As a rough guide, your charter boat VHF has a range of about 10 miles IF not obstructed by high hills.

How to Use VHF

• Always listen before you start transmitting to ascertain a clear channel. If others are talking, wait until they're finished.
• Before calling another vessel on a hailing frequency, be sure in advance that you have a free working channel available to
switch to.
• Press the handle and state 1-3 times in succession the name of the boat or station you are calling,
• Follow by stating the name of your boat, then "Over."
• Wait for a reply. If you do not get a reply within 15/20 seconds, you may try a second and third time. If no response, try
again later, but do not stay on Ch 16 calling endlessly.
• Once your party replies, you instruct him/her to switch to a working channel and clear out of channel 16.


Vessel Moondance: "Windstar, Windstar, Windstar ... this is Moondance"
Vessel Windstar: "Moondance, this is Windstar, over"
Vessel Moondance: "Windstar, switch to channel 68 (six eight), over"
Vessel Windstar: "Six eight over"
Vessel Windstar (on Ch.68): "Moondance, this is Windstar"
Vessel Moondance: "Windstar, bla bla bla... ."
When finished:
Vessel Moondance: "Moodance out, back to 16"
If you do not receive any answer, repeat your call every 2 minutes.
Sending a Distress Call
You may only have a very short time to send a distress call. Here is the procedure in this order:
• Tune VHF to channel 16.
• Press the handle and repeat the word "MAYDAY" 3 times.
o use "Pan Pan" (pronounce PAHNN PAHNN), if not a life-threatening situation
• "This is (name of boat )" – Repeat boat name 3 times.
• Describe your boat
o 40-foot Moorings Catamaran, white hull, 8 persons aboard
• Indicate the nature of distress (sinking, fire, etc.)
• Give position by latitude and longitude or by bearing and distance to a
well-known landmark or navigational aid, or in any terms that will assist
a responding station in locating the vessel in distress.
• Indicate the kind of assistance desired.
• End with “over”.

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