|In this age of e-mail, fax machines, pagers, and cell phones, there is no shortage of ways to get your message
across. But when you're out on the water, what's the best device to maintain your lifeline to shore?
Today's boaters are faced with many choices for ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications. VHFs,
cell phones, Family Radio Service radios, CB radios, Single Sidebands, and satellite communications are
among the myriad of choices available.
Having a Cell Phone on board allows you to keep in touch with land-based people and businesses easily.
They are very convenient and should be used in tandem with a VHF.
Cell phones, although very convenient on land, are less reliable on the water. Most are not water resistant,
and their range is relatively short. The maximum range to and from a cell antenna/station varies, but it is
Range is further complicated by the fact that the majority of cell antenna/stations are placed with land-based
use in mind, so the distance offshore that a vessel can remain in contact is frequently short.
Cell phones can also be expensive to operate, although there are many different packages available.
Your communication power with a cell phone is limited on the water because the other ship you are trying
to contact must also have a cell phone. In some areas, you can place a call to the local Coast Guard station
by dialing *CG.