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Old 23 June 2018, 15:21   #1
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Introduction

Hi, Iím new to the forum as a member have been reading posts for a while. I have been lucky enough to have been given my first boat and outboard for free.

It is a Avon River R2.50 and a Honda BF2A. I have just finished stripping down the carb on the engine as has been sat in a garage for two years and got it running for first time this afternoon. I am initially planning to use it just around the Bay Area where we live.

My initial question is do I need to have a marine radio or is a mobile ok?
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Old 23 June 2018, 15:36   #2
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The more safety gear you have the better but there are many of us who spent years boating without radios or mobile phones and lived to tell the tail
I'd put lifejackets, a decent pair of oars and anchor and warp ahead of a vhf.If your just dotting around in a bay your probably within reasonable rowing distance of the shore in that size boat
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Old 23 June 2018, 15:46   #3
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+1 BK the kitchen sink will always play a part be safe you will go for years not needing it but when you do !
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Old 23 June 2018, 20:46   #4
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Introduction

Get a Marine radio, it's like do you have AA or RAC for your car? Marine VHF is more than AA or RAC a radio can save your life and also give you peace of mind and confidence and also the ability to communicate with other boaters, defiantly get one, you need a licence from ofcom (it's free) and you should do a 1 day course or at lease read the Marine VHF book but you can call an emergency on channel 16 without a licence for now, YouTube Marine VHF
Also take your phone, more is better than less
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Old 24 June 2018, 02:57   #5
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>>>you need a licence from ofcom (it's free) and you should do a 1 day course or at lease read the Marine VHF book

Hi Vectis welcome to the forum.

Sadly Lee often posts completely incorrect information for reasons we do not understand. The radio licence is not free and can't be gained by just reading a book.

The licence is only issued after you have passed an exam for an SRC licence, this is largely practical based and held at at an RYA approved test centre. The cost of this is £60.

You will not pass the exam without taking either a one day classroom course or an online version which you can do in your own time (about 10hrs). Costs for the training vary from around £65 online to £100 in the classroom.

Here is an official Youtube video related (mostly) to the online course.



Lee is correct though that in an emergency an unlicenced person can call for help on a VHF
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Old 24 June 2018, 03:03   #6
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BTW I am not familiar with Totland Bay but I would say if you are new to boating and with such a small SIB and low powered outboard try and grasp and understanding of tide and weather (wind direction and strength in particular) as you could be in a position of not being able to make much headway against either.

Don't let that put you off but caution and understanding keeps you safe.

I'd echo Beamishken's advice re equipment.
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Old 24 June 2018, 04:08   #7
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Welcome to the forum ;-)

Ask a simple question get 15 opinions, all of which seem opposite to each other, 10 of which don't seem to relate to anything you asked for. Consider it like asking at the sailing club bar... take the information you get and make your own decisions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by beamishken View Post
The more safety gear you have the better but there are many of us who spent years boating without radios or mobile phones and lived to tell the tail
Although... ...those that didn't live to tell the tale might erm... not be here to post about it!
Quote:
I'd put lifejackets, a decent pair of oars and anchor and warp ahead of a vhf.If your just dotting around in a bay your probably within reasonable rowing distance of the shore in that size boat
Certainly the lifejackets and the anchor. Oars may or may not be a token gesture depedning on the boat the location and the conditions.

Now to try and actually answer the question!
Quote:
do I need to have a marine radio or is a mobile ok
Official guidance will always say VHF is better. So it is good to understand why they say that:
  1. VHF is heard by everyone in the area. So you can instantly get help on its way from neighbouring boats.
  2. Mobile phones need cell towers to work. There are no cell towers in the sea
  3. You can hear announcements from CG (weather, safety info - drifting objects, other boats needing help)
  4. Even out of range of CG masts, another boat can hear your cries for help and either come to help or pass them on for you
  5. If they are struggling to find you. Lifeboats can zoom in on your VHF signal witha directional ariel. Not an option on mobile phones. What you see on CSI/NCIS/other American TV dramas where they triangulate your phone position is THEORY - it can be done - but not quickly and if you are in the sea - it is far less precise location as to triangulate you need multiple cells and you may be on a single cell.
In some circumstances a mobile phone will be adequate. You need to either find someone with local knowledge or perhaps a coverage map from your cell provider to know if you can get coverage where you are planning to go.

Mobile phones are rarely water proof and even if they are labelled as such they usually perform terribly when wet. It may work fine wet and then dried and still be classed as waterproof. So you need a waterproof bag. You need to be able to operate the phone in the bag, ideally it should float in the bag too.

In poor reception your phone battery may be guzzled much quicker than normal.

Text message may work when voice does not. There is a service to use 999 calls by text message - but you need to register for it in advance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fenlander View Post
Sadly Lee often posts completely incorrect information for reasons we do not understand.
On this occassion Lee1 is right though!

So lets be clear - to legally use a VHF radio in circumstances other than an emergency you need 2 pieces of paper:

- A Marine VHF Licence from Ofcom. It is free and you need no certificates etc to get it so there is no excuse not to get one. However, you'll struggle to find a 3m SIB owner who has ever been asked to show it!

- A Certificate of Competence. Not free. And as Fenlander says you need to sit a short exam for. There is absolutely no requirement that you have this to carry the radio. There is no requirement to have it to use the radio in an emergency. But to call the CG or another boat for something routine there is. If you don't have it, my opinion is you are less likely to use it where you are uncertain how much of an emergency it really is and so wait until it escalates. That is almost always the wrong thing to do on a boat. Again you'll find very few who have ever been asked to show their paperwork... ...although I suspect if things get very messy and there was an MAIB enquiry they might ask, especially if the mayday message was badly sent.
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Old 24 June 2018, 04:27   #8
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...although I suspect if things get very messy and there was an MAIB enquiry they might ask, especially if the mayday message was badly sent.

If you are worrying about a few scornful words in a report by an investigative body with no enforcement powers youíve got off lightly!
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Old 24 June 2018, 04:29   #9
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, defiantly get one,
Would it not be more defiant to not get one :-)
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Old 24 June 2018, 04:51   #10
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>>>On this occassion Lee1 is right though!

You are splitting hairs here... you know I am referring to the documentation to be fully legal.

To helpfully inform a newbie we should tell them that to be fully legal to own and operate a marine VHF will take a licence, course, exam & licence at total cost of £125 or more.

So for Lee to allude to it being free is misleading.

We all agree... and I have supported Lee in being correct... that in an emergency a licence/certificate is not needed.
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