What Every Mariner Needs To Know About Marine Radios


Although it might seem like seafarers are off the grid, there are actually many ways people can communicate while at sea. One method, radio, is a necessity for every nearly every craft, with the exception of some boats shorter than 65.5 feet. If you expect to spend some time at sea, be prepared with a few important facts about marine radio antennas.


There are several different types of radios available. The most common is the VHF radio which allows mariners to tune into specific channels. Traditional VHF radios are voice-only, meaning the operator must verbally hail the person he or she is communicating with. A newer option, known as digital selective calling, simplifies this process by hailing other crafts automatically without the operator needing to speak. Additional kinds of radios include the HF/SSB model which can communicate over a long range, in addition to products made for commercial purposes.


The most obvious use of marine radio antennas is to communicate with other ships, mostly to avoid collisions or to share information. When speaking over the radio, operators should adhere to certain phrases and use the NATO alphabet. A sailor’s radio is also valuable for safety reasons, as it can be used to gather weather reports or to hear maritime warnings.

Differences Between Countries

When traveling into another country’s waters, it is important to remember that it may use different channels for communication. Additionally, you may require permission before using your VHF radio in some places, such as the United Kingdom.

Whether you go boating as a hobby or must do so for work, it is comforting to know that there are still means of communication when you are far away from shore. When mariners use their radios properly, marine radio antennas can be excellent tools to keep all craft safe from collisions, storms and other unforeseen problems.