Marine Radio - Short Range VHF

By Mike Clift | May 7, 2018

The Basics

VHF stands for “Very High Frequency”. This means that marine VHF radios operate within a range between 156 and 162 MHz, or megahertz. Today’s VHF radios are very much more advanced than those manufactured in previous times. They include features which allow you transmit digital distress signals or programme specific stations by means of DSC, or digital selective calling.

A Versatile Piece of Equipment

A VHF marine radio is designed to enable dependable communication whenever you are out on the water. They can be used from boat to boat and ship to shore. You can also use VHF marine radios for tasks such harbour calls and they are invaluable in search and rescue operations.

Range & Power

VHF communication is less subject to atmospheric interference. Other positive features of VHF communication include excellent sound quality and small, low cost antennas. One disadvantage of VHF, however, is that is has a relatively short range. VHF is basically a line of sight radio and this means that the transmitting and receiving antennas of radio sets must be able to see each other in order for effective communication to take place.

Safety Advice & Features

Technically speaking, a VHF marine radio should be carried on all sea going vessels, from small boats to large ships. It is an important safety tool and should also be carried on rivers, lakes and all navigable waterways.

Some useful VHF marine radio features include:-

  • Weather Alerts.
  • Waterproofing.
  • Flash & Float.
  • Digital Selective Calling.
  • USB Charging.

Training Courses

Seahaven Maritime Academy, based at The Port of Newhaven in East Sussex is the ideal place to learn about short range, VHF marine radio. Our one-day RYA SRC/VHF Radio course teaches the basics of VHF radio operation, the correct frequencies (channels) to be used and distress, emergency and medical assistance procedures.

Click here to read more about marine short range radio and book yourself a place on our RYA Marine Radio Short Range/VHF Certificate Course.

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About The Author

Mike Clift

Mike is a Director at Seahaven Maritime Academy. He has many years of professional experience within the Maritime Industry and has an excellent reputation for teaching. He has a real care for the training process and is dedicated to providing his students with a positive and meaningful training experience.

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