A Boater's Guide to VHF and GMDSS

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9780071388023: A Boater's Guide to VHF and GMDSS

GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) and VHF (Very High Frequency) radiotelephone are integral components of the worldwide marine radio communications system. Nearly six million U.S. and Canadian recreational sail- and powerboats carry VHF radios. Endorsed by the U.S. Coast Guard and written by a navigation VHF-DSC radio trainer, this userfriendly guide gets boaters quickly up to speed on both analog and digital VHF radiotelephone usage. Its straightforward, nontechnical coverage, "Geek-speak" boxed definitions, quick reference chart, and more make it easy for readers to quickly master and get the most out of their radios.

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From the Back Cover:

The first complete, hands-on VHF guide for recreational boaters

The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) represents a complete overhaul of marine communications, which hadn't changed much since the Morse code system was instituted after the Titanic sank in 1912. VHF analog radio has long been essential for two-way communcation between boats or between a boat and a shore station within line-of-sight distance of one another. But GMDSS uses VHF radios fitted with digital selective calling (DSC), which allows automated radio calls. A VHF-DSC radio can selectively call another digital radio by call number, just as a telephone does, and in the case of distress, urgency, and safety calls, all vessels and coast stations within receiving distance are alerted; once programmed, the DSC radio will broadcast and repeat your digital ID, your position, and a Mayday message to rescue personnel.

Endorsed by the U.S. Coast Guard and written by a VHF-DSC radio trainer, A Boater's Guide to VHF and GMDSS is a user-friendly guide that gets recreational boaters quickly up to speed on using both analog and digital VHF radiotelephones. Think of it as your on-call radio resource, with step-by-step instructions, illustrations of what the radio displays will look like, and sample transmissions. Sue Fletcher's straightforward explanations are accompanied by highlighted tips, guides to radio "Geek-Speak," and a Quick Reference chart, so you'll easily master what you need to know about

  • Selecting and setting up a DSC or analog VHF system
  • VHF radio protocol, including radio regulations, transmission etiquette, and channel allocation
  • Using and getting the most out of your radio, including calls, weather, and port operations
  • A full explanation of GMDSS, including equipment requirements, EPIRBs, SARTs, and Navtex

"The U.S. GMDSS Task Force is pleased to endorse A Boater's Guide to VHF and GMDSS as a valuable aid throughout North America, especially for small-vessel operators, both to support the recommended training and for self-study purposes. It is important that all mariners understand the GMDSS."--from the foreword by Captain Jack Fuechsel, USCG (Retired), Director, U.S. GMDSS Task Force

About the Author:

Sue Fletcher is a navigation VHF-DSC radio teacher-assessor, a freelance nautical magazine writer, and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation. She is coauthor of the training guidelines for the U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boater GMDSS Awareness Course.

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