Home' Afloat : AFLOAT June 2014 Contents Take monthly with water June 2014 7
Letter of the month
The Editor ’s choice for letter of the month will
receive a 28" Yachtsman’s Waterproof Bag.
Made from tough double
coated PVC fabric with
seams sewn and tape
welded the Burke bag is
This month’s prize goes to
from Manly, QLD.
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A collection of quality yachts
for those buyers looking in the
under $50k market
Brisbane: 07 3880 0633
Sydney: 02 9969 2144
Go to our web site www.yachtsalesaustralia.com for more detailed
information on each yacht –
Cavalier 30’ – $47,000
Swanson 28’ – $39,500
Hunter 280 – $45,000
Swanson 32’ – $48,500
Have a good night and
we’ll see you in the morning
The debate on HF Radio coverage from your editorial (Afloat,
May’14) and the letters shows no one listened all those years ago
when the Australian Global Marine Distress and Safety System
upgraded to DSC coverage (as did the rest of the world).
That was when the radio stations (Sydney Radio, Melbourne
Radio, etc.) were amalgamated into two DSC stations (Charleville,
QLD and Wiluna, WA). These stations are for the commercial
mariner (big ships) and can only be contacted by DSC on the
DSC is monitored by AMSA RCC (Rescue Coordination
Centre), Canberra. The DSC stations are not on for a chat nor to
take positions – but, rather, to help when an emergency arises.
I guess none of your readership has obtained a HF radio
license lately, where the information on DSC is taught. (When I was
an invigilator, all my students learned about DSC because they
wanted to pass the national exam). I also suspect your readers
are still using the crystal sets which have limited frequencies. If
they had the modern synthesised radios, with DSC, they would
have unlimited coverage.
A radio check is simple: select a DSC channel; select ‘radio
check’ on the menu; and press the transmit key. A DSC response
will come from the DSC station. I ’m surprised the Cat 1 racers
don’t report their positions via DSC to the race organisers. (For
more information go to www.gmdss.com.au).
The States and Territory recognised that there would be a
gap in HF communication for the recreational boater when the
DSC system began so they created the Coastal Radio System.
These stations cover the coast of Australia and are primarily on
the lower HF frequencies 4, 6, 8, 12, and 16 (these frequencies
are not necessarily the traditional frequencies of the crystal
sets). Hobart has a sked at 1633hrs on 2524, 4146, 6227 and 8176.
Melbourne monitors 4, 6, and 8. Some Coastal Stations are not
manned 24 hours a day.
Weather from the BoM site is heard on 8176. The report
starts in the Gulf of Carpentaria and moves clockwise around
Australia. One can go to sleep waiting for your area’s forecast;
and there are no communications with the bureau nor repeats.
But the report is better than the coastal guards because you
get the full picture. I advocate looking at the weather charts, by
phone (or have a Weather Router) to determine the upcoming
weather; certainly the 4-day forecast, as it is 95% accurate and
will forecast every Eastcoat Low!
Remember VHF is line of sight only. Repeaters are a bonus;
but one has to be line of sight with them, too.
In these modern times, ever yone should be carrying an EPIRB
(one brand makes one with a GPS on board which gives latitude
and longitude). Here in Queensland, it is required when more
than 2nm from shore. The EPIRB is activated when one has an
I’ve completed many deliveries along the Eastcoast with VHF.
What I learned is that one has to remember which voluntary rescue
service one started with because they compete with each other
to work you ... and then they want report times. If you forget
which group you are working with and call another name, your
first group will not answer.
I usually call, “A Coastal Rescue Station, near (location).”
Usually stations operate from 0600-2200.
When in the Whitsundays forget VHF because the charter
fleet thinks VHF is exclusively for themselves. Also, on the Curtis
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