Although boats often move much more slowly than cars or trains, there are still many dangers involved in traveling by sea. These hazards are made even more serious given that mariners are often miles away from land, making immediate assistance almost impossible. Marine radio antennas, however, make the seas much safer in a few key ways.
1. Communication Between Boats
One of the primary uses of VHF radios is to facilitate communication between two different vessels. All commercial craft and larger recreational craft are required to have a radio on board and to monitor a specific channel. One boat can hail another using a call sign. There are many reasons two ships may need to share information. For one, the vessels could be on a collision course and need to clarify which will adjust its route. Additionally, one boat could be warning another about some danger ahead, such as an uncharted obstacle.
2. Communication With People on Land
Using marine radio antennas to contact people on land also makes sailing safer. For example, vessels will often hail a marina before coming to the dock. This prevents potential collisions within tight marinas. Additionally, sailors who travel between countries may need to contact authorities on land to handle customs and immigration issues. A country’s coastguard may also need to contact ships for various reasons.
3. Maritime Updates
A final, but very important, way VHF radios make the seas safer is by providing mariners with maritime updates. These updates may include weather reports which sailors can use to avoid getting caught in a storm. Additionally, radios may be used to hail boats in order to alert them to come to the aid of a vessel in distress.
Although no means of travel is without risk, marine radio antennas make seafaring significantly less dangerous. Be sure to know how to operate yours should you go for a sail.