VHF Marine Radio Tips

Author: captnmike

A quick guide to using your VHF Marine Radio.

RADIO USAGE

Channel 16 is Distress and Calling.

Pleasure Vessels Working Channels: 09, 67, 68, 69 and 72.

Contact can be made on Ch 16 but then go to a working frequency

CALLING

Make sure Radio is turned on and set to the proper channel.

Press microphone button & speak past the microphone not directly into. Do not “spit” into the microphone, use a normal voice.

(Name of vessel station you are calling three times) THIS IS (your vessel’s name and call sign).

Do not add other words (Such as “Come in Bob” or “Do you read me?”)

Release microphone button.

You must not call the same station for more than 30 seconds at a time.

If you do not get a reply wait at least two minutes before calling again.

After 3 tries wait 30 minutes before calling again.

When you reach the other station go to a working channel and send message.

If you expect an answer end your transmission with “OVER” else say “OUT”

Use low power (1 watt) in a Harbor.

DISTRESS

MAYDAY – MAYDAY – MAYDAY – This is (Your vessel name & call sign spoken three times)

MAYDAY – (Your vessel name & call sign)

The position of your boat (Latitude, Longitude – bearing to a land mark etc.)

Nature of distress (sinking, man overboard on fire etc.)

Type of help requested

Other information needed when contact is made:

Number of people on board.

Description of vessel. (color, size, type, sail color or other traits)

Number of people requiring medical attention if appropriate.

Any other information that will assist emergency. (captain is injured and you don’t know how to operate the vessel)

MISC.

Set Squelch only high enough to stop noise.

Speak in a normal voice into the microphone.

Speak slowly and clearly.

Don’t chat endlessly.

Two page printer friendly PDF version at bottom.

Procedure Words (PROWORDS)

Procedure Word Meaning
OUT This is the end of my transmission to you. No answer is required or expected.
OVER This Is the end of my transmission and a response is expected. Go ahead, transmit.
Omit when it is clearly not needed.
ROGER I received your last transmission OK.
WILCO Your last message has been received, understood, and will be compiled with.
THIS IS This transmission is from the station whose name and call sign follows immediately.
FIGURES Figures or numbers follow, for example, “Vessel length is FIGURES two three feet.
SPEAK SLOWER Your transmission is difficult to understand. Speak slower.
SAY AGAIN Repeat.
WORDS TWICE It is difficult to understand you. Give each phrase twice.
I SPELL I shall spell the next word phonetically. Used when a proper name is important in the message. “Boat name is Martha. I spell – Mike, Alfa, Romeo, Tango, Hotel, Alfa.
WAIT I must pause for few seconds; stand by for further transmission.
WAIT OUT I must pause for longer than a few seconds. I Will call you back.
AFFIRMATIVE You are correct, or what you have transmitted is correct.
NEGATIVE No.

The Phonetic Alphabet

Letter Phonetic Equivalent Pronunciation
A ALPHA AL* FAH
B BRAVO BRAH VOH
C CHARLIE CHAR LEE
D DELTA DELL TAH
E ECHO ECK OH
F FOXTROT FOKS TROT
G GOLF GOLF
H HOTEL HO TELL
I INDIA IN DEE AH
J JULIETT JEW LEE ETT
K KILO KEY LOH
L LIMA LEE MAHM
M MIKE MIKE
N NOVEMBER NO VEM BER
O OSCAR OSS CAH
P PAPA PAH PAH
Q QUEBEC KEH BECK
R ROMEO ROW ME OH
S SIERRA SEE AIR RAH
T TANGO TAN GO
U UNIFORM YOU NEE FORM
V VICTOR VIK TAH
W WHISKEY WlSS KEY
X XRAY ECKS RAY
Y YANKEE YANG KEY
Z ZULU ZOO LOO

* Emphasis is on the part of the word in Bold Italics

Pronunciation of Numbers

Number Pronunciation
0 ZERO ZERO
1 ONE WUN
2 TWO TOO
3 THREE THUH REE
4 FOUR FO WER
5 FIVE FI YIV
6 SIX SIX
7 SEVEN SEVEN
8 EIGHT ATE
9 NINE NINER

Two page printer friendly PDF version.

FILE:RADIO-3   March 30 2010

- c/m -

This entry was posted in Safety Thoughts, Sailing and Boating Skills and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to VHF Marine Radio Tips

  1. dave follman says:

    mike.got your email about the radio procedures .looks fine to me if I think of anthing else to add, ill let you know at the flotilla mtg. dave

  2. Pingback: Marine Rules of the Road | Boating Safety Tips, Tricks & Thoughts from Captnmike

  3. Pingback: Sailing Crew Class Resources–Fall 2011 | Boating Safety Tips, Tricks & Thoughts from Captnmike

  4. Pingback: Boating Safety Tips, Tricks & Thoughts from Captnmike

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