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I'm planning a family trip with some friends (Fishing Bear) to the Southport area and, naturally, the Bear and I will have to get out on the water. As we were talking about the plans, we reminded each other to leave a float plan with our respective brides before we headed out. In an effort to simplify the effort, we found the USCG Float Plan (Millenium Edition) at

http://sioscuba.ucsd.edu/docs/USCGFloatPlan-3.pdf

This form is super easy to use and provides good information for your whereabouts during your fishing trip. I leave this info with my wife for something as simple as a trip to Shearon Harris (I use the same plan for trips to local lakes).

My question is this ... how many of you use VHF radios while on the water? I fish local lakes and inshore at the coast so I'm not sure a radio would be a good addition to my bag-o-stuff to keep in my kayak. Your opinions are welcomed!

Kinsey
 

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I can't help ya much outside the 2-meter and 70-cm Amateur bands. ;)
I can help ya put a j-pole antenna on your 'yak, though, if you want more gain than a rubber duck.

Lefty
(slow-code, but still know-code)
.-- ....- -.- .--- -..
 

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Safety, safety, safety

I agree with Wellcraft, I use a small handheld Uniden. I have spent most of my adult life in and around the water (career Navy and after retirement). You may never need it for an emergency, but they sure are nice to set the severe weather alert on. A summer thunder boomer can turn a nice day of fishing into one of life's experiences, or worse - your last experience. Spend the $100 and get a good waterproof hand held.
 

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First, Lefty W4KJD?

Second, FYI there's a pretty decent float flan form on this site if anyone's interested. http://www.ncangler.com/forums/floatplan.php

Third, I admit that my recent water excursions have been limited to brown water, meaning I can see the land no matter where I am, when I go out. I have always taken a cell phone and again in the areas that I frequent, I always have a signal and I take the 12v charger w/ me. Why do I need a VHF?

Thanks,
Devil's Advocate
 

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two main reasons for "boaters" to have a vhf

1. To be in direct contact with coastal services (i.e. Coast guard, Marine Patrol) etc... cell phones are great but do not provide quick response time that a VHF can. Time ='s saved lives or can help prevent/contain disasters (i.e. fuel, oil spills due to groundings, struck objects by a vessel) etc...

2. Put's a VHF operator in direct contact with other vessels (i.e. aid or assist), Boater A requesting help immediately may not have the cell phone #'s for boater B, C, D, etc....


What's funny but not really funny, is a story I heard a long time ago that a boater had installed a CB radio on his boat, which wasnt too uncommon a while ago (pre-cell phone era), long story short, the person was stuck in bad weather, took on water, boat sank out from under him. He tried in vain to hail help on his CB and as you can imagine, his CB distress calls reached absolutely noone. If it wasnt for his family getting worried about him who knows what could've happend.

Also Cell phones and I'm goin out on a limb here, are not made for a marine envoirnment be it salt or fresh water. I'm sure there are "weather resistant" phones, and I'm willing to bet probably far and few between "water-proof" cell phones, so one dip in the drink and I would assume there went the sole means of communication if that's all someone takes with them. I know first hand that my Nokia cell phone didnt work after it fell out of my shirt pocket when I bent over the livewell to fetch a bait, I grab'd it before it fell to the bottom, but that's all it took.... never did get that phone to work after that.

Inshore a cell phone would work if you had to call home to let someone know you have a problem or you'll be late, and maybe to phone in a 911 call (i.e. report drowning, boat fire, boat ran up on a rocky bank etc....) and the response time could be fairly reasonable. But in Coastal and offhsore regions.. my opinion is VHF is the best means of communication for any emergency as it put's you in contact with vessels in your vicinity, with coast guard, and other agencies immediately and it works the other way as well putting some requiring assistance with you and others as well.
Good example of this is when I responed to a help call on CH 16 from a boater on Jordan lake that ran into the stump field and tore up his prop and lower unit on the north end of the lake, the coast gaurd Aux was in the south part of the lake near the dam, I was just north of the 64 bridge. I responded to the distressed vessel and said I would be there in 2 minutes to assist and notified the Coast Guard Aux guys I would standby until they arrived. Needless to say, all was ok, but I was able to respond quickest (2 minutes for my arrival v.s. CGAux time of 20 minutes). If it was a life threatining situation,..... who knows .

For on water communication, take a cell phone to call, but for reliable communication on the water, my opinion is VHF be it a handheld or hard mounted unit is absolutely mandatory. (I have two on my vessel).

:)
 

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OK, I think we've proven that your old morse-code wireless set is probably not the best choice for maritime equipment. It took nearly two months to get a response. :D

(It was kinda fun, though, talking to a guy in California using less power than many light bulbs.)

I hadn't realized that there was a formal maritime emergency-response resource on Jordan. That's good to know. It's also good to know that the "informal" response (help from other boaters) is often effective as well.

Lefty
 

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Wellcraft Dave said:
A good VHF handheld to have would be a waterproof Uniden
Hmm, I checked out your link and saw "JIS4 waterproof" and decided to see what that meant. As a kayak wannabe, I was a little disappointed, although it's probably appropriate for a lot of folks. (A submersible enclosure would probably help as well.)

WATERPROOF: JIS4
Uniden's UH075 radio is designed to meet the water proofing standard of JIS4.
This Means:
"...the unit is able to withstand a steady stream of water from a hose for 5
minutes without leakage..."
The UH075 will only meet this rating if fully assembled and all rubber seals
and bungs are well maintained and correctly fitted. This means that the
speaker microphone bung is inserted, and the battery pack and antenna
are attached and securely fastened.
This is NOT a rating that allows for the unit to be submersed.
 

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Aha, the magic word is "submersible". And it seems it only costs another $30-$50.
Lefty
 

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Aye, now ya see the beauty of advertising!
I have the Uniden 250 handheld, great unit, and I would think the unit I recommended would be fine for the yaker... There's definately lesser qaulity/cheaper and better qaulity/exspensive out there for sure.

Also must note, that it says that all gaskets this that and the other, Uniden is warranted for 3 yrs, so if somethin is gonna happen to it (i.e. water intrusion wise) plenty of time to have it repaired replaced under warranty "if" it happend to be a bad unit. For the most part, Unidens are put together nicely and I've personally used Uniden products both hard mount and handheld's on my last 4 boats and never had a issue with any of the units (total of 6 units, not including my present unit). Some took their share of salt spray especially the handhelds that I kept at the helm.

Subermisible is the key word, but you aint gonna transmit anything from underwater... would probably be to late anyway if it got to that point:eek:

Here's a source for info Lefty found: http://www.uniden.com.au/PDF/UH075.pdf#search='WATERPROOF%20JIS4'
 

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In a yak - I would think everything is subject to the possibility of being submerged or partially submerged. In a yak that doesn't mean "sunk", it's usually a temporary condition. So having a radio survive a swamping could be important. In a yak I'd prefer to have one that was certified for the 30 minutes underwater standard (JIS Grade 7).

Here's an example: http://www.icomamerica.com/products/marine/m32/
 
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