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Started by alantani, December 08, 2008, 06:39:51 PM

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Much good info has been posted here, but I would like to add a few more tidbits.

All marine radios - mounted or handheld are pre-programmed with all the approved channels in them. CAVEAT: after you charge the battery or mount it on the boat, program it for your use, i.e., set it for USA, Canada, or International depending on where you live and go boating. If you don't, channels may not be on the correct frequency of the same number.
If you have GPS, AIS built in, so much the better. Any reliable brand of radio is better than no radio.
Learn the proper procedures - it is NOT CB radio.
Leave it set to monitor Channel 16 either solely or in a dual or triple watch mode.  This IS the international distress and calling channel. After you make contact, switch to a "working" channel. There is a list in the radio manual of what is approved for your use: com'l, non com'l, USCG only, bridges, etc.

PFD's - Inflatable pfd's come in many colors when all buttoned up ready for use, but they are either yellow or orange when inflated.
If you can't read the USCG-required labeling inside a pfd, it's time to retire that unit and get a new one.
If you think it's easy to put on a pfd in the water, try it some time especially when the water is cold and choppy with swells.

ABOVE ALL ELSE - Take an approved boating safety course from the USCG Auxiliary, US Power Squadron, or Boat US. Even the "old salts" I have taught all said they learned worthwhile stuff.

There is much more to be aware of, just ask.