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Marine VHF radio for kayak fishing


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I'm getting well into my sea kayak fishing and am thing of getting a handheld vhf radio as a safety precaution and to receive weather / conditions alerts. I do not want to speak to other vessels but simply have it safety.

I know I need to register the radio with Ofcom. I THINK I don't need to do a course as I don't wish to speak with other vessels but I may be wrong in that.

Can anyone confirm this? Also, could anyone recommend a suitable handheld vhf unit?

TIA.

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5 minutes ago, Big Al said:

I'm getting well into my sea kayak fishing and am thing of getting a handheld vhf radio as a safety precaution and to receive weather / conditions alerts. I do not want to speak to other vessels but simply have it safety.

I know I need to register the radio with Ofcom. I THINK I don't need to do a course as I don't wish to speak with other vessels but I may be wrong in that.

Can anyone confirm this? Also, could anyone recommend a suitable handheld vhf unit?

TIA.

Officially to use it you need licence but no one is going to argue in an emergency.

Local course cost me £40 FOR CERTIFICATE.

You can only register with ofcom once you have the certificate.

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1 minute ago, Stonepark said:

Officially to use it you need licence but no one is going to argue in an emergency.

Local course cost me £40 FOR CERTIFICATE.

You can only register with ofcom once you have the certificate.

£40 sounds pretty reasonable for the full usage. How did you get onto a course?

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Just now, Big Al said:

£40 sounds pretty reasonable for the full usage. How did you get onto a course?

Search for your Local RYA VHF marine Course, local yaucht club will know and some times also run them.

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23 minutes ago, Stonepark said:

Officially to use it you need licence but no one is going to argue in an emergency.

Local course cost me £40 FOR CERTIFICATE.

You can only register with ofcom once you have the certificate.

Not quite correct nowadays. I recently registered with Ofcom and I don't have a certificate. I did it online and they gave me my boat ID and MMSI number there and then.

Edited by walshie
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1 minute ago, walshie said:

Not quite correct nowadays. I recently registered with Ofcom and I don't have a certificate. I did it online and they gave me my boat ID and MMSI number there and then.

Times are achanging........

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13 minutes ago, walshie said:

Not quite correct nowadays. I recently registered with Ofcom and I don't have a certificate. I did it online and they gave me my boat ID and MMSI number there and then.

If I do this, am I legal to use it for emergency messages to the coastguard and listen to weather alerts?

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7 minutes ago, Big Al said:

If I do this, am I legal to use it for emergency messages to the coastguard and listen to weather alerts?

Yes. You'll need to get a Ship Portable Radio Licence which will register the radio rather than a Ship's Radio Licence that registers it to a specific vessel. 

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Just now, walshie said:

Yes. You'll need to get a Ship Portable Radio Licence which will register the radio rather than a Ship's Radio Licence that registers it to a specific vessel. 

Brilliant. Thanks Walshie.

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2 minutes ago, Big Al said:

Brilliant. Thanks Walshie.

It might be worth doing the basic competence course if you aren't familiar with how to use one. I didn't as i have radio experience from other sources. 

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1 minute ago, walshie said:

It might be worth doing the basic competence course if you aren't familiar with how to use one. I didn't as i have radio experience from other sources. 

👍

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If it helps I go kayak fishing and had the same dilemma as yourself and opted for a burner phone bought from a cash converter shop for £15 and put it a PAUG sim so if it gets fishy or lost it's no chew and you can also speak to your mate etc as you don't want to be going out on your own as its a far better laugh to share the day out. That's we have 2 barrels on our shotgun as the 2nd acts as an emergency/mate/friend just in case we miss on the 1st shot; right?

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1 hour ago, Shearwater said:

If it helps I go kayak fishing and had the same dilemma as yourself and opted for a burner phone bought from a cash converter shop for £15 and put it a PAUG sim so if it gets fishy or lost it's no chew and you can also speak to your mate etc as you don't want to be going out on your own as its a far better laugh to share the day out. That's we have 2 barrels on our shotgun as the 2nd acts as an emergency/mate/friend just in case we miss on the 1st shot; right?

Thanks Shearwater - tbh that is what we have been doing (keeping them in waterproof cases) but a couple of places we fish have no phone reception ( one is around the seaward side of an island,  and the other is almost anywhere in Donegal!). Hence the thoughts turning to handheld vhf radio. 

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I am not looking for any incoming flack for my post and wont reply. You can purchase from the evil bay/amazon, Baofeng multi channel transceivers from £20.00 delivered. They are perfectly legal to own and listen in on. You can programme them via your computer to set all the frequencies you wish including the coast guard emergency frequency etc etc. Several of my pals have them for emergency use only. One of my pals called the coast guard recently as he saw a boat in trouble, the lifeboat was launched and carried out a rescue. Incidentally he is a registered Ham operative but this does not have any bearing on the situation, he advised me to carry one when ever hunting or fishing. All the preppers in the states carry them as when you are in a no signal area, any port in a storm. I would say the same applies here, in an emergency and no phone signal, no one is going to take you to task for using one If you think life is threatened, use it if you have it. Any method to effect a rescue/save a life is valid. Along side of your phone/radio get the app what3words if you have a phone signal,it will pin point your location to about 3 yards any where in the world.

There are lots of tutorials on youtube how to use them. Do not use the transmit buttons unless you are qualified or life is threatened. I cannot emphasise this enough.

Just in the last few months a moron has been using several of these transceivers to disrupt shipping movements in the Southampton water area, the GPO nailed him and he has had his gear confiscated and fined.

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9 hours ago, Flyboy1950 said:

I am not looking for any incoming flack for my post and wont reply. You can purchase from the evil bay/amazon, Baofeng multi channel transceivers from £20.00 delivered. They are perfectly legal to own and listen in on. You can programme them via your computer to set all the frequencies you wish including the coast guard emergency frequency etc etc. Several of my pals have them for emergency use only. One of my pals called the coast guard recently as he saw a boat in trouble, the lifeboat was launched and carried out a rescue. Incidentally he is a registered Ham operative but this does not have any bearing on the situation, he advised me to carry one when ever hunting or fishing. All the preppers in the states carry them as when you are in a no signal area, any port in a storm. I would say the same applies here, in an emergency and no phone signal, no one is going to take you to task for using one If you think life is threatened, use it if you have it. Any method to effect a rescue/save a life is valid. Along side of your phone/radio get the app what3words if you have a phone signal,it will pin point your location to about 3 yards any where in the world.

There are lots of tutorials on youtube how to use them. Do not use the transmit buttons unless you are qualified or life is threatened. I cannot emphasise this enough.

Just in the last few months a moron has been using several of these transceivers to disrupt shipping movements in the Southampton water area, the GPO nailed him and he has had his gear confiscated and fined.

I searched for some of the YouTube tutorials. Sounds like a different language!

It does sound like a great compromise but I'll have to do my homework first.

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Do the course and get the licence It's absolutely worth doing. I did mine and am glad I did. You don't need a licence to use a VHF in an emergency, that's true. You do still need a licence to do anything else - technically, that would include doing a radio test at the start of the session, Panpans, securitay, asking for weather/tide updates etc. You learn a shedload of stuff you didn't even know you didn't know, but come out being glad you did! apart from anything it helps you convey an emergency message in a clear, simple and easy to remember method. That makes you feel calmer and it makes planning a rescue easier and more effective for those who are coming to get you. 

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Can get a DSC radio under £200 that’s sends GPS location to CG in emergency! 
 

licence and MMSI is free an SRC means passing an exam in U.K. administered by Rya £60 course by Training centre £60 ish 

 

it’s not about the bit of paper it’s about having half a clue of what to do when the sheet hits the fan!!!

 

personally I value my life more than a Baofeng.... that why I have. A water proof, submersible, standard horizon DSC marine vhf.....

Edited by HDAV
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All the above advise covers most things but I will chime in on a couple of other things to think about.

have all your emergency supplies carried in/on your buoyancy aid and have a test whilst in the water that you can access them and use them whilst floating around in the water as these things are of no use strapped to the kayak in a dry bag if you are in the water or the kayak floats off without you on it! 
having a couple of day and night flares can be really useful for guiding in emergency services given you are such a small target on the sea. 
normally it’s not you that gets into trouble if you do everything right but you may come across others in trouble so be ready for that, there’s nothing like coming round the corner to see a sinking dingy with people in the water with no life jackets on to really make you think about these things,That’s  just one of the fun events that we used to come across. 
 

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11 minutes ago, rovercoupe said:

All the above advise covers most things but I will chime in on a couple of other things to think about.

have all your emergency supplies carried in/on your buoyancy aid and have a test whilst in the water that you can access them and use them whilst floating around in the water as these things are of no use strapped to the kayak in a dry bag if you are in the water or the kayak floats off without you on it! 
having a couple of day and night flares can be really useful for guiding in emergency services given you are such a small target on the sea. 
normally it’s not you that gets into trouble if you do everything right but you may come across others in trouble so be ready for that, there’s nothing like coming round the corner to see a sinking dingy with people in the water with no life jackets on to really make you think about these things,That’s  just one of the fun events that we used to come across. 
 

pyrotechnics and plastic aren't a great mix, but EDF's (Electronic Distress Flares) are excellent. I have one and it's always easily accessible. I'm not a big fan of having a lot on my PFD. the radio is, but then apart from that it's just a pair of pliers, folding safety knife (oh that I need to clean, thanks for reminding me!) and a whistle. too much bulk in the PFD means it's harder to get back into the yak should you get tipped out.

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