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Old 04-23-2013, 05:33 AM   #1
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Default Breaker, breaker......

I may be just an anachronism alone in a forgotton part of the ether, but I still hold a firm alliegance to radio protocol. I wonder if people are just not bothering to become licensed to use marine radio and, as such, natter on in blissful ignorance on the VHF.

Listening to general calling and the 'morning net' in an expat community in the Sea of Cortes, I thought I perhaps Rod Sterling had called me through the Twilight Zone; and onto on the set of the 70's rip-snorter, Smoky And The Bandit.

"That's a big 10/4 good buddy", "Copy that, 10/4", and other remnants of the 27mghz craze seem to have hung around like a bad stink. Calling not by boat name, but by the skipper's name, no repeats on introduction, no signifying the end of a broadcast segment with 'over'......

I prefer to keep the old order; but does it really matter? Am I being a bit of a stodge? Radio protocol and nautical terminology seem to have been dumbed down coincidental to the reliance on machinery and electronics for navigaton. The machinery and electronics are wonderful and I rely upon them myself these days, but I still can't bring myself to talk about upstairs and downstairs, left and right, the kitchen and the toilet...and, if I was calling Jeanne on the VHF, it would sound like.."Watermelon, Watermelon, Watermelon...Sandettie, Sandettie. Over"

And while I'm being a grumpy old man my boat name is spelled 'Sierra, alpha, november, delta, echo, tango, tango, india, echo', when someone asks over the air...Not "was that San..betty...like the girl's name"?

But....does it really matter? After all they seems to understand each other...at least in the ideal conditions around the marinas.
Sandettie. Victor, Juliet, Delta, 2, 2, 6, 7, returning to listening watch on VHF 16.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:13 PM   #2
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Sandetie, Sandetie, this is Aquaria Delta Bravo 90 93.....
You are damn right!
Here up north the two ship-to-ship channels 69 (156,475 MHZ) and 72 (156,625 MHz) are not reserved to any specific traffic groups and seemingly everybody is talking about everything that come to their minds.
It got a little better since a licence holder has to be on board when the ship is equipped with a VHF. As we don't want to mingle with these unprofessional users we never communicate with friends on the water via VHF, we rather use the cellphone ....
Over...
Aquaria, Delta Bravo 90 93 is standing by...
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:07 PM   #3
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Damn - and there we were ordering pizza for home delivery on channel 16 :
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:49 PM   #4
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With double pepperoni and a large Coke..........over
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:47 PM   #5
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That's a Big 4 there good buddy. And keep the Air Bear away. Well this Bottle Pooper need a fresh one. Out.
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:01 AM   #6
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....Which perfectly illustrates my point.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:34 PM   #7
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It's the bane of high use area's. We also use ch 9 for rec boasts in this area.
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:04 AM   #8
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Interesting that you raise this topic Auzzee. If you peruse the last two editions of 'The Coastal Passage' it may not surprise you that the powers to be are debating whether to have all us poor yachties re-sit and re-purchase new versions of the Marine Radio Operator's Certificate of Proficiency (MROCP). (That's in Oz at least.) Ahh, isn't our Government a wonderful institution!
'Tis time all of us Grumpy Old Men stood up and let all hear our grumbles and groans as what we say often makes more sense than what others do.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:01 AM   #9
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Marine Radio Operator's Certificate of Proficiency (MROCP). (That's in Oz at least.)

With the Australian outgoing government just confessing that we are facing a 12 billion dollar short fall in the budget this year (this was the same government who swore black and blue only 6 months ago that they would deliver a budget surplus )
you can guarantee they'll be looking at a heap of new ways to wring just a few more dollars out of us penniless yachties

I did the MROCP course about 10 years ago fearful of the 'divine wrath' that would befall anyone who dared operate a VHF or HF without having that little plastic card. Since that time I have witnessed any idiot able to grab the mike and clutter the marine airways with rubbish.

The Queensland Gov pushed through small boat licence qualifications last year swearing that all the monies raised would go back into marine rescue services - we now discover that it was spent elsewhere and we see marine park moorings disappear one by one as the department cry lack of funds.

Do you really want to sail back to Oz Aussie? By the time you tie up in Brisbane we'll be confiscating your vessel to use for firewood to keep us warm on these cold wither nights :P
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:38 PM   #10
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Although, I humbly submit that the radio airwaves have gotten a bit crowded these days....and the chatterboxes wail away about naught, transmitting over each other and even the rescue folks...mindless chatter for the most part (yes, sort of like ordering pizza and whatnot) , I'd bet the requirement of new marine licenses will go nowhere.

As our liberalized governments ineptly over promise and under deliver, as they are wont to do, historically speaking that is, and so it goes....

It would not be a bad idea to require the license...but then, fewer people will be on the water as time goes on as the economies of liberal nations go bankrupt taking the populace with them. So never fear...this too shall pass....

Just sayin.....




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Originally Posted by mico View Post
Marine Radio Operator's Certificate of Proficiency (MROCP). (That's in Oz at least.)

With the Australian outgoing government just confessing that we are facing a 12 billion dollar short fall in the budget this year (this was the same government who swore black and blue only 6 months ago that they would deliver a budget surplus )
you can guarantee they'll be looking at a heap of new ways to wring just a few more dollars out of us penniless yachties

I did the MROCP course about 10 years ago fearful of the 'divine wrath' that would befall anyone who dared operate a VHF or HF without having that little plastic card. Since that time I have witnessed any idiot able to grab the mike and clutter the marine airways with rubbish.

The Queensland Gov pushed through small boat licence qualifications last year swearing that all the monies raised would go back into marine rescue services - we now discover that it was spent elsewhere and we see marine park moorings disappear one by one as the department cry lack of funds.

Do you really want to sail back to Oz Aussie? By the time you tie up in Brisbane we'll be confiscating your vessel to use for firewood to keep us warm on these cold wither nights :P
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:25 PM   #11
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When I was sailing professionally, a licensed deck officer (or yacht captain) was required to monitor the radio emergency frequencies whenever on watch. As GPS and other electronic aids to navigation became affordable to more consumers (sailors???) radio etiquette disintegrated, seemingly in direct proportion to the ease with which one could voyage without needing to learn anything other than how to read the GPS.
If it's not some 12 year old girl with a squeaky voice incessantly calling her girl friends or some idiot using 16 for his private communications, it's some sailor calling in a terrified voice that he's lost because his GPS has stopped working when he's just a mile or two from his marina.
Far be it for me to suggest MORE government interference in our voyaging lifestyle, but perhaps it is time to go to CB radios for personal communications aboard private vessels and leave the VHF for emergencies and professionals.
For our part, we do not even turn the damn thing on any more, unless we need to use it. The IPOD is way preferable.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:58 PM   #12
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I don't necessarily think increased government interference is required. I remember a relatively recent time when, in Australia at least, coastal radio stations were local to each segmented area of coast. For instance Darwin Radio was in Darwin and monitored an area from the Kimberly coast to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

If one were to use inappropriate language or poor radio protocol, a voice would come on air from Darwin Radio, take note of your call sign (Back then a government issued call sign was mandatory) and give you a very quiet, pleasant but also very public rebuke. There was rarely a deviation from the official protocol by users of both HF and VHF.

Incidentally the local cruiser's net commences on the dot of 8am. Perhaps international rules have changed, but I remember that at both the top and bottom of the hour, radio equipped boats which were manned, had to, by law, monitor emergency channels for three minutes. This was enforced so that in busy areas, distress calls could be heard by the maximum number of craft. The net therefore should commence at either 8.03, or 8.33.

In the 70s and 80s most HF and VHF equipped boats also carried 27mghz radios. There were used for chatting nattering and being a general bloody nuisance on a wavelength where general bloody nuisances seem to be present in abundance.

As Capta points out, perhaps its time to rediscover the Good-buddy-10/4-breaker, yl band.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:59 AM   #13
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The coast guard and the SeaTow peeps monitor constantly. 9 is alternate calling for rec boats.
16 good here. Alot of boats need to use it and a watch is mandatory according to rules anyway
27's are still used by certaingroups in coastal area and especially inland by rec boaters.That what its there for. VHF is for Safety
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:50 PM   #14
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VHF 73 in Sydney is covered by unlicenced operators using handhelds on behalf of local yacht clubs. They use calls such as "Red RIB, this is Blue RIB" and mostly the traffic is stuff which should have been discussed prior to leaving shore, such as what course they should be setting up the flags for. Ludicrous.

VHF 27 in Sydney is swamped by a community broadcast FM station which either has a very bad transmitter or no output filtering at all. I reported this to the AMCA and they confirmed the problem with Sydney Marine Rescue, who have now made a formal complaint. The channel 22 repeater is intermittently filled with music, most likely intentional interference since it is more prevalent on weekend evenings.

The HF channels aren't much better, although the problem there is lonely Asian fishermen talking to their girlfriends. They seem unaware that the signals travel halfway around the world.
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