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VHF Channel 9 as working channel?

Old 08-22-2011, 10:12 AM
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Default VHF Channel 9 as working channel?

Yesterday, in the San Juan Islands, I experienced parties hailing on channel 16 and then switching to channel 9 to discuss vacation plans. One guy plugged up channel 9 for about 10 minutes. This happened three different times.

It was mildly annoying since I usually keep watch on a 9,16,22A scan pattern. Am I wrong in assuming these people should be switching to a working channel such as 68,69? I was going to say something, but since other parties were doing the same thing, I questioned my conventional wisdom. What gives?
Old 08-22-2011, 10:31 AM
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As I recall, 9 is indeed a noncommercial working channel except in places where it has been designated as an alternate hailing channel because of heavy traffic on 16. Like Long Island Sound.
Old 08-22-2011, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by t3rockhall View Post
As I recall, 9 is indeed a noncommercial working channel except in places where it has been designated as an alternate hailing channel because of heavy traffic on 16. Like Long Island Sound.
And in massachusetts.....
Old 08-22-2011, 02:25 PM
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9 is designated as a hailing channel. It's frequently used when 16 is busy. It's not supposed to be used for open mic chatter.

Here is the list...

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=mtvhf

and from the boatsafe site:

There are so many channels, how do I know which to use? (back to top)

Let me start by talking about the major channels that recreational boaters should be familiar with. The Federal Communications Commission has established VHF-FM channel 9 as a supplementary calling channel for noncommercial vessels (recreational boaters). A ship or shore unit wishing to call a boater would do so on channel 9, and anyone (boaters included) wishing to call a commercial ship or shore activity would continue to do so on channel 16. Recreational boaters may continue to call the Coast Guard and any commercial facility on channel 16.
The purpose of the FCC regulation is to relieve congestion on VHF channel 16, the distress, safety and calling frequency. FCC regulations require boaters having VHF radios to maintain a watch on either VHF channel 9 or channel 16, whenever the radio is turned on and not communicating with another station.

Warning: The Coast Guard announces urgent marine information broadcasts and storm warnings on channel 9 in the First Coast Guard District only (waters off the coast of northern New Jersey, New York, and New England). For that reason, we strongly urge boaters to use channel 9 in these waters. Use of channel 9 in other waters is optional, and we recommend boaters keep tuned to and use channel 16 in those waters unless otherwise notified by the Coast Guard.

Channels 9 and 16 are used for "hailing" (calling another vessel) only. Once you have contacted a vessel you should move your conversation to a "working channel". That is, one designated as "non-commercial" such as channel 68.

Another channel you should be aware of is channel 22A. This channel is reserved for the U.S. Coast Guard to relay marine information broadcasts. You may on occasion hear on channel 16 an announcement by the USCG telling all boaters that they have information that may be of importance to you. They would request that anyone wanting to listen to the information switch to channel 22A to hear the information.
If you would like to view or print out the available channels, transmitting and receiving frequencies and description and use of the channel just go to the channel listing.
http://boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/radio.htm
Old 08-23-2011, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gerg View Post
9 is designated as a hailing channel. It's frequently used when 16 is busy. It's not supposed to be used for open mic chatter.

Here is the list...

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=mtvhf

and from the boatsafe site:

http://boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/radio.htm
Is it the same for all international calling? I know some countries don't follow the general rules except for channel 16.
Old 08-23-2011, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by gerg View Post
9 is designated as a hailing channel. It's frequently used when 16 is busy. It's not supposed to be used for open mic chatter.

Here is the list...

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=mtvhf

and from the boatsafe site:

http://boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/radio.htm
Channel 9 is the channel used to contact bridge tenders in some states including South Carolina. And yes, it's "hailing channel" not a chit chat channel.
Old 08-23-2011, 06:45 PM
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Same in Florida but not sure in San Juan islands/

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