Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-29-2018, 05:17 AM   #1
Guru
 
Cigatoo's Avatar
 
City: Narragansett Bay
Country: New England
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 36
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 634
Pickwick Lake

We visited Pickwick Lake (1st time) for Xmas. Got a (cold) ride on a pontoon boat. I noticed the lack of a VHF on board and commented. Was told that no one monitors the VHF on the lake (I am sure that it would be quite this time of year). If you made a distress call would there be a response from authorities? Is the Coast Guard, DEM, local law enforcement, monitoring? How about in the summer months? Any thoughts?
__________________
Advertisement

Cigatoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 12:36 PM   #2
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 16,130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easting View Post
We visited Pickwick Lake (1st time) for Xmas. Got a (cold) ride on a pontoon boat. I noticed the lack of a VHF on board and commented. Was told that no one monitors the VHF on the lake (I am sure that it would be quite this time of year). If you made a distress call would there be a response from authorities? Is the Coast Guard, DEM, local law enforcement, monitoring? How about in the summer months? Any thoughts?
Yes, there would be a response. The primary use of VHF on the TN River is locks and most cruising boats have VHF and monitor it. Pontoon boats that don't move off of Pickwick are a different subject entirely. If you want to hear whether the CG or Law Enforcement is monitoring it, just start using it like a CB Radio and see how fast you hear from them.

It's also monitored by most major marinas. I've heard boaters who were lost given tremendous assistance in finding their way during bad weather by multiple boaters.
__________________

BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 01:00 PM   #3
Guru
 
Cigatoo's Avatar
 
City: Narragansett Bay
Country: New England
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 36
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 634
Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Yes, there would be a response. The primary use of VHF on the TN River is locks and most cruising boats have VHF and monitor it. Pontoon boats that don't move off of Pickwick are a different subject entirely. If you want to hear whether the CG or Law Enforcement is monitoring it, just start using it like a CB Radio and see how fast you hear from them.

It's also monitored by most major marinas. I've heard boaters who were lost given tremendous assistance in finding their way during bad weather by multiple boaters.
Thanks BandB. It sounded rather strange to me. The fellow with the pontoon boat is new to boating. (I guess that I need to find a way to tactfully educate him) I donít have any experience with inland rivers so I thought I would ask. Many of these pontoon boats on the lake have little if any safety / CG compliant gear from what I gathered.
Cigatoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 01:44 PM   #4
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 16,130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easting View Post
Thanks BandB. It sounded rather strange to me. The fellow with the pontoon boat is new to boating. (I guess that I need to find a way to tactfully educate him) I donít have any experience with inland rivers so I thought I would ask. Many of these pontoon boats on the lake have little if any safety / CG compliant gear from what I gathered.
The pontoon guy will be happy boating on Pickwick. However, one day he will decide to go explore other lakes along the TN or TN Tom. He can lock through without a VHF, but he'll wish he had one to contact the lock and find out how long he'll be waiting and to contact the tow and ask if he can lock through with them.
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 02:22 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
City: Hughesville, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Branwen
Vessel Model: Hatteras 48 LRC
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 336
I know nothing about Pickwick Lake, but the thread seems to be more about the monitoring of VHF by recreational boaters, so I'll comment from that perspective. Please forgive my contributing to thread drift. if that's what I'm doing.

My experience in Maryland on recreational power and sail boats that primarily navigate the smaller waters in Chesapeake Bay tributaries and in California in similar conditions is that those boaters rarely have a VHF radio, and if they do, they don't bother to turn it on. Those were my formative boating years, and I didn't know it was unusual. Sure, we got into jams on occasion and needed assistance while on the water, but we were always able to flag someone down, and we were flagged down to assist others more than once.

Since moving to a big boat on bigger water, I wouldn't consider being out on any water without VHF on anything larger than a jet ski, but I wouldn't hesitate to wave someone down for help if I had to.
GregBrannon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 02:32 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
LongJohn's Avatar
 
City: Watts Bar Lake, Tn River
Country: USA
Vessel Name: RedBoat
Vessel Model: MS 34T
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 104
MOST areas on the TN river have an adequate phone signal. Since the marinas and lockmasters will typically answer the phone, and electronic chart apps are available on the phone as well, most small boat operators on the river don't bother with VHF. And 90% of boats registered in TN are under 30 feet.
__________________
LongJohn
LongJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 04:00 PM   #7
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 16,130
Quote:
Originally Posted by LongJohn View Post
MOST areas on the TN river have an adequate phone signal. Since the marinas and lockmasters will typically answer the phone, and electronic chart apps are available on the phone as well, most small boat operators on the river don't bother with VHF. And 90% of boats registered in TN are under 30 feet.
The vast majority of those under 30' boats never move off the lake they're on or any more than one lake. Those on Chickamauga may go to Nickajack but don't go to Guntersville. Those in Chattanooga don't travel to Watts Bar.
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2018, 04:01 PM   #8
Guru
 
BandB's Avatar
 
City: Fort Lauderdale
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 16,130
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregBrannon View Post
I know nothing about Pickwick Lake, but the thread seems to be more about the monitoring of VHF by recreational boaters, so I'll comment from that perspective. Please forgive my contributing to thread drift. if that's what I'm doing.

My experience in Maryland on recreational power and sail boats that primarily navigate the smaller waters in Chesapeake Bay tributaries and in California in similar conditions is that those boaters rarely have a VHF radio, and if they do, they don't bother to turn it on. Those were my formative boating years, and I didn't know it was unusual. Sure, we got into jams on occasion and needed assistance while on the water, but we were always able to flag someone down, and we were flagged down to assist others more than once.

Since moving to a big boat on bigger water, I wouldn't consider being out on any water without VHF on anything larger than a jet ski, but I wouldn't hesitate to wave someone down for help if I had to.
I think it's consistent that small boat owners who never leave a given area, don't feel the need for a lot of equipment.
BandB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2018, 02:30 PM   #9
Guru
 
ssobol's Avatar
 
City: Leesburg, VA
Country: United States
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 567
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregBrannon View Post
I know nothing about Pickwick Lake, but the thread seems to be more about the monitoring of VHF by recreational boaters, so I'll comment from that perspective. Please forgive my contributing to thread drift. if that's what I'm doing.

My experience in Maryland on recreational power and sail boats that primarily navigate the smaller waters in Chesapeake Bay tributaries and in California in similar conditions is that those boaters rarely have a VHF radio, and if they do, they don't bother to turn it on. Those were my formative boating years, and I didn't know it was unusual. Sure, we got into jams on occasion and needed assistance while on the water, but we were always able to flag someone down, and we were flagged down to assist others more than once.

Since moving to a big boat on bigger water, I wouldn't consider being out on any water without VHF on anything larger than a jet ski, but I wouldn't hesitate to wave someone down for help if I had to.
I boat in the Mid Atlantic area. I usually find that it is easier to contact marinas from my boat using a cell phone than a VHF radio. In some cases when contacting a marina by VHF they will give the number and tell you to call them back using a phone.
ssobol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2018, 02:52 PM   #10
Guru
 
Cigatoo's Avatar
 
City: Narragansett Bay
Country: New England
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 36
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 634
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregBrannon View Post
I know nothing about Pickwick Lake, but the thread seems to be more about the monitoring of VHF by recreational boaters, so I'll comment from that perspective. Please forgive my contributing to thread drift. if that's what I'm doing.

My experience in Maryland on recreational power and sail boats that primarily navigate the smaller waters in Chesapeake Bay tributaries and in California in similar conditions is that those boaters rarely have a VHF radio, and if they do, they don't bother to turn it on. Those were my formative boating years, and I didn't know it was unusual. Sure, we got into jams on occasion and needed assistance while on the water, but we were always able to flag someone down, and we were flagged down to assist others more than once.

Since moving to a big boat on bigger water, I wouldn't consider being out on any water without VHF on anything larger than a jet ski, but I wouldn't hesitate to wave someone down for help if I had to.
I was solely concerned for safety reasons. A cell phone is certainly not my first choice If I have a sh** show going on. I want to feel that I can rely on a PAN or Mayday broadcast reaching the proper people. On the coast the few times in my life that I have hailed the CG (not a PAN or Mayday) they were right there within seconds of my transmission. Unfortunately I am not sure if I would rely on recreational boaters as stated above. I was stressing the need for this person to have a VHF on board for safety reasons but wasnít sure on the reliability inland.
Cigatoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2018, 06:51 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Alabama Boater's Avatar
 
City: Athens, AL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Always Something!
Vessel Model: Tiara 3700 open
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 102
USCG stations

The USCG has limited stations on the inland rivers. Alabama has one in Dauphin Island, Kentucky has one in Louisville, and Tennessee has none. While the USCG will investigate accidents per the required reporting and send the buoy tender for channel marking and buoy replacement, emergency services are provided by local law enforcement and city rescue. They are better reached by a 911 call. In Alabama the water patrol responsibility is now part of state police and they have limited locations with boats in the water. I find myself calling ahead to the locks by phone and follow up at arrival point on the VHF. I have had more than one experience where the lock could not be reached by VHF but did answer the phone. These observations apply to Pickwick, Wilson, Wheeler, and Guntersville reservoirs... other areas may be different.
Alabama Boater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2018, 07:28 PM   #12
Veteran Member
 
Island Bound's Avatar
 
City: Key West, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Semper Fi
Vessel Model: 2005 Great Harbour N37
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easting View Post
We visited Pickwick Lake (1st time) for Xmas. Got a (cold) ride on a pontoon boat. I noticed the lack of a VHF on board and commented. Was told that no one monitors the VHF on the lake (I am sure that it would be quite this time of year). If you made a distress call would there be a response from authorities? Is the Coast Guard, DEM, local law enforcement, monitoring? How about in the summer months? Any thoughts?

My wife and I spent three summers on Kentucky Lake and have traversed Pickwick Lake numerous times coming and going with side trips to Florence, AL. Not mentioned yet on the thread is the towboat traffic. While your cellphone will work for the locks (somewhat cumbersome) and vessel emergency calls, it will not let you talk with the tows. In the spring of 2017 we were approaching Pickwick Dam from Florence and there was all kinds of VHF radio traffic (USCG and others) because of a small outboard boat with two aboard that had gone over the falls. Their bodies were recovered several miles downstream later that same day. I can assure you that Channel 16 is monitored.
Island Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2018, 07:28 PM   #13
Guru
 
Cigatoo's Avatar
 
City: Narragansett Bay
Country: New England
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 36
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 634
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alabama Boater View Post
The USCG has limited stations on the inland rivers. Alabama has one in Dauphin Island, Kentucky has one in Louisville, and Tennessee has none. While the USCG will investigate accidents per the required reporting and send the buoy tender for channel marking and buoy replacement, emergency services are provided by local law enforcement and city rescue. They are better reached by a 911 call. In Alabama the water patrol responsibility is now part of state police and they have limited locations with boats in the water. I find myself calling ahead to the locks by phone and follow up at arrival point on the VHF. I have had more than one experience where the lock could not be reached by VHF but did answer the phone. These observations apply to Pickwick, Wilson, Wheeler, and Guntersville reservoirs... other areas may be different.
Thank you. Good info.
Cigatoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2018, 07:35 PM   #14
Guru
 
Cigatoo's Avatar
 
City: Narragansett Bay
Country: New England
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 36
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 634
Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Bound View Post
My wife and I spent three summers on Kentucky Lake and have traversed Pickwick Lake numerous times coming and going with side trips to Florence, AL. Not mentioned yet on the thread is the towboat traffic. While your cellphone will work for the locks (somewhat cumbersome) and vessel emergency calls, it will not let you talk with the tows. In the spring of 2017 we were approaching Pickwick Dam from Florence and there was all kinds of VHF radio traffic (USCG and others) because of a small outboard boat with two aboard that had gone over the falls. Their bodies were recovered several miles downstream later that same day. I can assure you that Channel 16 is monitored.
I would assume that someone would be tasked with monitoring 16. Especially with commercial traffic transiting.
Cigatoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2018, 08:03 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
LongJohn's Avatar
 
City: Watts Bar Lake, Tn River
Country: USA
Vessel Name: RedBoat
Vessel Model: MS 34T
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 104
Lockmasters and most marinas monitor 16, but do not participate in emergency response. One may easily be out of range of both. Lockmasters use 14 for logistics. Emergency response by local rescue squad or police is normally coordinated on 16, but summoned by phone. If you need non emergency help, you wave at somebody or phone a service. You are normally in sight of both banks.


Towboat captains act surprised when you hail them on 13 (their channel) if you need advice on how best to stay out or their way.
__________________

__________________
LongJohn
LongJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012