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Marine Communications

Citizen Band (CB) Radios

Citizen Band Radios is intended to afford the general public economical access to two-way radio
communication. CB is allocated 40 specific frequencies between 26.965 and 27.405 mHz, commonly
referred to as channels 1-40.

Any channel may be used with either single or double sideband amplitude modulation except Channel 9,
which is reserved for emergency communications. CB stations are limited to 4-watt carrier waves output
power on DSB AM, and 12-watts PEP on SSB AM. The usual reliable range of CB is five miles.

There are several pitfalls to having a CB radio on the water: Making contact may be difficult, since not all
boats have CB radios. Channel noise and station traffic are sometimes heavy, and the Coast Guard
doesn't monitor the emergency channel.