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Is vhf needed, if you own a satalite phone

Old 07-18-2016, 08:42 PM
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Default Is vhf needed, if you own a satalite phone

So I'm new to the offshore fishing world, and I'm equipping my boat. I plan to travel up to 40 miles Into the Gulf of Mexico.

Time for me to get a fixed mount vhf and I'm wondering do I really need it? Should I be looking at a satalite phone instead?

I have a hand held vhf that I could use.

Thanks for the feed back.
Old 07-18-2016, 08:46 PM
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How would you feel if someone issued a distress call on channel 16 and you didn't hear it but we're close enough to have helped?
Old 07-18-2016, 08:48 PM
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A sat phone won't help you when you are trying to hail a boat that is 3 miles away. It is necessary imo. Have both a handheld and fixed mount
Old 07-18-2016, 08:55 PM
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At least 1 vhf on the boat
Old 07-18-2016, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jj1987 View Post
How would you feel if someone issued a distress call on channel 16 and you didn't hear it but we're close enough to have helped?
or if you need help but don't have his phone number to call....

instead you are going to phone a land station 40+ miles away?..
Old 07-18-2016, 11:05 PM
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If the USCG or other station is trying to hail you , you would not be able to receive them without the VHF.

If you are in distress, seconds can make a difference. There will usually be other boats monitoring CH 16 closer to your position than the Coasties.

How would you hear security hails from other boats or their maydays or pan-pans, or communicate with bridge tenders or marina dock-masters, etc.? Hear WX reports?

Having a sat phone is an excellent valuable addition to your safety arsenal , most especially for offshore forays, but a good VHF setup is essentially a necessity even when it's range limitation cannot reach shore stations. . If needed , you can even request comms relay to emergency help via VHF.

A handy bonus can be picking up fishing chatter.
Old 07-19-2016, 04:18 AM
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For 40 miles offshore you need a DSC VHF with MMSI. Commercial ships (if you are in sea lanes) do not monitor Channel 16 voice anymore under GMDSS but bridge alarms will respond to a DSC emergency. VHF is carried by the majority of small boats for close by comms.
Due to limited range of VHF, to get shore comms for weather, help etc 40 miles out... you need HF SSB radio.
This is more expensive and needs a ship station and operators licence but is the best solution.
Old 07-19-2016, 05:30 AM
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The price of a vhf plus install is relatively cheap if you're going offshore. Go a couple less trips this year and get an essential piece of equipment.
Old 07-19-2016, 05:57 AM
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I hate to say it and no disrespect but if you have to ask this question I really don't think you should be going offshore yet, once again no disrespect
Old 07-19-2016, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Y&R View Post
The price of a vhf plus install is relatively cheap if you're going offshore. Go a couple less trips this year and get an essential piece of equipment.
A couple? Not even one My GPS + antenna cost less than 3 nights in a Days Inn for scalloping this year. It's so cheap I can't imagine not getting one.
Old 07-19-2016, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Nixer600 View Post
So I'm new to the offshore fishing world, and I'm equipping my boat. I plan to travel up to 40 miles Into the Gulf of Mexico.

Time for me to get a fixed mount vhf and I'm wondering do I really need it? Should I be looking at a satalite phone instead?

I have a hand held vhf that I could use.
Even if your handheld has DSC it's range is restricted (due to relatively low power and antenna height) so, while it will be useful to communicate with nearby boats it's really quite limited in it's main function (safety for you and yours)...

As for getting a satellite phone instead of a VHF... Is your satellite phone capable of transmitting a DSC distress signal?!... Is your satellite phone capable of receiving a DSC distress signal?!... Is your satellite phone capable of transmitting /receiving a CH16 distress voice call?!... I'm also assuming that if you're going 40 miles into the GOM you have GPS... That means you can connect your GPS to your VHF... Your DSC distress transmutation will include your location... There's no satellite phone that can do that... Are you starting to get the picture?!...

Last edited by Navatech; 07-19-2016 at 06:24 AM.
Old 07-19-2016, 06:15 AM
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Yes. I don't even understand how you landed on this even being an option to not have so that it even got formulated into a question.

The VHF radio is used for so many things on the water, not just distress. You can listen to who is catching what, where boats are, chat with biddy boats etc.
Old 07-19-2016, 06:23 AM
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Simple answer is yes.
Old 07-19-2016, 06:25 AM
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Hey guys, I agree, the question wasn't particularly smart but the OP was smart enough to ask... Surely that counts for something?!... I say we give him a break and help educate him...
Old 07-19-2016, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Navatech View Post
Hey guys, I agree, the question wasn't particularly smart but the OP was smart enough to ask... Surely that counts for something?!... I say we give him a break and help educate him...

I agree. We should work at educating vs. criticizing.
Old 07-19-2016, 08:01 AM
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I say go with both. VHF for the coast guard. Phone to call home.

If you're ever in distress you can use the VHF to call the coast guard and anyone near you will hear it too. Odds are someone else is much closer than the CG is. If you're out 40 miles you have to figure it will be about an hour for a chopper to get out there, unless they're already flying, and probably 1-2 hours for a rescue boat. You might have a fellow fisherman 5 miles away and can get to you in 10 minutes.
Old 07-19-2016, 10:52 AM
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VHF+the best and tallest mounted antenna you can fit.8' minimum
Sat phone is really nice but a SPOT or similar can send messages home.
EPIRB is also cheap insurance.
Old 07-21-2016, 09:08 PM
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Thanks for all the replies,as stated in the OP I have a hand held vhf.

I also already have a personal locator beacon.

Thanks for answering my question. don't worry I'm not going out 40 miles any time soon. I will be going out up to 40 miles in the future. I still need to learn how to opperate the vhf radio properly.

I will get a fixed mount set up, In addition to the hand held.

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