VHF radio newbie - usage on LP

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stevenk2

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Just received my new Standard Horizon VHF radio to have with us on the boat while we're on vacation there at LP. I originally purchased it for emergency use while down there on the water, but it occurred to me that there may also be marinas and such that use VHF for various communications. Is there anywhere like that down at Lake Powell, or is that pretty much only used only offshore? Somehow I think that we'll leave the radio set to Channel 16 and just leave it in the glovebox for emergencies though.
 
Yes the Marinas and NPS monitor channel 16.

LP is a VHF nightmare. LOL so many people that have no idea how to properly use the radio. Sometimes when I am bored I just listen to 16, but usually have to turn it off because I find myself yelling at the radio. Haha

Most vessels are also monitoring 16 while underway so its a great way to communicate. The other day there was a HB that had their beach ramp way out while cruising and it was getting hammered. I hailed them on 16 and they answered. They were thankful for the heads up. Also the tour boats are monitoring 16 as well.

One complaint i will throw out there is the commercial usage of 16 thats gotten out of hand. APM uses it to call each other, so when close to APM all you hear is so and so trying to get ahold of so and so then they change channels. Not sure why they cant get their own channel to monitor.

Your horizon should show the list of channels and which are for commercial use and or public. But commercial guys are not supposed to use 16 as their chat room so in a way its the wild west all over. :)

Mike
 
Oh - my understanding was that Channel 16 was for emergency use ONLY, others were designated for different use, and sometimes those will vary based on your geographical location and/or the body of water you're on. I wanted to have it for safety to radio for help on 16 if needed; the Wx channels were nice to have as well.
 
Some Wordlings use ch. 68 and earlier this year the “private wordling” ch. of 022 222 222 which needs to be programmed into your radio, if that can be done. Some radios can’t accept be programmed. Sq
 
I’m sure not a marine VHF expert but I’ll pass on some basics. Channel 16 is reserved exclusively for hailing another vessel and distress calls. Once contact is established, it’s recommended to switch immediately to a working channel. The five channels designated for non- commercial ship-to-ship communications are 68, 69, 71, 72, and 78A. The call format is simple. Typically announce the name of the vessel you are hailing twice followed by the name of your vessel and say “over”. “Over” means you’re finished talking and waiting for a response. Their response to you should be your vessel name followed by the name of their vessel, and “over”. At that point pick one of the above channels to continue the conversation. ie “go to 68, over.” When done with an exchange on any channel saying “out” when you’re finished with your conversation theoretically allows other people waiting to use the channel to know they can use it...good luck with that. Etiquette, if followed, says 2 minute wait between unanswered calls with a max of 3 calls, then a 15 minute wait before starting again just to keep the frequency open. With improved cell coverage at the lake, I think many give texting a shot first, resulting in decreased radio congestion. I get texts in places on the lake that definitely do not have line of sight to the cell towers.

Another option for communication with other boats in your group is using family channel radios, where everyone picks the discreet channel to monitor in advance.

In the past, unfortunately by experience, I know Executive Services has monitored ch 10 for towing requests if you want to call them directly. That may have changed.

+1 on using the WX 1 channel for area weather forecasts.
 
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LP is a VHF nightmare. LOL so many people that have no idea how to properly use the radio. Sometimes when I am bored I just listen to 16, but usually have to turn it off because I find myself yelling at the radio. Haha
...

Mike


Agreed Mike!!! 99% of the channel 16 traffic in the Wahweap/Antelope point area, is rental boats calling for a pilot or other, making monitoring of Ch 16 useless as most will simply turn off the radio instead of listen to the annoying traffic (defeating the purpose of Ch 16.)

Requests for a pilot or other should be moved off of 16, and onto 14 or another working channel (they should educate their renters to use CH 14 for routine requests, Ch 16 for emergencies.)

FCC Regs:
80.111 Radiotelephone operating procedures for coast stations.
(6) Calls to establish communication must be initiated on an available common working frequency (NOT the calling CHANNEL 16!!!) when such a frequency exists and it is known that the called ship maintains a simultaneous watch on the common working frequency and the appropriate calling frequency(ies).
 
that would use common sense Wyrman, and that's not used on the water here let alone the marina's. when I was a kid (70's) the marinas used the radio, you would call to where they wanted you to fuel and dump, assistance was not only given people were polite. any more its all about me and get out of my way. I do still enjoy cleaning my boat with the radio on as I enjoy a beer and laugh at the googans
 
Thanks for all the info - sounds like lots of folks out there that don't know the appropriate use of the different channels, nor do they know the proper radio etiquette. The unfortunate side effect is, as Grant points out, that it (somewhat) defeats the purpose of having an emergency channel, which is the main reason I purchased the radio in the first place. Still, I'd rather have one onboard than not - at least it gives us one more out in the event of some emergency.

When I was growing up, they came out with dialing 9-1-1 for emergency phone calls (yes, I'm that old). As a kid, we were always taught that you NEVER EVER called that number unless you were in immediate danger of dying or the house was on fire. Nowadays, seems like people dial 9-1-1 when their cat is throwing up or they stubbed their big toe on the couch...…..or if they get bored and want to talk to someone. Seems like the VHF emergency radios have kinda gone downhill like that too (unfortunately). I seem to recall there being licensing requirements or user registration/training at some point for using any transmitter over a certain power as well, but maybe these little handhelds like this don't reach that threshold?
 
Hey Steven, you might find this thread interesting, it discusses a solution to your original question regarding emergency and non emergency use.

 
I am a pilot and am also surprised at how bad even the pros are with radios these days. I can’t tell you how often I hear crap on guard 121.5 which is supposed to be for emergency only. For years I monitored 121.5 as your required to when in cruise. I had to stop as there was just too many idiots on there screwing around.

So it’s not just lake Powell. I think it’s a generation thing. Lack of respect for things like emergency comm channels.

I also off road race and same thing there. The main channel is supposed to be for important communication and people abuse the crap out of it.

I am starting to sound like my Dad, he was always complaining about the lack of respect from the new generations. LOL

Mike
 
RE VHF Ch. 16 radio traffic by commercial operations, I have mentioned this problem to APM management at the beginning of each of the last few years, when in each instance APM employee communication on Ch. 16 literally filled up most of the radio traffic. Each time, each year, APM management has stated that their employees should not be using Ch. 16 for regular communication, and the traffic does stop.....for a while anyway, then picks back up again by mid-summer, especially the pilots and dock workers who could easily communicate on other commercial channels.

Like others, I no longer monitor Ch. 16 unless I am underway or anchored up lake where the radio traffic is less. Far too much unnecessary radio traffic.
 
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