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Old 28 June 2017, 21:53   #1
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Is a radio necessary

We have signed up to use Conwy waterways. And do a bit of mackerel bashing.

We don't plan on going far out. How much of a big deal is a radio?

Also. How much of a problem is not having a second engine for backup?
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Old 29 June 2017, 02:25   #2
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on a sib I would say a radio and a set of paddles would suffice 2nd engines are impractical on a small set up
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Old 29 June 2017, 04:16   #3
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Service the outboard getting it to the point where you trust it, follow guides here for spares to carry just in case. Radio is a good idea and I find comforting to hear chatter when out on my own. If your engine does conk out, you'll have an anchor with enough rope - look at depths on charts where you plan to go, have at least three times the depth in rope - to deploy to keep you from drifting while you radio for help...
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Old 29 June 2017, 04:30   #4
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I've been told I need a licence for a radio. How hard are they to get? And how much do we need to spend on a radio?
Seen this on amazon. Worth getting?
BaoFeng UV-5R 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band DTMF CTCSS DCS FM Ham Two Way Radio https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007HH6R..._uQlvzbVCHB7MD
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Old 29 June 2017, 04:37   #5
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Yes you should have a licence** and it is a day's course for 100 or less at an approved RYA centre (or a bit cheaper as an online module that will take about 10hrs to study). Then at the end you need an exam which is 60.

Buy a proper waterproof floating marine radio for about 100.. not Amazon tat. I bought this earlier in the year...it's at the budget end of the scale... https://www.marinesuperstore.com/mar...horizon-hx300e

**But you can buy and register a radio without a licence and it is accepted you can use it in an emergency without a licence. I think quite a few on here have a radio and no licence.
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Old 29 June 2017, 04:42   #6
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Is a radio necessary

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duluxdoggy View Post
Seen this on amazon. Worth getting?
BaoFeng UV-5R 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band DTMF CTCSS DCS FM Ham Two Way Radio https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007HH6R..._uQlvzbVCHB7MD
No, that's not a marine VHF and although someone who knows what they are doing might be able to get it to work on the correct channels is not what you want.

Get a Standard Horixon HX300 for about 100.
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Old 29 June 2017, 05:52   #7
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ok, so after earlier mistakes, Thought it best to not cut more corners and have gone ahead and ordered that xh300. just need to learn what to do with it now!
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Old 29 June 2017, 07:23   #8
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I've used the Baofeng radio, it's as powerful as any hand held marine radio and relatively simple to program marine frequencies into it.

The Baofeng will sink like a stone, isn't waterproof and I doubt splash proof. Best to go down the well trodden path of Standard Horizon or Icom
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Old 29 June 2017, 07:26   #9
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OK that's a good choice to get a modest price one. Re the radio/no radio and training/licence thing my experience is....

Been boating with others and then later as the decision maker for 55yrs since a toddler.... sibbing for the last 10yrs and smallcraft boating for at least 15yrs prior to that.

Until this year I had never owned my own radio. I would always encourage others to have one but having been brought up in clinker dinghies with put-put Seagull motors... no reserve buoyancy... no safety gear... no way of determining position other than looking towards land... plus crewing night passages in larger craft to France and Channel Islands with no radio, radar or GPS.... well you can see the thought of a radio in a sub 4m smallcraft out for a few daylight hours within sight of land seemed a bit over the top.

Anyway something tipped me over into the get one camp this year. Decided to do the online course and booked the exam for a few days into our holiday in Devon.

Annoyingly it's been an unexpectedly busy year and I'm now faced with no time before we go to concentrate on the downloaded PC based course that I bought 3mths ago so have cancelled the exam.

I will take the radio out with us... I know the basic procedures and have typed/laminated a Mayday & Pan Pan guide to carry with us.... but will not use it for chatter.

So unless you are very motivated and can get undisturbed time at home I'd do the one day course with exam immediately after at an RYA certified training place.
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Old 29 June 2017, 14:26   #10
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Good choice on the radio, you can do the following:
1: course 80-100 + exam 60 and be good to go fully qualified and liscenced.
2: online course 50 not bother with exam if you want to save 60
3: Get the course book 15- free (comes inc with course) read it practise
4: read the free guides watch YouTube clips etc (radio will come with one) hope you never need to use it in anger.

Mobile phone in a waterproof case is what a lot of people rely on.
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Old 29 June 2017, 16:42   #11
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Mobile phone in a waterproof case is what a lot of people rely on.
It is. But it isn't a great solution.
  1. Mobile phones need a transmitter to work to. There are no transmitters in the sea so you are already pushing the boundary
  2. Most mobiles these days are touch screen. Touch screen through case is tempramental. Touch screen when wet is useless
  3. While easy to charge from USB its not so easy in the bag
  4. When on limit of range it will hammer battery life doing nothing
  5. If you call for help only the CG hear you not the boat half a mile away who could be first on scene. Depending on circumstance the first the the nearest boat knows anything is going on is hearing the lifeboat calling in for tasking.
  6. When they can't find you they can't hone in on a mobile signal they can a VHF
  7. Probably most importantly... you can't call the passing boat and say "any chance of a tow" - instead you have to go via the CG and risk a finger wagging when you get ashore (which you will get because you don't have a VHF)

Oh and the Beufung will work but isn't CE marked so if it gets very messy expect more finger wagging. The Beufung is also not legal for the PMR channels, but I'd take my chances with that for comms with the family on the beach etc, and have it as a *spare* marine VHF pre-programmed. But it wouldn't be my core solution.

The ticket I think matters less - even when the finger wagging is happening I dont think people ask about VHF training unless you made a right tit of yourself. You do not legally need a ticket in an emergency. **BUT** I suspect people who are concerned about not having a ticket will delay placing the call for just a few minutes longer which might matter...
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Old 29 June 2017, 17:08   #12
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Didn't say it was a good idea but it is what a lot of people rely on...... I think the liscence should be scrapped, perhaps (very easily done with all radios being software driven) limited to a smaller range of frequencies 16/m1/2 and a few more or power limited on standard channels with commercial/qualified operators being able to access the full freq range and higher power tx.

The liscence requirement just seems to put people off buying and using radios, when they really should.The rya are partly to blame IMO why e test cannot be done online for 10 I don't know.

1: depends where your operating I have been surprised where I got 4g recently with no buildings in the way cell signals seem to travel well over water better than many places on land.
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Old 29 June 2017, 17:23   #13
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Thanks for the advice. Have also gone and ordered a cheap fish finder.
Lucky Wireless 40M Black Dot Matrix Fish Finder https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00MARDP..._M6wvzb0XARXXJ

If it is crap will go back. Anyone got anything good or bad to say about these?
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Old 10 July 2017, 09:47   #14
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I've used the Baofeng radio, it's as powerful as any hand held marine radio and relatively simple to program marine frequencies into it.

Whilst it might be programmable to marine channels its do not have a type approval code for marine use (RTD Number) and therefore would be illegal to use. The penalties under the 1949 wireless telegraphy act are quite severe.........
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Old 14 July 2017, 04:39   #15
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Well

The horizon radio wouldn't charge. Returned to seller ( cactus navigation)
Didn't hear anything back so phoned up after a week. They said horizon had confirmed that it was faulty and had credited them back for it. And my refund would be very soon. This was on Tuesday. It is now Friday. Tried to phone them. No answer.

So I opened a Paypal dispute. And got a response within 5 minutes saying he has spoken to the guy I dealt with and he was already informing the accounts dept to issue a refund...

What a load of crap.

Just glad I used Paypal
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Old 14 July 2017, 04:51   #16
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It's always worth building a relationship with your local (ish) chandler. I have always tried to use Kildale Marine in Hull for as much as I can. The service will be better & they will try & price match any internet prices.
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Old 14 July 2017, 04:56   #17
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Dulux - why did you go for a refund rather than a replacement VHF?
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Old 14 July 2017, 07:53   #18
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+1 for the HX300, use it on Windermere. Never used it in anger and hope i never have to but like insurance, you hope you never have to claim on it.
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Old 14 July 2017, 08:19   #19
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Dulux - why did you go for a refund rather than a replacement VHF?
Seems odd they didn't just ship you a replacement ???

Are you going to buy a different radio or just rely on a phone?
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Old 14 July 2017, 11:34   #20
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Seems odd they didn't just ship you a replacement ???

Are you going to buy a different radio or just rely on a phone?
I have not decided what to buy yet. Or if. Kinda put off by this experience...
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