Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Do You Have VHF Onboard ? Would You Like Marinas To Use It ?

Having recently struggled to get a dongle signal whilst cruising, so I could look up the phone number of a Marina we would were passing to inquire about availability of services, it occurred to me how bloody useful it would be if I could actually get some use out of the VHF equipment that I carry on board our narrowboat.

Like a lot of boaters these days, we carry VHF for the Thames tidal and other selected waterways where there are commercial vessels.

Most of the time it sits brooding in the corner.

We often need to contact marinas and boatyards to see if they have any visitor moorings, if their pump-out is working, etc.

I just thought it would be good if more marinas and boatyards would buy themselves a cheap base station and get a licence for Ch.M.
 A fixed set these days can be bought for £100 or less and the Channel M licence costs £75 per annum. As its not an international channel, the users don't need to undergo any test or certification.

Some of the MDL marinas on the Thames have this facility (probably because they are often dealing with GRP cruisers that go down the estuary) and it seems to work quite well.

It would certainly save that long slog off the canal into the marina basin, only to reach the services berth to find an out of order sign.

Or to ask about the price of their diesel

Or to ask where they expect me to moor on the umpteen finger pontoons around me ?

and of course, it might stop my VHF gathering dust..

1 comment:

  1. We'd consider one. Doing a 5 mile backwards round trip tomorrow because fazeley marina was closed for the day when we went through!


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