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I've got to get a new radio for my boat (a 4.75 Quintrex Top-Ender). The current one (a 27mhz) has died. I've been told I must get a VHF. Apparently you need to get and pay for a licence to be able to use a VHF radio.
All my boating is in estuaries and just outside. Note, since I've had the boat (10 years) I've never used the radio.
For my purposes will a 27mhz radio be sufficient?
Pete you also need to do a radio operator's course for a VHF.
If you ever called SOS on a radio I don't think that you would be ignored because you didn't have a licence.
You are better off with a VHF as the coast guard will continue to monitor the band.
Maritime NSW link about radios.
Even though I've done the MRCP course, I think Stuart has nailed it apart from the SOS bit [try Mayday Mayday Mayday for immediate life threatening situations or Pan Pan, Pan Pan, Pan Pan for "I'm in major sh1t, but not dying at the moment" - both will get a lot more attention than SOS]. If you need to use the radio in an emergency, get saved first, then worry about the legality of it afterwards.
Most of the course is on correct radio procedure so you know what the basic level of information is that they require to find you and any passengers on board - pretty intuitive stuff, although Base station radio operators seem to be quite anal about using the phonetic alphabet every chance they get, so it may be an idea to familiarise yourself with that as well - just so you know what they're talking about
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