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Fixed vhf


Captain Sensible
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Most fixed VHF's will have their original vessel's MMSI number entered into the unit. Removing the number in order to add your own either requires sending the unit back to the manufacturer or simply isn't possible.

Might be quicker/simpler to buy new. Plus you'd have a warranty to rely on and peace of mind that the unit hasn't lead a hard life already.

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Even though I fit one in every boat I own, Im not so sure a fixed radio is worthwhile for everyone. I tend to push my boats hard which greatly reduces how long the radios Ive used (they get smashed, even icom). A hand held can kept in a soft case or throw bag etc. The range of a decent handheld for me is about 12km but my fixed loses reception at around 24km at the continental shelf. Traveling to the sea mounts I have no radio contact at all at around 50-70k offshore but can still sometimes get one bar on my phone!!!

If you have your phone and a buddy onboard who's likely to have a phone and also a handheld I would think you were pretty much covered from most of the UK waters. Venture to far offshore in the UK and you run the risk of being captured by French pirates and nobody will rescue you!!!!

By the way I do travel further than even my phone can reach and for that I have Garmin in reach for two way iridium communications and both an epirb (mandatory) as well as a plb. We also have the free service app with marine rescue where we simply log on as we leave any boat ramp which gives our full boat details and allows us to put things like how many onboard and eta home etc. This facility also allows for phone signal tracking, where our boat is picked up every 10 mins on the headquarters monitors showing our position. 

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19 minutes ago, JDP said:

Even though I fit one in every boat I own, Im not so sure a fixed radio is worthwhile for everyone. I tend to push my boats hard which greatly reduces how long the radios Ive used (they get smashed, even icom). A hand held can kept in a soft case or throw bag etc. The range of a decent handheld for me is about 12km but my fixed loses reception at around 24km at the continental shelf. Traveling to the sea mounts I have no radio contact at all at around 50-70k offshore but can still sometimes get one bar on my phone!!!

In the UK you will lose contact with the coastguard from the shore based stations in about 10 miles with a 5W handheld. With a 25W fixed VHF and a 3db antenna (a lot are 6db) then you can rely on good comms to the coast guard at 40 -45 miles. However, at anything over 30 miles out, then you are pretty much relying on another vessel responding to your mayday call, or another vessel providing a mayday relay.

In the last 2 years I have responded to direct Ch16 mayday calls for, a) an engine fire on a 30ft boat, b) ignorant gits running out of fuel twice at 20 miles out !, c) a fouled prop on a shaft drive, and d) this is the scariest, a chap on his own having a stroke.  He made a full recovery, and we often see each other out on the wrecks.

Other times I have been called by the CG because they can see me on AIS and assume I am the nearest to respond to give a situation update.

Edited by GPSguru
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10 hours ago, GPSguru said:

In the UK you will lose contact with the coastguard from the shore based stations in about 10 miles with a 5W handheld. With a 25W fixed VHF and a 3db antenna (a lot are 6db) then you can rely on good comms to the coast guard at 40 -45 miles. However, at anything over 30 miles out, then you are pretty much relying on another vessel responding to your mayday call, or another vessel providing a mayday relay.

In the last 2 years I have responded to direct Ch16 mayday calls for, a) an engine fire on a 30ft boat, b) ignorant gits running out of fuel twice at 20 miles out !, c) a fouled prop on a shaft drive, and d) this is the scariest, a chap on his own having a stroke.  He made a full recovery, and we often see each other out on the wrecks.

Other times I have been called by the CG because they can see me on AIS and assume I am the nearest to respond to give a situation update.

Sounds familiar… I’ve got AIS and when fishing out of Cardiff I’ve been called up to tow in idiots who run out of fuel…

Best one was being called up by coastguard to check out a paddle boarded who someone thoight was on trouble. Turned out he was on a long range paddle as was in the water as needed a poo…. Was fun relaying that to the coastguard 🤣🤣🤣

On a serious note, I’ve looked at 2nd hand units, is you’ve got a local dealer to wipe the MMSI it can be cost effective, if you have to pay postage and get Standard Horizon or Icom to do it it’s not really worth it 

However a fixed unit is very useful, keep your handheld as a spare 🙂 

Edited by Odyssey
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2 hours ago, Odyssey said:

Sounds familiar… I’ve got AIS and when fishing out of Cardiff I’ve been called up to tow in idiots who run out of fuel…

Best one was being called up by coastguard to check out a paddle boarded who someone thoight was on trouble. Turned out he was on a long range paddle as was in the water as needed a poo…. Was fun relaying that to the coastguard 🤣🤣🤣

On a serious note, I’ve looked at 2nd hand units, is you’ve got a local dealer to wipe the MMSI it can be cost effective, if you have to pay postage and get Standard Horizon or Icom to do it it’s not really worth it 

However a fixed unit is very useful, keep your handheld as a spare 🙂 

as i am not going to far out, i  am happy with mobile and hand held,  i am not brave anouf to go out of the solent, the boat i have would not be that good in bad weather but i can always fish up harbor

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Didn’t notice all these replies, had an offer of a Simrad RD68 with those you can link a couple of connections inside the head unit to bring up the mmsi edit option. It’s 10 years old and he wants a oner - where is that optimistic emoji. 

Following that I decided today I would buy new, £230 ish gets me a Standard Horizon GPS and £400 odd gets me a GPS/AIS version.

AIS would be nice to have but £400 sheets is quite a wallop. I’ve got a Dragonfly Pro 7 with Navionics but don’t think that links AIS as overlay.  

 

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