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Old 05-04-2015, 05:44 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by CPseudonym View Post
Couldn't you just knock on the fiberglass dash panel, side or floor?
Yes, and it works fine. The downside is that once having gotten the attention of the folks up top or down below one generally has to follow through with communicating what you want their attention for.

Someone going out the door down below to talk to the folks up top works just fine, of course. But in our experience it's surprisingly noisy up on a flying bridge if one has a bimini up because it reflects the sound of the boat going through the water down onto the folks up top. So you end up sort of yelling back and forth unless the person you're talking to is directly below you.

So an intercom does actually make communications easier and a bit faster between upper and lower decks.

Also, and this is a subjective thing, of course, but pounding or stomping on the flying bridge sole is a rather startling sound down below which in effect is like the inside of a drum. So it tends to convey a bit of an "emergency" feel to it which makes the folks down below jump and think there's something wrong when all the folks up top want is more ice.

We have found the intercom/hailer on our boat to be quite useful simply because it makes communications more like simply talking on the phone rather than a "pound on the boat and yell" sort of thing.

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Old 05-04-2015, 05:51 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Lutarious View Post
I run two VHF radios and hail from the bridge on an open channel running down below.
Isn't it illegal?

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Old 05-04-2015, 06:39 PM   #23
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Our local brand GME brand VHF has the main unit at the lower helm and a slave unit on the FB. They have an intercom feature, works well, a useful feature. Of course there are specific intercoms, but this saves more wiring, etc
Island Gypsy 36 Europa "Doriana"
Sydney Australia
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:50 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dom61 View Post
pounding on the deck works but the results are less than satisfying
That's what I was thinking, but since I've never operated from a flying bridge, I kept my mouth shut.
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:59 PM   #25
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Knock on the "floor" of the flybridge, this works well on our boat. I tried to set up a system of leaving the lower radio set to a rarely used channel and call that channel on the FB radio, kind of like an intercom but that didn't really work out well.
Steve W.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:06 PM   #26
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If I operate from the flybridge...it is usually nice enough to leave the cabin doors open. A few knocks gets the attention of those below and a series of mild shouts communicate the necessary info.

Obviously...it only works with my boat and maybe some similar in size and particulars.

From there I can here all warnings and alarms plus any radio comms the below radio is tuned to I addition to the flybridge radio...plus the drone of the engine is audible enough though very faint.

From there I can clearly and accurately see all four corners for close quarters maneuvering (though from below is OK and is where I dock 90% of the time because of my wintery cruising schedule).
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:22 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by kthoennes View Post
We have a remote handset for the (Standard Horizon) VHF radio in the salon. Acts as an intercom, and it puts a vhf radio output in the salon for weather alerts and that kind of thing.

We have the same set-up and it works much better than thumping the floor, honking the horn, bumping the throttles or yelling for help. It is the main reason I added the ram mic, already had a VHF at each helm.
Ron on Northern Lights II
I don't like making plans for the day because the word "premeditated" gets thrown around in the courtroom.
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:29 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by kthoennes View Post
We have a remote handset for the (Standard Horizon) VHF radio in the salon. Acts as an intercom, and it puts a vhf radio output in the salon for weather alerts and that kind of thing.
Ditto except mine is a B&G.
Tracy & Susie Hellman 1985 Ta Chiao CT 35
Twin Lehman Super 90's Westerbeke 4.4kw
Lightkeepers Marina -Little River, SC
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Old 05-04-2015, 07:47 PM   #29
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Although we have an intercom VHF, and a wired telephone style intercom as well, the system we use almost exclusively is our cell phones.
Magic, 1996 Grand Banks Europa
Westport, CT and Stuart, FL
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Old 05-05-2015, 05:10 AM   #30
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Wire in a bell down below , push the button.

Use a code for beer , pee break , or were on FIRE!
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:11 AM   #31
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Our boat came with a nice Charles C Phone intercom and we used it a lot. However the interface to a cell phone was clunky and got clunkier as I messed with it. We transitioned to a Panasonic cordless phone system which worked out great. Two cell phones can pair to it on their own "channels" (so you can use either or see which one is ringing). Leave the cell phones nice and safe next to the base station. Each station can be custom labeled and the intercom function is simple and slick. Speaker phone function at each handset. This way you can reach people at a variety of different stations on the boat, and the handsets being cordless is great for trips to the engine room, utility/generator room, etc. A four station system was under a hundred bucks at Costco and easy to expand from there. When we moved back on land full time this was one of the first things I bought for the new house. Great piece of gear and so much more useful than any other solution. Here is an example of the one we got, and a list of the others.


Panasonic Bluetooth Powered Link-to-Cell

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Old 05-05-2015, 06:25 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Dougcole View Post
I've found that five or six good solid thumps of my foot on the deck brings them running. Usually kind of freaking and saying "what happened, did we hit something?"
Works for me too.
Jay Leonard
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:32 AM   #33
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My boat obviously does not have this problem; but having been practically raised on a Defever 44, I can share with you how my parents handled the matter. First, I can count on one hand the number of times my father operated "At Last" from the inside helm--the flybridge was used 99.999% of the time. We had an intercom system that worked very well. Phones were located outside the engine room, salon, aft stateroom, and flybridge. Most of the time, however, Dad simply used his heel to send me a signal. His code system was simple:

1) Four or five rapid heel stomps in succession: secure any loose items... some idiot in a large Sea-Ray or Hatteras is approaching and refuses to slow pass.

2) Three slow but firm heel taps: Bring me a Dr. Pepper or Mr. Pibb (could also be "take the helm because I need to use the head")

Seriously, this isn't rocket science and doesn't need to be complicated. FRS radios are probably one of the better options.
“Go small, go simple, go now”
― Larry Pardey, Cruising in Seraffyn
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:53 AM   #34
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I knock on the floor.
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:16 AM   #35
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we too use engine rpm change as a signal to come to the bridge. We have headset radios but usually only use them for docking
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Old 05-05-2015, 10:15 AM   #36
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In the Navy we had these
File:Voice tube.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:09 AM   #37
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I don't have a flying bridge, but I would probably send a text message.
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:13 AM   #38
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Old 05-05-2015, 11:58 AM   #39
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Al Johnson
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Old 05-05-2015, 03:08 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by frgeorgeh View Post
Honeymoon over! You and RT are now in the same boat! Love it!

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