Originally Posted by Don Logan
Handheld VHF: <snip /> I think that if the option's there and I have to buy a VHF anyway, then I might as well pay the extra and get one with it included. I'm sure no one ever regretted having DSC on their radio.
I am all for a gadget whenever I can. But still to be convinced of advantage of HH DSC. Suspect it may add complacency.
Range is still short. You are unlikely to have GPS on all the time to preserve battery. So lag in position fix time / accuracy.
Yes in theory you appear on the yacht near you chart plotter when you hit the red button. From the VHF use I've heard down near you I wouldn't bank on the plotter being on. The radio being on. The crew knowing how to use it or anything else to be frank.
It will let you hear a DSC alert from others near you. But I'd bet you will hear the voice call anyway or you will be too far away to be if value.
Decent HH VHF costs c.£120. Last I looked you could add another £100 to that for DSC. Personally I'd be trying to find an extra £100 on top to buy a PLB which gives push of a button help message, but using a separate technology so better resilience.
Anchor: I'll be boating mainly on the Sussex coast, which as far as i know is mainly rock and some sand in places. Is there a general/ all round anchor, or are different ones better suited to certain surfaces?
As you may guess there are numerous 'which anchor' questions out there. The reality is none are perfect. Some are awful. There will be a compromise needed. All round the Bruce /cqr types generally fair quite well for holding. They are the least practical for stowage on a SIB. The most practical stowage is a grapnel but its also the least effective at holding onto ground. Terrible in mud and sand. Not great on rock.
However you need to consider why you need an anchor ( you do need one). Is it too moor up and leave the boat (unlikely on a SIB). Is it to fish / lunch from in a place that drifting away will not be dangerous. Is it to hold it on the beach? Is it as an emergency brake when the engine dies in an awkward place. Generally apart from the last bit on a SIB you either can see what the anchor is hooking onto, and are shallow enough to put it there by hand etc or are on the boat and so no biggie if it drifts and you reset it. The last one however could be key. But weight may matter more than design.
Generally in a SIB you end up with something that folds flat - Danforth like.
Other than doing the PB2 course, does anyone have any other advice for someone new to sibs/ boats in general?
Any help appreciated...
kit list in the SIB stickies
Take a friend in another boat. That helps some of those anchor concerns, DSC concerns etc..