VHF Radio Check from hired (no-name) kayak

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
tjaffey
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:08 pm
Has thanked: 6 times

VHF Radio Check from hired (no-name) kayak

Post by tjaffey »

I recently got my VHF SRC and my first radio. I'd like to test it out at sea, but don't yet have my own kayak.
I can rent a kayak on the local beach, but none of them are named.

How should I identify myself when asking for a radio check?

Chris Bolton
Posts: 3214
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:33 pm
Location: NW England
Has thanked: 39 times
Been thanked: 122 times

Re: VHF Radio Check from hired (no-name) kayak

Post by Chris Bolton »

You can use the call sign on your licence, but most paddlers just make up a name. Provided it's likely to be unique, not just "red kayak" it will be fine.

pathbrae
Posts: 447
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:42 pm
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 41 times

Re: VHF Radio Check from hired (no-name) kayak

Post by pathbrae »

"sea kayak jaffey" or "sea kayak TJ" would be absolutely fine.

Any of your paddling mates have a VHF? It's better practice to radio check with another "vessel" (one of your friends) than swamping CG with radio check requests.
So much sea - so little time to see it.

PlymouthDamo
Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:31 pm
Has thanked: 23 times
Been thanked: 55 times

Re: VHF Radio Check from hired (no-name) kayak

Post by PlymouthDamo »

"Kayak one" is a popular one and I like to use it as it's easy for the person you're talking to to comprehend. Only a small percentage of paddlers will have taken the trouble to name their kayaks or register the name with the coastguard via a CG66 form, but as you rarely hear kayakers talking to the coastguard, it's unlikely there's going to be any confusion about which kayak is talking.

And although it's against the rules to use a marine VHF onshore, this is a grey area with kayaks as they can float in 5cm of water. If I needed to test a radio but wasn't going out for a paddle , I'd just do it from near the coast within range of a coastguard repeater station. Providing you keep to protocols and don't make a nuisance of yourself, nobody will be any the wiser that you're on shore and won't care.

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 14047
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 14 times
Been thanked: 64 times

Re: VHF Radio Check from hired (no-name) kayak

Post by Jim »

PlymouthDamo wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 1:45 pm
"Kayak one" is a popular one and I like to use it as it's easy for the person you're talking to to comprehend. Only a small percentage of paddlers will have taken the trouble to name their kayaks or register the name with the coastguard via a CG66 form, but as you rarely hear kayakers talking to the coastguard, it's unlikely there's going to be any confusion about which kayak is talking.

And although it's against the rules to use a marine VHF onshore, this is a grey area with kayaks as they can float in 5cm of water. If I needed to test a radio but wasn't going out for a paddle , I'd just do it from near the coast within range of a coastguard repeater station. Providing you keep to protocols and don't make a nuisance of yourself, nobody will be any the wiser that you're on shore and won't care.
And if you paddling from a bay surrounded by cliffs and trying to call in at the start and end of the trip sometimes you need to climb a hill first to make the call at all, in fact CG prefer to hear that you are actually off the water rather than 100m out because you won't be able to make the call when you actually get to the beach, I once had them ask me to call again once I was actually off the water despite trying to explain this. It can be quite difficult giving clear explanations over radio.

Chris Bolton
Posts: 3214
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:33 pm
Location: NW England
Has thanked: 39 times
Been thanked: 122 times

Re: VHF Radio Check from hired (no-name) kayak

Post by Chris Bolton »

in fact CG prefer to hear that you are actually off the water rather than 100m out because you won't be able to make the call when you actually get to the beach
Yes, there are places where I know there's no VHF or phone reception on shore so I stay on the water, wait until somebody is on the beach and then call CG and tell them we've "finished the paddle". As Jim says, complex explanations don't work well.

Sean_soup
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 2:17 pm
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 22 times

Re: VHF Radio Check from hired (no-name) kayak

Post by Sean_soup »

If you're within range of one of their lookout stations, an alternative to CG for a radio check might be to give the NCI a shout (on channel 65).

https://www.nci.org.uk/

Post Reply