Routine Radio Calls

Routine radio calls are any calls that refer to simple day to day boating business.

Examples of routine radio calls would be things like:

  • Booking a berth in a marina
  • Arranging a rendezvous with another boat
  • Asking an attendant to come to a fuel pontoon

It’s important to talk normally when using the radio but there are a few things we need to think of first.

Listen before speakingthe VHF radio is a broadcast system and a shared communication method. If somebody is talking on the radio channel that you have selected, wait until they are finished. This will stop you speaking over each other.

Plan what you are going to sayAs the radio is a shared system, it is important to be brief and to the point. A bit of forethought will help.

Identify yourself & who you are callingWe have to do this each time we speak. Not just when we first make contact. You will then ensure that the right transmissions are understood by the right people. Even if the conversation is interrupted.

VHF routine radio calls

Example of a routine radio call to a marina:

Poole Marina, Poole Marina, Poole Marina this is Get Lost RIB, Get Lost RIB, Get Lost RIB, Over.

Get Lost RIB this is Poole Marina, go ahead, Over.

Poole Marina, Get Lost RIB. Request a berth for tonight. We are an 8.5 metre RIB. Over.

Get Lost RIB, Poole Marina, berth A 23, bows in, starboard side to. Over.

Poole Marina, Get Lost RIB, berth A 23. Thank you. Out.

Some extra points to note from this call are the meanings of the word OVER and the word OUT.

The word OVER at the end of a sentence means that I have finished what I am saying and I am expecting a reply.

The word OUT means that I have finished speaking, the conversation is finished and I’m not expecting a reply.