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Old 03 September 2016, 05:52   #11
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Blimey all of a sudden I feel im getting spoken to like im a complete idiot With all the exclamation marks getting thrown around,i just wanted too fully understand the ins and outs.
I fully understand the laws and the importance of following them,however I just thought maybe there would be certain channels a pleasure boater like myself would be able to use that wouldn't interfere with any commercial operators
Thanks
You will learn all of this once you do the course
Hence the need for the course
You could probably learn most of the stuff by reading guides etc but the course gives you everything you need in one shot and the required licence at the end
It's not essential and no one will be bothered about you calling for help in an emergency without your licence but I've heard too many fishermen chatting about the best fishing on ch16
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Old 03 September 2016, 06:03   #12
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Originally Posted by greenb View Post
Blimey all of a sudden I feel im getting spoken to like im a complete idiot With all the exclamation marks getting thrown around,i just wanted too fully understand the ins and outs.
I fully understand the laws and the importance of following them,however I just thought maybe there would be certain channels a pleasure boater like myself would be able to use that wouldn't interfere with any commercial operators
Thanks

Don't take it to heart. You asked a question & got a pretty comprehensive direct, informative response. Look how much knowledge you've acquired in a very short period. If some of the answers were too direct, it's probably because the "answerer" didn't have time to pussyfoot around dressing it up & sweetening it. Stick around, you'll get used to it👍


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Old 03 September 2016, 06:07   #13
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Stick around, you'll get used to it��
He's been an upstanding member for many years, PD.

OP - what VHF did you actually buy?
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Old 03 September 2016, 06:10   #14
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I bought a cobra f77 seems a good buy had everything I wanted and was 50 pound cheaper than the icom.
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Old 03 September 2016, 06:33   #15
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I bought a cobra f77 seems a good buy had everything I wanted and was 50 pound cheaper than the icom.

You should have spent the other 50 👍


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Old 03 September 2016, 07:02   #16
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Hi greenb,

You've woken the anti-Cobra brigade!
There are some well experienced contributors on here who feel there are better choices.

In pursuit of balance (not stoking the fire at all!),
I have a Cobra as my handheld vhf. It floats, burps (out the water if it has been floating), has bluetooth for your phone (which I never use) and probably does other things. Was great value too.

It still works, it's still fully intact, the battery life remains good. It gets clipped to my lifejacket every outing and thrown in the bottom of the bag when we're going home.

We have a fixed Icom as well so the Cobra doesn't get much pampering but it's absolutely perfect, continues to do what it says on the tin.


*(to get lots of responses to a post I think the optimum is to buy a chinese rib, triple E-tecs, cobra electronics, no experience and plan to go cruising the day you launch it off your home-made trailer without getting the wheels wet while towing it with a Navarra!)
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Old 03 September 2016, 07:45   #17
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Hi greenb,

You've woken the anti-Cobra brigade!
There are some well experienced contributors on here who feel there are better choices.

In pursuit of balance (not stoking the fire at all!),
I have a Cobra as my handheld vhf. It floats, burps (out the water if it has been floating), has bluetooth for your phone (which I never use) and probably does other things. Was great value too.

It still works, it's still fully intact, the battery life remains good. It gets clipped to my lifejacket every outing and thrown in the bottom of the bag when we're going home.

We have a fixed Icom as well so the Cobra doesn't get much pampering but it's absolutely perfect, continues to do what it says on the tin.


*(to get lots of responses to a post I think the optimum is to buy a chinese rib, triple E-tecs, cobra electronics, no experience and plan to go cruising the day you launch it off your home-made trailer without getting the wheels wet while towing it with a Disco4)

Ftfy😄


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Old 03 September 2016, 07:48   #18
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*(to get lots of responses to a post I think the optimum is to buy a chinese rib, triple E-tecs, cobra electronics, no experience and plan to go cruising the day you launch it off your home-made trailer without getting the wheels wet while towing it with a Navarra!)

You forgot putting holes in trailer to make it lighter !



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Old 03 September 2016, 09:51   #19
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And surely saying does anyone really use the little red curly string for anything and I bought a lifejacket cause I thought I'd be responsible but I'm keeping it in the packet for best.

But if you want the more flaural reasons of what Poly said...

Seriously - the reality is you need two bits of paper. The MMSI one otherwise half the critical functions on your F77 don't work. Its free so you have nowt to winge about crack on and get it registered. And you need the operator's certificate.

There are two channels that don't need a operator cert in the UK M1 and M2 or 37A/37M or P4 depending on your radio brand. But they "belong" to marinas and sailing clubs. So depending where you are you may cause problems. Certainly if I was a sailing club (paying to use M1) and you start chatting with your mate I'm gonna get annoyed if its affecting my ability to manage a race. So if thats what you are looking for you'd be better with a 446MHz licence free PMR radio.

There are only a very limited number of simplex channels - working like you'd expect a normal 'walky talky' to. Most of the channels are actually pretty useless these days as they were intended for ship to shore work so the shore replied on a different channel. Ship to shore except emergency working is 99% done through sat phones / mobiles / the internet these days. So you have a tiny handful of channels for ship to ship comms where both sides of the conversation are on the same frequency. Abuse that and people will get annoyed. Use it nicely and in reality no-one will care if you have a bit of paper saying you know how. But of course to know how not to abuse it requires you to learn... ...thats the job of training?

Now comes the really crucial bit. Having a VHF is a nice to have to call your mate to say the fish here is rubbish can we move along a bit, or that beach we planned to visit is full of chavs lets skip round to the next one. But actually there is a good chance with modern mobile coverage you could do that on mobile, or PMR would do the job and while PMR is also not rich on frequencies it uses CCTS tones that create virtual channels so you are less likely to pi$$ everyone else off. The crucial bit is Channel 16. Or actually on your radio Channel 70 + 16. Its the ability when the sh17 hits the fan to press the red button, pick up the microphone and talk and someone with some semblence of sense hear it and come and sort the fan out for you so the sh17 stops hitting it. You have an obligation to be listing to 16 incase you are the person with the semblence of sense, you have an obligation not to clogg 16 with chatter so that when someone is needing help its free, and it can be life or death if you only get one chance to get the right information out in the right way that everyone understands. Everyone - commercial or non-commercial all use the same channel for distress handling so that everyone who could be useful is listening. Here is a quick self test for you...

1. You are out on your boat alone in 100m of water. Your single engine has failed and despite everything you try it wont run for more than 10 seconds without dying. Its 4pm in the afternoon, its autumn and will be dark about 7pm. you are 2 miles from land. You have no mobile signal. You told your wife you'd be home about 6:30pm. What action will you take? Which buttons, what order, what speech will you give, what will you do if no-one answers

2. You are out with your mate. He suddenly goes grey and slumps forward clutching his chest. He is breathing but us clearly very poorly. You are 5 miles from a safe port. You try hitting the throttle to get back to shore quick but the pounding of the waves are making his symptoms worse. You have 1 bar of mobile reception.

3. You are about to enter harbour when just below the surface of the water you spot a dark blue 8ft x 40ft rectangular shape. You avoid it just in time and as you get close you realise its the top of a submerged shipping container. You have 4 bars on your mobile and are 10 minutes from being tied up alongside the marina where the harbour master is based. You can see two yachts a mile or two out that look like they are also headed for the harbour. You can't see the yacht names.

4. You are out at sea 2 miles west of a lighthouse and hear a muffled call on CH16. You hear the words Mayday. You hear panic in the voice. You hear the lighthouse mentioned. You look towards the lighthouse and see a fire on the surface of the water with a large amount of black smoke rising from it. You hear nothing more, and hear no-one else reply despite knowing there are other vessels not much further than yourself. You have 2 bars on your mobile. If you are using your VHF what buttons are you pressing, for how long, what are you saying etc.

If you think you know the answers to these and are confident they are right (I'm not talking nit picky right, I'm talking does it achieve the goal every time it could have) then you *may* not need the Course. Although it does cover other stuff including more on the GMDSS system including EPIRBs etc, and which antenna to buy for your F77 etc. If you decide the F77 is not for you as you don't want the course etc and PMR is the answer for you then you'll need a plan for what you do in scenario 1, 2 and 3. Scenario 4 **may** be less of a concern as they won't be calling you on PMR. Although if you spot the fire you are going to have a similar issue

Rather ironically, In all of the above situations you actually don't need a the course to legally use the radio! That legal "loophole" isn't designed to discourage you from doing the course, its designed so that in each of those cases you don't not transmit for fear of prosecution.

The course will let you use a simulator to see how it all joins together. Pressing the magic red button isn't something you can do for practice on live kit.

You will undoubtedly struggle to find someone in the UK who has have a Marine VHF Licence / Operator Cert checked in the last 10 years on a pleasure craft.
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Old 06 September 2016, 17:19   #20
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Blimey all of a sudden I feel im getting spoken to like im a complete idiot With all the exclamation marks getting thrown around,i just wanted too fully understand the ins and outs.
I fully understand the laws and the importance of following them,however I just thought maybe there would be certain channels a pleasure boater like myself would be able to use that wouldn't interfere with any commercial operators
Thanks
If I may chime in. I think the others are just saying that the rules and laws for VHF use has been like this for many decades and are not really flexible or optional and that every mariner needs to follow them.
The authorities who oversee the marine airwaves in the UK and other countries just simply want to make sure anyone using there airwaves are doing so as prescribed whether it's just for silly chit chat to friend 500m away or trying to report a life at risk MayDay 40km away.

So the only way they (powers at be) can make sure mariners (you and the rest of us) know the protocols and rules of the airwaves is to make sure we take a class for it. Unfortunately using a vhf without passing this class is considered breaking the law.

Any questions?
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