the VHF radio. Learn to use it. Our daughter boats regularly on the Chesapeake with a husband and two young children aboard. Safety is the reason to have one. I think of it like having a fire extinguisher on board. It's ready to use in an emergency. Be prepared. It can save lives. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to listen to the WX channel every morning to get a scope on the wind conditions on my lake. They can get bad. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, soldier4402 said:

Aren't radios mandatory in the ocean, I believe they are in the great lakes.  Either way just get portable and youll be fine.

No, not mandatory at all. Cell range goes to about 10 miles. I have off the reef here in the keys even and that is 6 miles or so. I use my vhf very rarely, but it is great to be able to hail the coast guard/fwc/leo to report illegal poaching and other violations that happen all too often on our reefs...

Iggy, a bowrider with 10 people in the ocean?!?! Sheesh, talk about idiocy! I recommended a portable simply because with the OPs boating area, he/she doesn't need much range. A portable is good for about 5-10 miles, a fixed unit at least 25.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for all of the responses!!  I thought it was a little short sited by the dealer to suggest I didn't need one.  I am going to go ahead and have them install one before I take delivery.  Thanks everyone for your input

Jonny

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, drewm3i said:

No, not mandatory at all. Cell range goes to about 10 miles. I have off the reef here in the keys even and that is 6 miles or so. I use my vhf very rarely, but it is great to be able to hail the coast guard/fwc/leo to report illegal poaching and other violations that happen all too often on our reefs...

Iggy, a bowrider with 10 people in the ocean?!?! Sheesh, talk about idiocy! I recommended a portable simply because with the OPs boating area, he/she doesn't need much range. A portable is good for about 5-10 miles, a fixed unit at least 25.

From West Marine:  https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvisor/Selecting-a-VHF-Handheld-Radio

What are the limits of range and power?

Handhelds are limited to a transmit power of six watts, compared to 25 watts for fixed-mount radios. Remember, VHF range is more dependent on antenna height and antenna gain than on transmit power, so you can add significantly to your range by connecting an external antenna or by transmitting from the highest location available. For normal handheld use (at five-watt transmit power), figure on a 3-8 mile range from a small boat, compared to 15-20 miles with a fixed-mount radio (at 25 watt transmit power.)

I would say more like 3 to 5 miles. If your in a storm, even less.

About the over turned boat. http://boston.cbslocal.com/2017/07/26/wareham-water-rescue-cape-cod-canal/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TexasPilot71 said:

That is gut-wrenching.  The boy couldn't swim down to get out from under the boat because of the life jacket.  Just horrible.  My son is 8.  I can't even imagine.

Yes, gut-wrenching and we just past that spot about 2 hrs earlier. But the point is, the diver heard the call on his VHF and got there as fast as he could. The first ones out are most likely other boaters and not the Harbor Master or any other agency. If they used there cell phone, the diver would have never known. But you must give him a big pat on the back, he tried!     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Iggy said:

Yes, gut-wrenching and we just past that spot about 2 hrs earlier. But the point is, the diver heard the call on his VHF and got there as fast as he could. The first ones out are most likely other boaters and not the Harbor Master or any other agency. If they used there cell phone, the diver would have never known. But you must give him a big pat on the back, he tried!     

No question.   Perfect story to illustrate the value of VHF. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now