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Old 10 July 2019, 07:42   #1
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2 way or vhf

Trying to work out if itís worth me getting a vhf license and radios or just buy a couple of 2way radios so I can talk to my friends on the beach from around a mile out,and if 2 way seems best, any recommendations
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Old 10 July 2019, 09:07   #2
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Do the VHF.
A "2way" radio will find itself in a pool of water in the bilges drowned and it's limitations are too numerous to list. example...no direct contact with coast guard, RNLI etc.
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Old 10 July 2019, 10:33   #3
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A difficult question and no simple answer imho. A hand held vhf will give you a greater degree of safety as you can be in direct contact with the coastguard and or rescue services.
That said I'm sure communication and general chit chat with a shore based vhf is discouraged due to the limited no of chanels available.
If your going to be out fishing in a bay or sheltered area and your wife wants to tell you lunch is ready then a two way radio might be preferable assuming your within sight of land and if you break down then the base station can raise the alarm and keep in contact.
As for ending up in the bilges that could happen with any radio unless you buy a waterproof version but not all are.
It realy depends on your intended use and area of operation.
The trend nowadays is to suggest you need a VHF to step in a deep puddle but many of us went many miles out years ago before mobile phones & vhf was readily available and lived to tell the tail
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Old 10 July 2019, 11:07   #4
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A difficult question and no simple answer imho. A hand held vhf will give you a greater degree of safety as you can be in direct contact with the coastguard and or rescue services.
Itís difficult to argue against this logic (it also means you may be aware of others in distress nearby who you could help - or advise the CG when a concerned citizen calls in that you seem to be drifting and broken down)

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That said I'm sure communication and general chit chat with a shore based vhf is discouraged due to the limited no of chanels available.
itís not just discouraged, but use on land is illegal except with special licenses that the OP wont have.
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If your going to be out fishing in a bay or sheltered area and your wife wants to tell you lunch is ready then a two way radio might be preferable assuming your within sight of land and if you break down then the base station can raise the alarm and keep in contact.
having once found myself in that sort of situation Iíd miss the middle(wo)man out - when the proverbial is hitting the fan you really donít want an amateur getting in the way or passing on misinformation.

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As for ending up in the bilges that could happen with any radio unless you buy a waterproof version but not all are.
most h/held vhf are, most pmr are not.

If both benefits are really wanted there are options to get both in one package though - like: http://www.cactusnav.com/standard-ho...o-p-12712.html - the shore station just needs a cheap pmr then.

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It realy depends on your intended use and area of operation.
The trend nowadays is to suggest you need a VHF to step in a deep puddle but many of us went many miles out years ago before mobile phones & vhf was readily available and lived to tell the tail
Could be survivor bias though! However Iím inclined to agree as cell phone coverage continually improves then a phone in a dry pouch isnít looking as shaky as 5-10 yrs ago. Certainly this week Iíve had 4g coverage in places where I donít have vhf comms (from a 2m high, 25W mast never mind a h/h) to the CG.
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Old 10 July 2019, 11:20   #5
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This also depends on where you are. Will the "2way" do anything a mobile won't ? I used to have a CB in the boat as well as the VHF but it never got used, ended up in the bin.

Indeed many of us went miles with no VHF (or life-jackets) before mobile phones were invented but when I reflect on it........it wasn't clever. I still have the first VHF mobile I bought....about 15 or so years ago, cost around £40 quid and it still works perfectly.

But as Beamishken points out, using a VHF for idle chit-chat with a shore based buddy is at best frowned upon if not actually illegal.
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Old 10 July 2019, 16:27   #6
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Thanks for all the input,it really is for lunch is ready kinda chats as there is not a very good mobile signal where I go on hoildays, so think Iíll get some 2 ways for now and put getting a vhf license as a winter to do list
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Old 10 July 2019, 16:41   #7
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Originally Posted by Mickhitchuk View Post
Thanks for all the input,it really is for lunch is ready kinda chats as there is not a very good mobile signal where I go on hoildays, so think Iíll get some 2 ways for now and put getting a vhf license as a winter to do list
No mobile signal? Forget the license and get a basic VHF. Teach yourself how to call the CG and make a basic emergency call. PMRs fine for lunch - get those too.
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Old 11 July 2019, 01:36   #8
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Get a VHF for use on the boat, either fixed or handheld and use a mobile phone to speak to whoever ashore if you have suitable reception.

Use of VHF will require a licence, and if you were thinking of using vhf both ways than that would mean potentially two licences, person on boat and person on land and doubfull person on land could get a licence as that would potentially be a vhf base or something like that and like someone said without the specialist licence ashore it would be ilegal.

Having said that I have used a VHF handheld from the shore but that was in an emergency.

I think you need to seperate the two functions. Having a VHF on your boat is pretty much a first priority, if you dont have a VHF you are just asking for trouble, you really should not go to sea, its as important as having a life jacket.

For comms to beach then 2 way walky talkies, mobile phones, mirror signals or whatever.
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Old 11 July 2019, 01:39   #9
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Mobile phone coverage down here in the south is rather poor along the coast, from Poole as soon as you cross swanage bay heading west the coverage cuts out, most of the stretch from swanage to durdle door you can get decent coverage.
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Old 11 July 2019, 02:31   #10
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Do I remember summat from my VHF course about you license permitting a 'shore party' to communicate with the 'ship' via handheld vhf? Prolly mis-remembering...
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Old 11 July 2019, 02:37   #11
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For the OP and as a replacement for a mobile where there is no signal, then a 2 way radio is fine. I've just bought a couple of Motorola TLKR T92's for exactly that purpose. Whilst I've not used them in anger they are apparently waterproof and they float.

They may even be useful in teaching the kids some comms discipline (or indiscipline).

If a VHF is only for use in an emergency, you don't need a license.
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Old 11 July 2019, 04:00   #12
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For the OP and as a replacement for a mobile where there is no signal, then a 2 way radio is fine. I've just bought a couple of Motorola TLKR T92's for exactly that purpose. Whilst I've not used them in anger they are apparently waterproof and they float.

They may even be useful in teaching the kids some comms discipline (or indiscipline).

If a VHF is only for use in an emergency, you don't need a license.


Thatís great,Iíll get the vhf for emergency and a pair of 2 way radios, and that should sort things out for now
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Old 11 July 2019, 11:07   #13
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For the OP and as a replacement for a mobile where there is no signal, then a 2 way radio is fine. I've just bought a couple of Motorola TLKR T92's for exactly that purpose. Whilst I've not used them in anger they are apparently waterproof and they float.

They may even be useful in teaching the kids some comms discipline (or indiscipline).

If a VHF is only for use in an emergency, you don't need a license.
Where does it say in the regulations that a VHF if only used in an emergency does not require the user to have a licence ? No where .

You need a licence to use a VHF, you could of course use one in an emergency without a licence, however if you have deliberately chosen not to get a licence then you may face a fine if you use one, and that could be on top of whatever the emergency issue is.

Another issue, most VHF sets these days have inbuilt DSC alert function and requirres an MMSI number, so then what are you going to do to get an MMSI number assigned ?

When you get your licence you would get a call sign assigned, you would also log certain details about yourself and yourboat, all very useful in an emergency, without that it makes it harder for anyone to find you.

Another issue, you see another vessel in trouble, on fire/sinking etc or say a person in the water, are you then going to have a few minutes of thinking whether to use your VHF set to get help because you might get in trouble. Or another example you hear someone in trouble over the VHF set and its clear the coastguard cannot hear them, again what do you do, do you do a relay message or not. ?

Having a vessel on the water comes with a certain amount of obligations which includes going to others aid if you can help and if it does not endanger yourself, a VHF set is one of the most important items to have, one which you must have some training to obtain a licence.

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Failure to hold a valid licence is a criminal offence and Ofcom's enforcement team can impose on-the-spot fines. The maximum penalty on conviction is a £5,000 fine and/or a six month prison sentence. Those convicted may also be ordered to forfeit any radio apparatus used illegally.

You must have a separate Ship Portable Radio Licence for each hand held VHF DSC radio. This is because each individual radio is given a separate identity. The apparatus must not be used outwith UK territorial sea. So, it cannot be covered by a normal Ship Radio Licence, as this does not impose any territorial restrictions. If you already have a Ship Portable Radio Licence, you should ensure that it includes hand held VHF DSC. If it does not, you can change it online, free of charge.

Its probably not worth continuing this thread.
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Old 11 July 2019, 11:33   #14
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Where does it say in the regulations that a VHF if only used in an emergency does not require the user to have a licence ? No where .

You need a licence to use a VHF, you could of course use one in an emergency without a licence, however if you have deliberately chosen not to get a licence then you may face a fine if you use one, and that could be on top of whatever the emergency issue is.

Another issue, most VHF sets these days have inbuilt DSC alert function and requirres an MMSI number, so then what are you going to do to get an MMSI number assigned ?

When you get your licence you would get a call sign assigned, you would also log certain details about yourself and yourboat, all very useful in an emergency, without that it makes it harder for anyone to find you.

Another issue, you see another vessel in trouble, on fire/sinking etc or say a person in the water, are you then going to have a few minutes of thinking whether to use your VHF set to get help because you might get in trouble. Or another example you hear someone in trouble over the VHF set and its clear the coastguard cannot hear them, again what do you do, do you do a relay message or not. ?

Having a vessel on the water comes with a certain amount of obligations which includes going to others aid if you can help and if it does not endanger yourself, a VHF set is one of the most important items to have, one which you must have some training to obtain a licence.

Ofcom
Failure to hold a valid licence is a criminal offence and Ofcom's enforcement team can impose on-the-spot fines. The maximum penalty on conviction is a £5,000 fine and/or a six month prison sentence. Those convicted may also be ordered to forfeit any radio apparatus used illegally.

You must have a separate Ship Portable Radio Licence for each hand held VHF DSC radio. This is because each individual radio is given a separate identity. The apparatus must not be used outwith UK territorial sea. So, it cannot be covered by a normal Ship Radio Licence, as this does not impose any territorial restrictions. If you already have a Ship Portable Radio Licence, you should ensure that it includes hand held VHF DSC. If it does not, you can change it online, free of charge.

Its probably not worth continuing this thread.
It certainly is, because your post contains information which misrepresents the situation.

You seem to have muddled the Ship Radio License and the Operators "License" (SRC Certificate). The former is free of charge, generates the call sign and MMSI and requires no proof of competence for the owner. It also records various details about the vessel but as far as I know that information is not readily available to the MCGA so suggesting it is means people are less likely to use the recommended (SafeTrx app) method of sharing these details.

Operating a VHF radio without "Operators License" is permitted in an emergency. There is an explicit exemption in law for it. Telling people that this is not the case is misleading and might discourage someone from calling the CG early when a problem develops - that puts lives at risk so please don't mislead people like this.
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Old 11 July 2019, 14:41   #15
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Not to mention, that even people operating pirate radio stations normally start with a warning and confiscated equipment...

The likelihood of someone taking enforcing action rather than education of a boat owner with a boat set that has caused no harm is pretty low unless they have run out of things to prosecute you for and are desperate to find something...

But logic would say you get a ship's licence since it's free
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Old 11 July 2019, 14:45   #16
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Having said that I have used a VHF handheld from the shore but that was in an emergency.
You wild spirited renegade!

Did they catch you and fine you?

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Old 11 July 2019, 15:58   #17
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Just do the course! Itís 1 day out of your life and a saddo like me quite enjoyed it even after using vhfs on ships for years.
Weirdly, nobody worried about having a license if you were an engineer.
I donít think anyoneís ever actually been fined though.
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Old 11 July 2019, 16:41   #18
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I agree about doing the course and like Ferryman I quite enjoyed it. It's all part of the hobby we choose to do.

One thing I thought about during the course was that it would be good is if you could send texts by VHF to another MMSI number. The info would take up a tiny bit of 'bandwidth' so you could get loads of traffic on one channel.
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Old 11 July 2019, 16:59   #19
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I agree about doing the course and like Ferryman I quite enjoyed it. It's all part of the hobby we choose to do..

I donít think anyone is particularly advocating not doing the course - but if time, funds, or a convenient course date is not yet available then the OP should not delay purchasing the right tool for the job whilst waiting for those things to align.
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Old 11 July 2019, 17:04   #20
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I donít think anyone is particularly advocating not doing the course - but if time, funds, or a convenient course date is not yet available then the OP should not delay purchasing the right tool for the job whilst waiting for those things to align.
Agreed
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