When enjoying your days and nights on the water, here are a few quick tips for hailing on radio channels and harbor etiquette.

Radio Channels
  • WX/Channel 1, 3: Marine weather
  • Channel 9: The GPYC monitors channel 9. Use this channel for hailing local marinas, request docking assistance, raising the drawbridge, opening the swing bridge, verifying the status of the fuel dock, radio checks, etc.
  • Channel 13: Used for commerical traffic. Sometimes you can hear freighter captains talking to each other on this channel.
  • Channel 16: The emergency channel; use when in distress. Always monitor this channel when underway. This is used to reach the Coast Guard and to signal for help
  • Channels 67, 68, 69, 71, 72 and 78: Working Channels for recreational boaters

When hailing on any channel, repeat the other boat's name (or the harbor facility you are trying to reach) three times and your channel number, then when the other party responds, crisply state your request.

For example: "Vectis, Vectis, Vectis, this is Aleria on channel 16 over." "Aleriathis is Vectis." "Vectis, switch to channel 71." "Vectis switching 71." You meet on channel 71 where you can converse normally.

When in Distress: Always Use Channel 16
  • Least threatening: Hail "Securite, securite, securite" 
    • Example: You are towing someone and have restricted maneuverability and you want all others to avoid you or to let you know if there's a potential issue)
  • Moderately threatening: Hail "Pan pan, pan pan, pan pan"
    • Example: You have grounded and believe you may be taking on water slowly, or are a hazard to navigation
  • Immediate danger and distress: Hail "Mayday, mayday, mayday"
    • Example: Your ship is going down, you've lost someone overboard, your vessel is being smashed on rocks, etc.
Harbor Courtesy Reminders
  • When in the GPYC Harbor, always use your "low power" mode
  • Always turn your radar off while in the harbor - your fellow members and boaters will appreciate it!