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Old 06-09-2020, 01:58 AM
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I watch a lot of boat channels on you tube, mainly as i cant sail i find it fantastic to see these people sailing off around the world.

Now i realise the old system of radio to telephone communications is finished with and every one has a sat phone as such digital life.

But its almost impossible to see a boat with a HF rig on board, they all have marine vhf but only for local habour master use. I never see anyone with a hf rig and antennaset up.

i would have thought for boat long range comms it would still be of value, especially for emergancy use as well as general comms too

why is that?
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Old 06-09-2020, 03:36 AM
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1) Many sailors go sailing to get away from modern communications.
2) For ultimate safety-rescue signalling, nothing beats the effectiveness and simplicity of an EPIRB.
3) Sailboats get hit by lightning occasionally. Especially if you bond the mast or a high antenna with the water plane. So if you get an HF radio, you need to ground it, and this means in my experience, you will get hit by lightning once a year, which will likely destroy your HF rig you just dropped 5 grand on. I suggest not ground bonding personal sailboats. Just put an air gap ground in place that will provide personal safety if lightning hits, but not increase the possibility of a strike like a grounded boat will.
4) You need a HAM license. People are lazy. Who wants to spend all that time figuring out the radio and who you can talk to and when?
5) Who do you really want to talk to onshore when you are on the ocean? Can it wait till you get to a WIFI or cell signal?
6) The ocean has a lot more boats on it than it used to. So if you just need a little help, a VHF might still raise someone.
7) Like you say, not many carry a HAM rig, so who are you going to talk to?
8) If you can afford an ocean cruising sailboat, you can afford a Sat phone. (Might be cheaper than a HAM rig that gets destroyed by lightning every year. ).
9) Installed electrical systems are an ongoing maintenance headache. galvanic corrosion is a harsh mistress.
10) Some boaters do install an SSB on the mast backstay. At least they used to. Not sure these days.

VHF works for general comms, EPIRB gives you rescue comms.
I guess getting weather charts across an HF modem would still be useful. But you can get a weather report on any $100 shortwave receiver. since it receives only, needs no license.


Times change. Not long ago, every boat had a LORAN C on it.
And a direction finding radio.

Before that, everyone had a Sextant and knew how to use it.
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:16 AM
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Some people still use Winlink for their HF e-mail.
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Old 06-09-2020, 09:06 AM
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Old 06-09-2020, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgerowpete View Post
I watch a lot of boat channels on you tube, mainly as i cant sail i find it fantastic to see these people sailing off around the world.
Now i realise the old system of radio to telephone communications is finished with and every one has a sat phone as such digital life.
But its almost impossible to see a boat with a HF rig on board, they all have marine vhf but only for local habour master use. I never see anyone with a hf rig and antennaset up.
i would have thought for boat long range comms it would still be of value, especially for emergancy use as well as general comms too
why is that?
Most Youtubers are not "sailing". They live on their boat going from one marina/anchorage to the next, all with wi-fi/cell available. Most never lose sight of land for more than a day or two.
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Old 06-09-2020, 03:45 PM
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thats extreamly true Deanq. i have spent ages, just start watching a new channel to find its just a boat repair rebuild channel, five ten, thirty years in the repairs of a boat seems reasonable, lol. one boat channel this guy spent 30 years building his boat to sail around the world and only ever used it in fresh water, it then started rotting in front of him and another idiot brought it to repair it.

some are out there like you say, day sailing and working instagram or facebook to afford to do so. theres a few out there that are normal people just out there enjoying life on the water. everyone seams to be based in or around the caribian, but i have found a few real hard core saliors which are not frightend of getting out in a rough sea
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Old 06-09-2020, 03:49 PM
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never realised untill i clicked on the video, this is Patric and his wife, they are both extreamly ill in south africa with corona virus, worst part is their insurance has binned them and theres a lot of crowd funding to help them pay for their medial fees
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgerowpete View Post
It's almost impossible to see a boat with a HF rig on board, they all have marine vhf but only for local harbor master use. I never see anyone with a hf rig and antenna set up.

i would have thought for boat long range comms it would still be of value, especially for emergency use as well as general comms too
Most long-range sailors have HF rigs, not only to pass messages to shore stations, but also to talk to other sailors when the hours are passing too slowly. Of course there are still weather reports and Coast Guard, but almost all of that is now done by GMDS.

In the U.S., the license for HF requires that there already be a VHF transceiver on board, so you'll always see more VHF than HF radios.
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