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Old 06 September 2010, 17:33   #1
lockieboi's Avatar
Country: UK - England
Town: kent
Boat name: SIBotage
Make: Prowave
Length: 3m +
Engine: 15hp Johnson 2 smoke
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 435
Inflatable help please!!!!!!

Hi all.

Brief history of my limited boating experience.

Bought a cheap £80 boat last year and a electronic motor (waist of time in my oppinion) and it is now ruined by missuse.

Now have a 3.2mtr inflatable with a Keel that is rated to carry a 15hp outboard and is rated to Category C.

I want to venture in to sea in optimum conditions with my 6hp outboard.

I have a life jacket and have just bought a VHF (icom IC M31)

Now, radio licence??????????

I can not find much info on this subject at all and really need some help.

I do not intend on using the radio (famous last words) except for emergencies.

I have done a ships portable radio licence on Ofcoms website and have been isued with a "T" number identification but not a Call sign as i do not have built in radio equipment to the vessel and only hold a Ships Portable Radio Licence.

Finaly my question is, Is what i have done sufficient, and how do i find out how to use the radio. I feel i may be a bit silly saying "hello coastgaurd i am a boat and i am stuck somewhere... Help!"

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 06 September 2010, 18:18   #2
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Poly's Avatar
Country: UK - Scotland
Boat name: imposter
Make: FunYak
Length: 3m +
Engine: 2 stroke YAM 20 HP
MMSI: 235089819
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 10,225
Your best bet would be to book yourself on a VHF course. You may be in a grey area if you only use it in a true emergency (and its very unlikely anyone would complain). However there might be some scenarios where you would like to use it but feel reluctant because you are not licensed, those situations might not be life and death bit might be such that you want to tell the CG you have a problem/are delayed/are going to a different port from your shore contact expects because of wind/tide etc.

Originally Posted by lockieboi View Post
I feel i may be a bit silly saying "hello coastgaurd i am a boat and i am stuck somewhere... Help!"
Until you do a course, then take your radio with you - and if need be then use it on Ch16 to transmit exactly that message - it is not te approved format and will raise a few eyebrows - but also get you rescued!

The process would be something like - turn radio on and press the 16 button, this should set it to CH16 and High power. Hold the Press-to-talk button, and speak loudly, camly, clearly and relatively slowly


release the ptt button, and cross your fingers that you get a response. If nothing heard after 2 minutes, repeat the process.

If you are just stuck / grounded / broken down and there is no immediate risk to life then replace "MAYDAY" with "PAN PAN" in the above message.

You'll notice that they need to know where you are so you might want to think about that in terms of how you can describe it to them - obviously if you have gps this will be easy (if its working) - but otherwise "approx 1 mile south, south, east of XXXXX" will do. In fact I've heard it suggested you should give both in case you or the recipient mishears/reads the info, and because lat/long is obviously very specific but may not be immediately obvious to the yacht 1/2 a mile way.

Now before you do anything else go and fill in a CG66 form at the mcga website so they know what they are looking for.
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