Marine Radio Info

Keep in Touch and Stay Safe by Radio

Modern marine radios are the most reliable way to make contact with other vessels, the Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. In many cases, your cell phone simply can't cut it.  Follow the links below to some very helpful information.

A special note regarding reliance on cell phones at sea: During the summer of 2016, a Coast Guard Auxiliary Patrol rescued a small, disabled power boat on the Delaware River in Philadelphia.  Two adults and two children were exposed to strong, direct sun and 95 degree heat, with no water and no marine radio.  Behind the small boat, a heavy barge was approaching, pushed by a large tug boat.  

Using a VHF Marine radio, the Auxiliary vessel advised the tugboat captain of the impending danger and the tugboat altered course.  The small boat was then towed to safety by the Auxiliary vessel.  

In this situation, would you forego a basic, hand-held marine radio, valued at around $100.00? Would you rely on your cell phone?  Do you know the tugboat captain's cell phone number?  

Cell phones are no substitute for marine, VHF radios! 

Automatic Identification System (AIS)

What's that ship out there?  Your AIS system can tell you what you need to know.

Digital Selective Calling (DSC)

Call specific stations using your marine radio.  Here's how it's done.

Amateur (HAM) Radio at Sea

HAM Radio on BoatHAM Radio is perhaps the most important backup communication system for pleasure boats at sea. Learn how you can earn your amateur radio license at the American Radio Relay League.

Every day, many vessels also check in to the Maritime Mobile Service Network, a HAM Radio service net for sailors worldwide.