Seems to be a tad of confusion here guys.
Lets see if the resident radio man can help!!!!
2003 was the date for commercial shipping to stop a dedicated ch 16 watch as they all had to have DSC fitted by law.
Last Sept the MCA started a wind down of the dedicated headset watch in its control rooms.
This was down to the man or lady in charge and the amount of radio traffic they have.
Next year all control rooms will change to a loud speaker watch.
Ch16 will never be obsolete it role is just going to change.
No longer a calling channel but for the use for SAR work and co-ordination.
This is from the horses mouth not the press release or website.
Less chance of confusion and interprtation that way.
All info from head radio man at MCA and head man in maritime dept. at Ofcom
(both good mates!)
Place it my job to know all this.
Its scary the amount of SRC (Short Range Cert) instructors who don't know all the right facts yet.
By the way that is not a dig at any one here just from some of the daft questions I get asked by some of them!!
My recomendation is that if your only boating in the UK you would be ok with non DSC.
If you considering going further a field then DSC is a must now.
For a suggestion on what to fit I would always have both.
Belt and braces and all that.
I always carry a hand held with me, sad I guess.
Southampton Boat Show is a good place to find a bargin come and see us too.
Radio's are getting cheaper, hell we have a waterproof hand held for less than £150 and a new DSC set for under £300.
All waterproof with 3 year warranty!!
"cheap as chips!"