When you are speaking over the radio, you should consider:

  • speak clearly, so that there could be no confusion with other words;
  • speak at normal conversation level, so do not shout as shouting may overload microphone causing distortion;
  • the voice should be pitched at higher level than for normal conversation and droping the pitch of the voice at the end of a word should be avoided;
  • speak slowly but still in phrases rather than word by word.
All calls (except the initial Distress, Urgency and Safety calls explained in next chapters) on the VHF RT radio follow the same patern.

(The identity of the station called)

THIS IS (The identity of the calling station)

OVER
Pattern of an Initial Call

(The identity of the station called)

THIS IS (The identity of the calling station)

(Message)

OVER
Pattern used after the contact is established

Both stations, called and calling, could be identified by its:
  • MMSI,
  • name or
  • Call Sign.
And both stations could be vessel, CG or CRS.

(MMSI of the called station spoken 1 to 3 times) and/or (Name of the called station spoken 1 to 3 times) and/or (Call sign of the called station spoken 1 to 3 times)

THIS IS (MMSI of the calling station spoken 1 to 3 times) and/or (Name of the calling station spoken 1 to 3 times) and/or (Call sign of the calling station spoken 1 to 3 times)

OVER
Pattern of an Initial Call

(MMSI of the called station) and/or (Name of the called station) and/or (Call sign of the called station)

THIS IS (MMSI of the calling station) and/or (Name of the calling station) and/or (Call sign of the calling station)

(Message)

OVER
Pattern used after the contact is established

All identifications could be used at the same time in a call, but in most cases just one of them is used.

Identifications are spoken:
  • 3 times in case of Distress, Urgency or Safety working, in difficult radio conditions, sailing at international or another country's water (because of the language-pronunciation problem).
  • twice in case the called station is not expecting the call,
  • once in all other cases.
But after the contact is established, any identification need only be transmited once.

VHF radio voice procedure:
  • Press the PTT switch and call (using the pattern above) ending with the procedure word “OVER”
  • Release the PTT switch and listen for a reply
  • When communication is completed finish with the procedure word “OUT”


Push the button to listen to an example of the correct voice procedure, which is exchanged between the sailing boat Spinaker and the Marina Koper. Please note the ON/OFF position of the black PTT switch during the communication exchange.

Marina Koper, Marina Koper
This is Spinaker, Spinaker
Over

Spinaker
This is Marina Koper
Go to channel 15
Over

Marina Koper
This is Spinaker
Do you have space for a 14 metre long sail boat
Over

Spinaker
This is Marina Koper
Yes we have
Sail into the marina and go to the extreme right pier number one
Over

Marina Koper
This is Spinaker
We are coming
Out

An example of the correct voice procedure, which is exchanged between the sailing boat Spinaker and the Marina Koper. The communication started on VHF CH 16 and after first contact Marina Koper gave a dedicated VHF CH 15 as a working channel on which the communication proceeded.

Garbled calls

When a station receives a call without being certain that it is intended for it, it must not reply. When a station receives a call, which is intended for it, but is uncertain of the calling station's identity, it should reply as follows:

Station calling Spinaker Station calling Spinaker

THIS IS Spinaker

Say again

OVER

Last modified: Saturday, 25 April 2020, 7:50 PM