Ok guy's and girls here goes.
All the following is from my research, related to my work and as far as I am informed the truth.
There is a huge amount of duff data out there and have done my best over the last few years to get the right data where possible.
Yes well spotted it is my pet subject along with grey imports!!
Hope it all helps
(although I stand to be corrected)
Ch16..... as of Sept last year HMGC started a scale down of its ch16 monitoring. If the man/woman in charge of a particular centre felt the traffic was low they could move from a dedicated headset watch to a loudspeaker watch.
This will come into full effect at all sites as of April next year.
Whilst they say you will not get the response you do now if you do a voice mayday they will do their best to answer it and deal with it.
If you go out of UK water my advice would be fit DSC now, especially if you going Med bound!! In the UK at least you should be fairly safe on ch16 for the near future but there will no longer be a guy/girl with a headset on listening the ch16 24/7.
DSC..... there are to date in the UK less then 4 false alerts per year (thats is From Kim Fisher, head radio type bloke at the MCA) The HMGC will respond right away to a DSC Distress call as it is all computerised and semi automated, they have no choice but too.
They can not just ignore it the system wont allow it.
Commercial Ships (large)... should still monitor ch16 in practise they don't because they have DSC fitted by law, they are more likely to be watching ch13 (bridge to bridge)
Icom and DSC... the M401 is a cracking set IMHO but you can see from all the posts here I don't have to confirm that.
We know we have a whole in the line up at this time.
We need a budget all in one box VHF/DSC.
If it were going to happen from us it would not be here till later this year maybe late/end of this season I would have to guess!
IMHO and I have to agree with ginger, DSC has got to be the way forward.
What is important when you in distress? making sure you and your crew, which in most cases on here is your family, are safe. Not sitting at your radio going "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday etc. If DSC gives you those exra mins to put out a fire, grab the man over board, beat off the pirates then it has to be a good thing.
Thats from an informed, keen ribster not an man who works for Icom
There are some good products out there from other people, I have tried and tested most but, this is a big but, radio is Icom's core bussiness its not a side line to anything else we do. 40 years of building them to be exact.
We are the only company to offer 3 year warranty.
Also we are the only company that you will find on any internet forum.
Why? because I feel this is a very important way of reaching my valued customers.
Right enough of me!!
Oh Manos, thank you and cash is in the post