How to Sail a Sailboat : How to Call an SOS on a Sailboat

How to Sail a Sailboat : How to Call an SOS on a Sailboat


Okay, moved it. Once you get to bigger boats,
most of them come with radios. And the importance of radios, is the Coast Guard will monitor
a–channel sixteen, and that’s where all the boats turn their radios–okay, let’s start
this over again. That’s okay. When you get to larger boats, such as the size of this
boat, they all have built-in radios. And the reason the radio is important, is the Coast
Guard, and all boats will monitor channel sixteen. So if there is ever any–you have
an emergency, or somebody else in the vicinity has an emergency, they’ll broadcast on sixteen,
and you can help them, or the Coast Guard will monitor and they’ll come and offer assistance.
So this radio that we have in this boat is a very simple, standard radio. We always have
it set to channel sixteen, which it is done right now. And to test the volume, most of
the radios have a button that will switch to the weather channel. So I can press weather,
and I can use this to set my volume. So use the radio to get the current weather forecast
for NOAA and you’ll get the forecast, you’ll get current winds, you’ll get the sea conditions
for your area. The other thing that you can monitor on these radios is channel fourteen,
in a bay such as San Francisco Bay, which is the traffic channel. And when you do make
a call to the Coast Guard, let’s say you called them on channel sixteen, they will send you
to a different frequency so that a long, ongoing conversation doesn’t tie up channel sixteen.
Sometimes it’s seventy-two, sometimes it’s twenty-two. So when you have to make a call,
let’s say you need to call the Coast Guard, or you want to call one of the other boats–your
friends are out sailing with you. You pick up the microphone, and there’s a button on
the microphone for pressing to talk. So you would press the button down, and then you
say the name of the boat or the Coast Guard that you’re calling. Say “U.S. Coast Guard,
U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard. This is vessel…” and then you say your name three
times. This boat is Santorini, so you would say Santorini, and then your request, or you
can say “over.” So if we were going to call our–the Coast Guard, press the button, “U.S.
Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Coast Guard. This is vessel Santorini, Santorini,
Santorini.” And you stop and you wait, and you give them enough time to respond back
to you. And if you don’t hear from them, then you allow about a minute, and you try them
again, and you only want to try one or two times, and then just give up. Especially if
you’re calling one of your friends in a neighboring boat. You just don’t want to keep bugging
everybody on channel sixteen. So that’s basic radio operations, very simple. Just make sure
you press down the button, and you speak very clear, and the Coast Guard, if you are calling
them, they’ll come back and ask you a series of questions. Again, you need to know where
you are, what your situation is, what’s your request.

8 thoughts on “How to Sail a Sailboat : How to Call an SOS on a Sailboat

  1. USCG monitors 16 in SoCal, so I don't know if that comment is maybe valid for another specific region. Radio operations are the most overlooked / unaddressed topics in cruising and sailing courses.

  2. @MIRCWOOD Ch 16 is a universal channel. You have one radio and it is tuned to Ch 16. You can call your friend and then you arrange another channel then you can talk. Otherwise, you should have two radios one is fixed on 16 and the other is everything else. Since that wouldn't be practical, everyone use the Ch16 to make contact and carry over to another channel because you can't chit chat on Ch 16.

  3. 3min10sec. You dont just give up a call !! You say "nothing heard from Vessel/coastguard. Santorini clear" and "standing by" if you are going to continue monitoring the channel. This way other stations know that the frequency is clear. She also didnt mention the Silence Periods. 3mins at the top and bottom of the hour to allow weaker signals to get through in an emergency. This is far from expert knowledge and there are so many features that NoONE should try and learn VHF from a vid like this.

  4. Thanks for the effort. This is terrible instruction in VHF operation. If you have to make a call to the Coast Guard you don't give up or wait one minute. Yes, calling your friends on ch16 over and over is really annoying to everyone. Want to see how to send a proper SOS? Check out towboat911's postings.

  5. Thanks for the effort. This is terrible instruction in VHF operation. If you have to make a call to the Coast Guard you don't give up or wait one minute. Yes, calling your friends on ch16 over and over is really annoying to everyone. Want to see how to send a proper SOS? Check out towboat911's postings. This young man did a great job.

  6. @morse778 : Nonsense. The Coast Guard always monitors 16. 16 is the international hailing and distress frequency. DSC is valuable because it automates distress calls, ship to ship calls, vessel ID and position reporting.

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