This is a page for all things radio-related at Ephemerisle!
The radios that most people use at Ephemerisle are marine VHF radios, which means that they are to be considered safety equipment first and foremost - every boat at Ephemerisle should be equipped with a marine VHF radio in case of emergency. They are not toys, and misuse can lead to stiff fines!
Radios are nice to have for individuals, but strongly recommended for boat captains. Many islands require them as a condition of participation in the island.
That being said, there's a lot of leeway to use VHF radios for social contact while staying legal with the FCC and Homeland Security! This page will outline a few of those ways.
Picking a radio
The Standard Horizon HX300 is a good basic radio, as are most radios for $100+.
Be careful with radios that cost under $60 as the microphones tend to be terrible and people can't hear you.
- Channel 69 is used for inter-island communication and reaching on-site medical or other support.
- Channel 16 is used for reaching the coast guard.
- Channel 13 is for communicating with commercial traffic directly. If you are about to get run over by a giant cargo vessel, use this channel to ask them how best to get out of their way if the escape route or their intended direction is not clear.
Basic radio usage
When trying to reach someone repeat their name, or their boat's name twice, then your name once. If they don't respond, wait a minute or so and then try again.
"Boaty McBoatFace, Boaty McBoatFace, this is Filthy Oar" "Boaty McBoatFace, Boaty McBoatFace, this is Filthy Oar" "Filthy Oar, I read you. This is Boaty McBoatFace. What's up?"
Emergency Calls on Channel 16
Here’s how to report an emergency (channel 16):
May Day, May Day, May Day This is [boat name here]. We are anchored to the East of Mandeville County park. [State the type of the emergency.]
Here’s how to report a non-emergency safety problem, e.g., if platform parts drift into the shipping channel:
Security (pronounced securiTAY), Security, Security This is [boat name here]. We are anchored to the East of Mandeville County park. [State the type of the problem.] [State that it’s in the process of being dealt with.]
Do *not* jokingly say the words "May Day" over a radio.