VHF Radio Etiquette

Basic RGB


When hailing another vessel, less is always more, and there is an accepted way to make contact.

When you want to hail another vessel, you do so on Channel 16.

When hailing, follow these three steps:

  1. Say the name of the vessel you are trying to contact three times
  2. Give them the name of your boat
  3. Invite them to reply

For example. if Christopher Columbus had had a radio, he might have said:

“Niña, Niña, Niña, this is Pinta. Come back.”

A typical response to being hailed would be:

“Pinta, this is Niña.”

Channel 16 is for hailing and distress only — once you have made contact, you must immediately go to another channel, leaving Channel 16 clear for other users. The most common non-commercial/recreational ship-to-ship channels are 68, 69, 71, 72, 78A.

So Columbus might reply to the Pinta:

I hear you, Pinta. Switching to channel 68.”

Once on the new channel, you need to start the hailing process all over again, since there may be other users on that channel already.

When you are done with your conversation, you can say “Out. Back to 16.”

If you'd like to learn more about the subject featured in this article, please submit your information below.

* Indicates required fields

*By submitting my information, I consent to receive calls and text messages from the company, including information about my membership, and advertising and telemarketing messages. I agree that these calls and messages may be made using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice. I understand that submitting my information is not a condition of membership or of purchasing any goods or services from the company.

Freedom Boat Club Club Locations

We are committed to ensuring that persons with disabilities have access to our goods and services, including those offered through our website, FreedomBoatClubFranchise.com, and we are in the process of improving the accessibility of our website. As such, we strive to adhere to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and 2.1, a set of guidelines developed by the World Wide Web Consortium and used to ensure that digital content is accessible to everyone. We are always learning and looking for ways to improve accessibility.

Contact Us If you have any feedback, questions or need support regarding our website, please e-mail us at privacy@brunswick.com, or call 855-283-1103 or 847-735-4002. In your message, please specify the particular web page about which you have a question or require assistance.

Web Design and Maintenance by Sitespring