What You Need To Know About Your VHF Radio and Its Regulations


VHF radios are used by most sea craft, with the exception of small recreational vessels, for communication and safety purposes. Because marine radio antennas are so widely used, there are certain national and international regulations governing their use. Consider a few key bits of information that will help you use your radio properly.

VHF Radio Uses

Radios come in handy in many ways while one is at sea. First, they allow boats to communicate with one another so as to share important information and avoid potential collisions. Second, VHF radios can be used to listen for maritime and weather updates. This helps vessels avoid hazardous conditions. Finally, if a craft is ever in distress, it can use its radio to call for help.

Regulations Within the U.S.

There are three agencies controlled by the United States’ government that set certain rules about how marine radio antennas should be used. These include the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. These agencies make decisions regarding things like how VHF radios are sold, how rescue boats are dispatched and how military ships handle their communications.

International Regulations

There are two international groups that also have a hand in creating regulations regarding marine radio antennas: the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). These organizations are very useful because they help create certain rules that apply in all waters so that communication is not hindered when a ship enters a new country. One of the main regulations set out by the ITU involves which radio frequencies can be used for certain purposes. The IMO often manages safety concerns on large vessels, such as those shipping goods between countries.

While it may seem like there are no rules at sea, there are actually many regulations vessels with VHF radios must keep in mind. Even so, all the trouble is worthwhile; marine radio antennas help make the seas a safer place.