Using a VHF

  1. Unscrew the plug on top of radio and plug in the charger there.

    The symbol in the top right of the screen indicates charging: Three bars fully charged; two bars partly charged. One bar means radio needs charging. Charging will take several hours. FL is displayed when charging complete.

    Don’t charge the battery after every use: this is bad for the health of the battery.

  2. Tie the radio into the boat. Don’t keep it hung around your neck: it might you that falls overboard!
  3. Screw in the aerial.
  4. Switch the radio on with the button on the bottom right.
  5. There are two sets of channels. We use the International set indicated by the I in a box on the left of the screen. If this is not displayed, do a long press the CH button.
  6. The Hi/Low button controls the strength of the transmitted signal. If transmitting to another Longboat nearby, use low power. If transmitting over longer distances use Hi power.

    Low is displayed at the top left of the screen. Press Hi/Low button to change to Hi power: no message is displayed for Hi power.

  7. To adjust the volume, press the Vol/Sql button and then use the up and down buttons.
  8. Sql means Squelch. This is how sensitive the radio is to incoming signals. You want the radio to be as sensitive as possible to pick up weak signals but not so sensitive as to pick up background noise. Press the Vol/Sql button twice and then use the up and down button to make Sql as low as possible without the background noise.
  9. The up and down buttons cycle through the available channels. Ch 37 is used by safety boats at Beaumaris, the RAYC line staff and yachts, the BRC shore party and Longboats.

    Ch16 is the public emergency channel to call for assistance.

  10. Press the button on the side of the radio to transmit. TX will be displayed at the top left of the screen.

    Be concise and brief. There may be other radio users waiting to use the channel.

    Hold the radio a few inches from your mouth and speak normally. Give the names three times when calling up. End each transmission with Over. End the whole dialogue with Out


    “Shore party, shore party, shore party. This is Mabli, Mabli, Mabli. Over

    “Mabli. This is shore party. Receiving you. Over

    “Shore Party. Mabli will be returning to the slipway in five minutes Over.”

    “Mabli. Understood. Will meet you on the slipway. Out

  11. Do a radio check as or before you leave the slipway.

    “Shore party, shore party, shore party. This is Mabli, Mabli, Mabli. Over

    “Mabli. This is shore party. Receiving you Over

    “Shore Party. This is a radio check. Thank you. Out”

  12. To switch to Ch 16, press the 16 – C button. Ships and coastguard monitor this channel.

    To call for assistance, press button to transmit and say, for example:

    “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. This is rowing boat Menai, rowing boat Menai, rowing boat Menai. We are at the North East end of Puffin Island. The boat has filled with water. There are five rowers in the sea holding on to the boat. We require immediate assistance. The boat is coloured white. Over.”

  13. The channel buttons can be pressed accidentally. To lock the radio on to a channel such as 37, give the key button a long press and the key symbol is displayed in the top right of the screen. Give the key button another long press to unlock all the channel change buttons.
  14. 16 C button: A quick press switches to Channel 16. A long press switches to your favourite channel.

    To programme the key to your favourite channel: press key for three seconds. Channel number then flashes. Use up and down buttons to select your favourite channel such as 37. Press 16 C button again and the key is then programmed to channel 37 as well as channel 16.

  15. Our vhf’s are Icom-M23’s. There is more information in the radio manual.
  16. Learn the phonetic alphabet in case communication is difficult and you need to make a word, such as a boat name, clear.

The 26 code words in the NATO phonetic alphabet are assigned to the 26 letters of the Englishalphabet in alphabetical order as follows: Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliett, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-ray, Yankee, Zulu