Marine Radio Ranges

Marine Communications

Radio provides the ability to talk to many stations all at once, meaning the marine radio serves many uses from talking to other ship stations, a marina or even the coastguard.

With over one thousand ships, boats and yachts monitoring digital selective calling (DSC) MF, HF and VHF radio at any one time, marine radio is still by far the best way for summoning help and assistance.

The marine radio is essential for receiving weather broadcasts as well as maritime safety information (MSI).
A modern marine transceiver includes Digital Selective Calling (DSC) which can be used for inter-ship, urgency and distress calling.

Communications Types and Distance

  • Wifi in the marina
    • 50 to 100 metres
  • Mobile phone – depending on coverage
    • usually poor coverage out at sea:-
      • phone calls 5 to 20 miles from base station
      • 3G/4G data 5 to 10 miles from base station
  • Marine VHF radio
    • Provides voice communications to ships and coastguard
    • limited range – line of sight
      • up to 20 miles to a ship
      • up to 50 miles to shore
  • AM/FM Broadcast Radio
    • up to 50 miles on FM
    • maybe 200 miles on AM
  • Satellite technology
    • provides point to point communications
    • Satellite data costs are around 1000 times more than 3G/4G
  • MF/HF (SSB) Radio
    • works anywhere – global coverage.
    • Provides flexible communications
      • Distress & Safety communications
      • Yachtsmen Nets
      • News and entertainment
      • Weather broadcasts (voice, weatherfax, text)
      • Email
        • No air time costs
      • low running costs
    • May be required for some Off-Shore racing
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