Ask SAIL: VHF Portables on Land

Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

VHF PORTABLES ON LAND

Q: Our dockmaster tells me that portable marine VHF radios are now permitted for use on land. Does this mean I can use my hand-held on the ski slopes, or talk from the office with boats for weather reports?

Don Hull, New York, NY

GORDON WEST REPLIES

Yes, and no. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its August 2016 Report and Order amended the rule 80.115 (a)(1)-(4) to allow portable VHF radios to be used on shore “adjacent to a waterway” to talk with your own ship about ship’s business. With this in mind, for pleasure craft, you would use non-commercial channels and keep transmissions to a minimum practical time. However, this rule change does NOT allow ski slope operation. Nor does it allow you to gab with any and all ship stations—just shore to your own ship station, like calling from the dock for the kids to pick you up, or calling your ship from a shore-side marine hardware store to see if there are any other parts you need to bring back aboard.

The FCC also makes it clear that this should not be interpreted as a free-for-all on using marine hand-helds ashore between each other. Again, the only permitted shore-to-ship calls will be to your “associated ship station,” and not anyone or everyone to just “yak, yak, yak.” DSC calling on channel 70 is also permitted to minimize Channel 16 traffic.

Got a question for our experts? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com

April 2017

Related

NightWatch-01

Night Watch

Robert Reeder is a seamanship instructor for a series of online courses through Boaters University. His course, Fundamentals of Seamanship: Rules of the Road, is a great way to get a full understanding of how to interpret the USCG rules of the road and how to apply the rules in ...read more

BinosOnDeck-02

Binoculars for Lookouts

Robert Reeder is a seamanship instructor for a series of online courses through Boaters University. His course, Fundamentals of Seamanship: Rules of the Road, is a great way to get a full understanding of how to interpret the USCG rules of the road and how to apply the rules in ...read more

01 Landing Page

Volvo Race: Bound for Newport

It’s a very different kind of sailing from what the fleet experienced in the course of a windy Leg 7, as the Volvo Ocean Race wends its way north from Brazil to Newport, Rhode Island.As expected, the St. Helena High, which dominates the weather in the South Atlantic, has made for ...read more

North Sails 3Di - What you need to know

North Sails 3Di - What you need to know

3Di Outlasts The AdventureFrancois Gabart and his 30-meter trimaran Macif broke the solo around-the-world speed record in December 2017 with a 3Di mainsail that had 45,000 miles BEFORE the start of his record run. 3Di powered all three around-the-world speeds records currently ...read more

01-Hanse_Emotion_6

Hanse’s E-Motion Electric Rudder Drive

When news that Hanse Yachts had launched a new form of electric-powered yacht first broke in the winter of 2016, it was widely reported. After all, Hanse is one of the world’s biggest builders of sailing boats, so this had the feeling of a breakthrough to it.After nearly a year, ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comDefusing the Run It’s been said with justification that gentlemen don’t boast about how windy it was, but the shape of my ensign in the photo will give well-informed readers a fair idea. They will also ...read more