Frequently Asked Questions
General Radio Operating Rules
- Whenever the radio is on, monitor Channel 16, unless you are communicating on another channel;
- Before transmitting, listen for 30 seconds to hear if the channel is being used;
- At the beginning and end of your series of transmissions, identify your vessel by its name or your radio call sign if you have one;
- Use Channel 16 or 9 for hailing and when contact is made, switch immediately to an unused working channel.
- Set the radio to the low power setting whenever possible; you don't need the high power setting to talk to someone across your creek and it will free up the frequency for others.
- Speak slowly and clearly with the microphone about an inch from your mouth; there's no need to shout as it distorts your transmission.
- Keep all communications as brief as possible.
- Don't use profanities or use the radio for insults. It is a criminal offense to transmit obscene, profane or indecent words, language or meanings.
- Don't monopolize any channel with long conversations or idle chatter.
- Don't call the Coast Guard requesting a radio check.
- Don't let children use the radio or think it's a toy. Don't allow children to play on the boat with no adult present, even in the driveway.
- Don't broadcast a "mayday" unless there is immediate danger to life or property.
- Don't use the VHF radio for transmitting on land.
- Don't attempt a voice broadcast on Channel 70 as it's reserved for Digital Selective Calling (DSC) only.
Channels Available for Recreational Boats:
|16||Distress, Safety, Calling|
|68-69, 71-72, 78||Recreational Use|
|24-28, 84-87||Marine Operator|
|13||Locks, Canals, Bridges, Pilots*|
|70||Digital Selective Calling Only (DSC)|
|*Usage of 13 may vary in different areas.|