Re: More VHF Questions

From: Ken Poulton (
Date: Wed Apr 15 1998 - 11:27:06 PDT

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Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 11:27:06 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ken Poulton <>
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Subject: Re:  More VHF Questions
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> Still curious how the typical sailor on a typical day uses their VHF. Do
> you power it up only during known emergencies?

I only turn it on for testing (nearly always on shore) and in emergencies.
And in emergencies, only while down in the water or on the shore.
This is because I have to remove it from the outer bag and then hold it -
I have a leash, but no harness to wear it in a usable position.

> If no monitoring is typically the
> rule, is it feasible to monitor while sailing to assist?

It would require a headset. These are hold-button-to-talk units, which
takes a hand and you need it near your ear to hear it in windy conditions.

> Plus how about
> general communciation, is that really discouraged?

There are ~80 channels, and chatter is allowed on many.

> In general, how would
> you rate the effectiveness of the communciation among the VHF community on
> a typical day, and also during a rescue?

Most days, I know of no casual windsurfing use. There have been few
rescues where the rescuee had a VHF radio. But when we had the
radio, there was no searching, they just came right to us. Most other
rescues have taken 1-3 hours of searching *after* the 45 minutes travel

> One last question, any VHF radios
> with battery life indicators?


Ken Poulton

"Direct experience is best. The man who carries a cat home by the
tail gains information that will be useful all his life and will not
grow dim in his memory." -- Mark Twain

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