Boat and Land Communication

Submitted: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 08:47
ThreadID: 102471 Views:1626 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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I'm travelling around oz next year and taking a dinghy and 9 yr old son. What would be the best radio communication options. I was thinking handheld unit in boat with base unit in vehicle plus another handheld unit for the wife. She would think I'm the handheld unit!! Don't want to compromise safety ad was hoping this forum would be a great place to start my inquiry. Cheers
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Reply By: Jason – Perth - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 09:06

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 09:06
G'day Jagger,
I think what you are proposing for local (near camp) is good. I would get a strong zip lock clear bag for the handheld in the dingy. It will protect it from water splashes and give you time to retrieve it if it goes over the side. If your going to be remote, hire a sat phone incase you need emergency assistance and an EPIRB for the dingy. Legislation may require you to have the EPIRB anyway but I'm not a boaty so not sure.
Cheers
Jason
AnswerID: 512072

Reply By: Echucan Bob - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:23

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 10:23
Jagger

Ha ha - a hand held for the handbrake.

There may be some boating regulations depending on how far off shore you will be going. It varies from state to state. Mostly, if you are more than two miles off shore you need a marine radio. Unsurprisingly, the NT is open slather where you don't need a license or even to register your boat.

Regulations aside, even a low power UHF has plenty of range across water. I agree with your proposed setup of a base unit in the car and a handheld for the boat and the leader of the opposition. You can pick up 5W handhelds for $100 (Wouxan) or even less (Baofeng).

Bob
AnswerID: 512079

Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 12:42

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 12:42
hi
there used to be an old saying where communication was involved
telegraph/telegram/tell a woman the later was always more reliable and effective lol

in respect to zip bags they are only good if the user makes absolute sure that the zip is pressed together all the way across leave one minute section unzipped and water will find its way in
as happened when I lent my epirb to my son-inlaw got back a very wet epirb after he rolled the jet ski and the so called water proof zip lock bag and epirb went into the salt water

in respect to the two mile off shore ruling
I think that is a joke because if your anchor or engine fails and the wind is blowing 2 mile can very quickly become several km's away without any decent form of communication
that rule should be scrapped and replaced with
if you get in a boat and leave the shore for no matter what distance it should have a level of communicative equipmt /life jackets etc and flares on board that can be used no matter what the distance of shore is

cheers
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FollowupID: 790377

Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11:25

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 11:25
One addition to what Jason and Bob have said already.

If your radio has an external speaker socket then I suggest that you get an external speaker for the car. When you are out in the boat the speaker can be plugged into the radio and placed on the roof of the car giving Mum an easier job monitoring it instead of carrying a hand held around all the time. Two hands to get your dinner ready!!!!! But that can annoy others within earshot.

Handheld to base has much more range possibilities than handheld to handheld.

Phil
AnswerID: 512086

Reply By: Member-George (WA) - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 12:11

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 12:11
Hi Jagger, just a couple of questions, relevant to your plans.
Are you visiting from overseas or are you from Aus ?
A UHF radio is fine for short distances, 5-15 km, depending on terrain.
If you intend to travel off the bitumen and into remote areas then a UHF radio is useless to you, well almost.
You will need either a SAT Phone or a HF radio.
Both of these can be hired.
In that case I would also strongly recommend that you become a member of VKS-737 National 4WD Radio Network.
If you do get into trouble in a remote area or any area for that matter, You will be able to request assistance 24/7.
I would be happy to provide more info if required. Cheers
AnswerID: 512088

Follow Up By: Jagger - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 15:09

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 15:09
thanks George...Im on to it now
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Reply By: garry r - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 16:17

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 16:17
I have the main unit in the vechile and also use two hand helds. If i go walkabouts doing my photography the missus can still reach me and vice versa. If i get back to the vechile and she is missing , i know that she has the other hand held. We can always contact each other on a preset frequency. If you are going on water a epirb would be handy as i own a plb - Epirb for water as they float and a plb for land but you could use a epirb for land. The epirb is bigger and baulky as they need to float whereas the plb is small and compact. If you intend to use a plb or handheld radio in your dingy, place them in a plastic bag but also put them into a floatable container. Its no go if they go to the bottom of the lake etc
Good luck
AnswerID: 512103

Reply By: gbc - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 19:28

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 19:28
A VHF handheld in a boat will help you log on with Vmr/coastguard, call someone other than your wife when on the water, transmit your position in an emergency (optional), receive weather updates, direct the rescue boat to your position, access the marine repeater system and numerous other boring maritime operations. They are also generally waterproof, mine even floats, has an emergency strobe light and makes cups of tea. It was about $130 (uniden 5w)
There is a reason why pretty much every serious boat on the planet carries a VHF. Whether or not you choose to buy two to speak with the mrs is your decision, but you should definitely have at least one on board with you if you are serious about not taking chances.


As stated an epirb should be carried in the car/boat as a matter of course in remote areas.

I would deem a handheld UHF as a 'nice to have', but not a serious form of marine Comms.
AnswerID: 512117

Follow Up By: dbish - Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 20:06

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 20:06
If you want to comunicate from boat to your camp, then you need 2 UHF radios. If you go VHF marine radio then its to be used from boat to boat or boat to registered land base, not legal to use from boat to camp. Legaly to use a marine VHF you are suposed to have done a AMC VHF radio operators course. Also noted someone mentioned Woxun H/H radios, great little unit from China & dual band VHF/UHF. Unfortunatly not legal to use in Australia, here in SA ACMA confiscated quite a few of them.
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FollowupID: 790427

Reply By: gbc - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 06:27

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 06:27
Sorry, I thought the bit where he said he 'didn't want to compromise his safety' was actually about 'not compromising his safety'. Obviously compromising the feelings of some labrat in Canberra who's trying to create a job for themselves is more important? Sorry.
You can get the mrocp (marine labrats radio proficiency certificate) course content online and do it yourself these days, or do it in a night session at the local VMR, then you'll have the certificate that says you can safely turn on and use a radio.
I did my base operator's license in 1988 when I did my class 4 master's license. Since that day during countless checks, not one official has ever asked if I have a radio license - serious stuff indeed.
So to sum up.
If my backside was in a tinny, floating out to sea, engine not working blah blah blah, I'd want an epirb and a handheld VHF to not 'compromise my safety'.
A handheld UHF is great for chatting with the mrs and asking what time the roast will be ready, but to rely solely on one as a safety device in a BOAT is turning your back on orthodox maritime safety systems.
AnswerID: 512138

Follow Up By: dbish - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 09:13

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 09:13
Hi gbc, I agree with your sentiments. the Wouxun dual band H/H is compact & a great unit, but the Chinese evidently havent submited it to Canberra & paid money to have it aproved, yet they are legal for a radio amature to use. What hapened here in SA was some one was using one & got dobed in & next thing there was inspectors all over the place. Yes i do carry an Epirb (marine one) & VHF handheld in my tinnie.
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FollowupID: 790459

Reply By: member - mazcan - Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 18:06

Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 18:06
hi jagger
also don't know whether its a standard set of rules for all boaties in the whole of Australia
but here in western Australia
i'm pretty sure you have to have and pass a test and obtain a skippers license to take a boat out on the ocean
which also includes the boat to be in a seaworthy condition and equipt with marine radio/flares/life jackets/epirp /an approved anchor /rope and/or chain
all in good and working condition
some one will correct me if i'm wrong
cheers
AnswerID: 512174

Follow Up By: Jagger - Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 15:08

Monday, Jun 03, 2013 at 15:08
cheers for the info mazcan appreciate it
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