Most new VHF radio users get their initial experience by calling another person or a marina. After making a few calls, using the VHF radio becomes second nature – just like using the telephone. Here are six easy steps on how to make a VHF Radio call, a video and a written example in addition to some deviations to the common VHF call and a video.
How To Make A VHF Radio Call
- Make sure that that VHF is on the channel you want to use. Also, check that no one is using the channel prior to making a call.
- Depress the side button of the radio, speak clearly and project your voice forward across the microphone area rather than directly into it, and then say the name of the boat or person/place that you’re calling up to three times and then say the name of your boat up to three times.
- When the person you’re calling responds, if you’re on Channel 16, you then need to suggest moving to a different working channel to carry on the conversation. Never hold a conversation on channel 16, or any hailing channel, as it is for initial contact and/or emergencies only.
- Once the person you’re calling responds that they’re moving to another channel, you then change channels and say the boat name up to three times and then you’re boat name up to three times.
- After the boat you’re calling responds, both parties can then take turns speaking saying ‘over’ (NEVER ‘over and out’) whenever the person speaking is done talking and waiting for a reply.
- When all communications are over both parties will say ‘out’ to indicate that the conversation has ended. And that’s how to make a VHF radio call 🙂
A VHF Radio Call Video Example
How To Make A VHF Radio Call Example
An example of two cruisers using the VHF radio on channel 16 is as follows:
Britican: “Alchemy, Alchemy, Alchemy this is Britican, Britican, Britican. Over”
Alchemy: “Britican, Britican, Britican this is Alchemy, Alchemy, Alchemy. Over”
Britican: “Alchemy this is Britican, please change to channel 69. Over”
Alchemy: “Britican this is Alchemy changing to channel 69. Over”
(Both boats change to channel 69)
Britican: “Alchemy this is Britican. Over”
Alchemy: “Britican this is Alchemy. Over”
Britican: Say message and end with “Over”
Alchemy: Say message and end with “Over”
(Both repeat back and forth until the conversation is over)
Britican: Communicate the last message and when done, say “Out”
Alchemy: Communicate the last message and when done, say “Out”
How To Make A VHF Radio Call Deviations
Now, above is the basic outline of how to make a proper VHF call when trying to get in touch with another party such as a buddy boat, port authority or marina.
The reason that a boat name is said up to three times is to increase the chances that the person being called can hear their boat name and the boat name of the person calling. And often it’s the boat being called that might suggest a different channel to move to.
After the initial communication of saying both boat names three times, callers often drop down to saying the name of the boat once or not at all.
Once both parties change to different channels communications become less formal.
Furthermore, when cruisers are done talking they sometimes drop the ‘out’ and say ‘Britican going back to 68’. It’s just another way to say, ‘okay…I’m done talking and I’m going to go back to the main hailing channel.’
When listening to the Coastguard talk you’ll always hear them say the name of the boat they’re directing their message to and then the Coastguard name during every transmission.
For example, the Coastguard will say every time, ‘Britican, Solent Coastguard, (message), over.’
Cruisers, on the other hand, drop the formalities after the initial connection is made and often talk as if they’re on a telephone.
Our #1 Tip For Using the VHF Radio?VHF Tip: Did you know that 'over and out' is NEVER the correct terminology when talking on the VHF radio? 'Over' means, over to you and 'out' means I'm hanging up. You can't do both at the same time!Click To Tweet
Get The Guide On How To Make A VHF Radio Call
After my husband and I decided to sell everything we own, buy a sailboat and sail around the world, I had to conquer my VHF fears. I had to overcome my anxiety of pronouncing something wrong, saying ‘over’ when I should have said ‘out’ and on a more important note; I had to learn how to use the VHF in the case of an emergency.
VHF Radio Broadcasts was created to help people like me to get familiar with what to say, how to say it and what to do if an emergency does occur. Filled with examples, checklists and fill in the blank templates, this guide can be given to any crew member for general help on how to make a ship-to-ship call or how to handle an emergency or safety broadcast.
10 Reasons You’ll Need To Make A VHF Call
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