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Old 01 January 2005, 14:09   #1
Kernow Buoy's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Cornwall
Length: no boat
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,518
Dsc ?

Firstly Happy New Year to you all.
My query relates to my VHF and whether or not to upgrade it to a DSC. My current set is a Simrad RT 64 which although in good working condition is a non DSC unit but is upgradeable via a dsc1400 controller which retails at about the 250 mark, seeing new VHF DSC's at less than that the upgrade would seem to be a non starter. Jon Brooks wrote in Mid 2003 words to the effect that for U.K inshore cruising a simple VHF was still fine, is that still the case in early 2005? I appreciate the safety benefits of DSC and certainly out on the water yesterday didn't see another boat of any description perhaps adding to the DSC case.
Finally in either event I need to (nearly put 'get certified', my wife would agree!) obtain a licence, anyone know where that's possible in Cornwall?
PS thank you to Jon Brooks for his link to the Icom web site with it's excellent explaination of DSC.

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Old 01 January 2005, 19:19   #2
Doug Stormforce's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Southampton
Boat name: Yoda & Obi Wan
Make: Valiant 750 & XS600
Length: 7m +
Engine: 150, 115 HP
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DSC Training

Hi Kernow

Happy New Year and good idea to attend a course.

First check the training centres section on the RYA website, you can select the SW region or postcode and SRC Course to give you a list of centres local to you.

When selecting a training centre it is well worth asking what sort of simulators they use. If they are using PC based simulators I would not bother with them. What you are after is someone who has the Simrad or Icom simulators. These are effectively real sets with the transmitters removed; they therefore behave like the real thing but do not transmit your practice distress calls and alerts outside of the room you are in.

The next question to ask is how many sets do they have. The RYA expects us all to run this course with no more than 12 students per instructor. A centre therefore that has six or more sets means you can work with no more than two students per set.

To give you a comparison if you were going on a powerboat course you would expect to be driving a fair amount of the time and more importantly be in a real boat not sat in front of a lap top.

Its probally also worth using a powerboat as opposed to sailing school as your instructor is more likly to use examples common to your own boating

Being based in the Solent I do not know any of the schools in Cornwall or I would reccomend you one.

Best Regards and good luck finding your course.


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Old 02 January 2005, 11:45   #3
Country: UK - England
Town: ramsgate
Boat name: Micki Dee Bee
Make: Ribcraft Seasafari
Length: 9m +
Engine: Twin 250hp Suzuki
MMSI: 235057235
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,622
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I would agree with all that Doug has written.
If you are looking to upgrade you will be unable to legally buy a non DSC or DSC upgradable VHF now.

As you have said you can buy a combined VHF/DSC for the same money or less than the add on Simrad DCS unit.
It is he same for us.
Our DS100 is 199 + VAT.

Our compact all in one will be about the same money at the boat show.

As I said before if you are only in UK waters you should be ok non DSC for a couple of years but if going out of UK waters I would suggest you fit DSC now.
HMGC are very forward thinking when it comes to pleasure boaties, some CG are not.

Hope that helps a bit

Jon Brooks VSMM. Marine Mammal Medic, PBI, SRC Assessor,PWC Instructor.
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Old 02 January 2005, 15:21   #4
Country: UK - England
Town: Pinner, Middlesex
Length: under 3m
Engine: 5 hp yam
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 97
Dsc ???

Save your money! First priorities Toys, toys and more toys..boat show, yummy!!!
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Old 02 January 2005, 16:50   #5
Kernow Buoy's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Cornwall
Length: no boat
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Doug and Jon
Many thanks for the detailed replies, some very useful info and yes you've certainly made things clearer.
'toys toys & more toys!' very true and mine are all inflatable!
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Old 04 January 2005, 08:03   #6
Country: UK - England
Town: Bexleyheath
Boat name: Project I
Make: Avon
Length: 4m +
Engine: Mercury 40hp
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 52
Jon, is correct, especially now that the IMO have sort of said that SOLAS vessels everyone should still sort of watch C16 for a while longer. The MCA still hasn't really put a definitive position for HMCG yet though.


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Old 04 January 2005, 11:50   #7
Country: UK - England
Town: Penzance
Boat name: Dark Angel
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 5.85
Engine: Mariner 90HP Four Stroke
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 116
Hi Kernow,

I was in the Marine Electronics shop in Fowey today, Martin the boss there gave someone details of a local trainer I'm not sure what they are but pop in or give him a ring at the shop on 01726 833101, tell him Mark sent you and I'm sure he'll sort you out. Cheers, Mark.
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Old 04 January 2005, 16:06   #8
Kernow Buoy's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: Cornwall
Length: no boat
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,518
Thanks Mark
I rang that shop 18 months ago about a fish finder manual and they couldn't have been more helpful - so why didn't I think of ringing them again???
Thanks again

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