Re: Here's a link to chan

Posted by John Pollard on Jun 5, 2007

You raise an interesting point and you're correct that certain channels are designated for recreational ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications. These are the channels (68,69,71,72,78A) that recreational boaters should immediately switch to after making initial contact on the hailing/emergency channel (16) -- when engaged in non-emergency communication with/between other recreational vessels or shoreside facilities.

But I was taught that transmissions even on these channels must be limited to essential communications. The USCG reference I have on my shelves here says:

"Calling Intership:

"Once you establish contact on the calling channel, you must switch to a working channel to carry out your business...

""All communications should be kept as brief as possible...

It further notes that channels designated as "Non-commercialÉ [m]ay be used for obtaining supplies, scheduling repairs, berthing and accommodations, etc. from yacht clubs or marinas, and intership operational communications such as piloting or arranging for rendezvous with other vessels."

Even beyond the Coast Guard guidance noted above, the requirement to restrict communications to the minimum necessary duration is actually a law, promulgated by the FCC and included in the Code of Federal Regulations (47 CFR 80.517).

Pausing to think about it, these rules make sense. If some boaters could clog the designated working channels with idle chit chat, what channel would other recreational boaters use for conveying or obtaining essential information of a non-emergency nature? You would switch from channel 16 to....what?

Folks who want to chit chat should use a CB, FRS, or their cell phones. But I'm abundantly aware that many boaters don't abide by these guidelines...


In Response to: Here's a link to channels by Charlie Jones on Jun 4, 2007


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