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Old 11-12-2020, 10:45 PM   #1
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Radio On While At Anchor?

Once we have the anchor set and engines off, we turn off all of the "running" breakers, including both radios.

In this area there is a constant chatter from USCG, SeaTow, hailing boaters, that we just don't need to listen to when sitting reading, cooking, and overall enjoying the anchorage.

However, when cruising past an anchorage or marina and we see a boat we know, I try my luck at raising them on the VHF to see if they are listening and to chat. I would say in around 30% of the time they respond!

Do folks on here leave their radios on until they bunk down for the night? If so, what's the thinking?
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:05 PM   #2
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I sure don't.
I can barely stand that racket while I'm underway.
But I do it for safety.

Big exception to that is listening to weather.
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Old 11-12-2020, 11:27 PM   #3
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You can always turn the squelch up so you just pick up local messages .
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Old 11-13-2020, 12:35 AM   #4
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most radios have 1W or 25w transmit, too bad they don't have the same for receive. But then the CG would still be heard.
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Old 11-13-2020, 12:48 AM   #5
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We leave our radios on 24/7 for safety reasons but often have the volume turned down very low we so don't hear the chatter. But if there is a May Day, the Coast Guard triggers the alarm and we hear it. Or if someone pushes their DSC Distress Alarm, it will set off the alarm on our radio and display lat/Lon of the distress location.
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Old 11-13-2020, 01:00 AM   #6
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I leave the VHF radio on while I'm at anchor.

In South Australia, Sea Rescue (a volunteer group) handles VHF calls from 7am-7pm only. There is no chatter after 7pm. Any calls on channel 16 would be distress calls.
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Old 11-13-2020, 01:15 AM   #7
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If I'm on the boat, the vhf is usually on, but squelch is set up tight enough to ignore all but the strongest signals. Used primarily for weather alerts and DSC calls.
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Old 11-13-2020, 02:16 AM   #8
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Off at anchor. Radio would disrupt the tranquility. (well, peaceful until the next boat anchors too close, runs their generator all night to keep the TV's and AC running)
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Old 11-13-2020, 06:53 AM   #9
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Depends. Some times want more redundancy in anchor watch so leave electronics on and ships radio. Most times turn all electronics off but leave handhelds on. One at 16 and the other at whatever is the local frequency for the cruisers net of that harbor (if in a harbor). Handhelds sit in their chargers so they’re still good to go when we leave in the dinghy.
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:01 AM   #10
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Chatter can be annoying, but sometimes you hear interesting stuff. One Fourth of July we were at a mooring in Edgartown, Martha's Vinyard watching the fireworks show. All of a sudden f#$%, f#$%, f#$% came over the VHF. Apparently the fireworks barge had caught fire. Listening to the fire response (the fire truck came out on the Chappaquiddick ferry to put it out) as well as some of the later recriminations was fun and sad.

Interesting things come over the VHF at anchor.

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Old 11-13-2020, 07:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soo-Valley View Post
most radios have 1W or 25w transmit, too bad they don't have the same for receive. But then the CG would still be heard.
Some do. My Icom M504 has a LO/DX button that does exactly that.
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:13 AM   #12
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In some anchorage like in the Bahamas the VHF is the community contact board and telephone exchange .


IN the USA too many VHF are used to keep children occupied.
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Old 11-13-2020, 07:55 AM   #13
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It depends on where I am and how much garbage chatter there is. Near home on Lake Ontario, I tend to leave them on unless I'm in a particularly low traffic area, although I'll turn them off before bed if we're staying out. In somewhere more isolated, I'm less likely to leave them on. Same goes if there's a bunch of useless chatter. I don't mind the occasional USCG chatter and such (good for situational awareness), but if it's constant, I'm likely to either squelch up or turn the things off.
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Old 11-13-2020, 08:00 AM   #14
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IN the USA too many VHF are used to keep children occupied.
And by children, do you mean adults on 16 doing radio checks, fishing chatter and having a ten minute conversation to arrange a slow pass?
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:17 AM   #15
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I leave on on almost constantly... so yes, at anchor and even in our home slip, but not while we sleep (which I may change).


Several years ago, friends of ours were anchored out just a mile away. Once they sun went down they decided to return to the slip. In the dark they managed to get stuck on a shoal. They spent six hours there trying to hail anyone at the marina while waiting for TowBoatUS. Ever since then, we leave it on. Plus like David mentioned, you get to hear some interesting stuff sometimes. We are way up river in New Bern and there really isn't a ton of superfluous radio traffic like down near Morehead City, so it is quiet enough to leave on.
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:21 AM   #16
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Towards the end of this season, I did realize a flaw in having the radios on at anchor. If I'm anywhere below, I can't really hear them, as both radios are at the (only) helm, which is up top. So I added a pair of remote mics hung on the wall in the salon to ensure that I can hear the radios if I'm in the salon. Can't hear them well from the aft cabin, but I don't need to hear them while sleeping, so that's not a big deal.
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:28 AM   #17
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Usually on while at anchor, squelch up to minimize chatter. Too much chatter and it gets turned off. In the Bahamas it stays on. In S Fla, the chatter is annoying so usually off.

Sleepy time everything is off. Usually even gennie unless miserable temps. Oh and fridge stays on with inverter.
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Old 11-13-2020, 10:58 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menzies View Post

Do folks on here leave their radios on until they bunk down for the night? If so, what's the thinking?
Nope. Rarely on at anchor, if at all.
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:06 AM   #19
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Off. Especially in the busy season. THere is so much yapping I don't even pay attention anymore.
Unless of course we are travelling with someone else. In that case we usually arrange to monitor another channel although that's not great either.

And I do ensure the radios are on when we are travelling including listening to the Traffic COntrol in the area. Saved us from an interaction more than a few times.

I will examine my newer VHF to see if it has a LO/DX or equivalant.
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Old 11-13-2020, 11:21 AM   #20
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Great question from OP.

For me it depends. Once you leave the crowded areas of Puget Sound, Gulf Islands and Desolation traffic on the VHF ramps down. Coming back from Alaska, once you enter Desolation Sound B.C there is so much VHF chatter I turn the volume down. I tend to turn off the radio before we go night-night

Believe it of not I have been in areas in SE Alaska where there is no radio as we are so remote. No USCG on any channel.
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