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sean

Fishing from a boat...

Jonnyboy's latest meisterwerk can be found here.

Please post questions, suggestions and fan-mail in this thread.
Northern_Lad

Why isn't he wearing a wet-suit, and what happens if you can't reverse a tank towing a trailer?
Green Man

Looks great, well done.
dougal

I believe that as per the previous discussion, a vhf radio can be bought and licensed without the operator necessarily being licensed. It may then be used for distress calls by an unlicensed operator.

I'd suggest that it should be emphasised that one should never consider putting to sea in a small craft without having checked the latest weather forecast - and you'd probably check the tide table before leaving home! Is the wind going to be blowing offshore or onshore? How are conditions expected to change?
If you are relying on a mobile phone for communication, *do* check that its fully charged, and carried in a waterproof pouch of some sort...
Remember that when you call 999, you can ask for the Coastguard...

My personal opinion is that a chart of the waters you might use is a pre-requisite, so that you can be aware of restricted areas, foul anchorages, water depths (remember the tide), tidal streams, landmarks and buoys etc
Taking the chart with you (and a sighting compass) allows you to navigate and have a decent idea of your position... a cheap hiker's waterproof GPS is a nice addition, not a substitute.

And that its never a mistake to have warm and waterproof clothing with you in the boat. Similarly some drinking water and high calorie food (like the hikers' Kendal Mint Cake)... But don't forget the sunscreen, the reflection from the water means you can sunburn twice as quickly!

A radar reflector (of some sort) is one important piece of safety kit. Its particularly important if there are large vessels using your stretch of water. I'm prejudiced being here in the Straights of Dover where there is a *lot* of traffic. In a small boat, you are much more visible to radar than to the eye -- IF you have a radar reflector!

Test your backup propulsion! If its a pair of oars, try rowing your boat (especially against a breeze) so that you have a realistic appreciation of the backup capability...

The anchor, and its line. You need much more line than the depth of water! A common suggestion is that the scope of an anchor should ideally be 10. So to anchor in 5m of water depth, you should pay out 50m of anchor chain/line... The anchor will only hold against a near *horizontal* pull.
Hence its kinda important that you know how much line you have, AND how deep the water is (chart + tide).
A 'sea anchor' might be useful to restrict drift and keep the boat most comfortably aligned while fishing - quite apart from its safety aspect!

Rules of the road, regulations and consideration for others. There are standard rules of precedence, but they may be over-ridden by local regulations - which may apart from anything else limit speeds in harbour or close to shore. You ought to learn something of the general sea rules and you *must* discover what local rules (and signals) apply - For example:
Quote:
Dover Harbour.

139. The following signals for regulating the traffic into and out of the Admiralty and Commercial Harbours, Dover, through the Western Entrance, are shown from the Harbour Board Flagstaff which is situated on the Admiralty Pier Extension, at a distance of 400 feet within its outer end:-

2. By Day. - Three Red Balls, in the form of a triangle, will indicate that a vessel is leaving the Harbour or that the entrance is obstructed. No other vessel is to approach so as to obstruct the entrance whilst this signal is shown.

3. Two Red Balls, vertical, will indicate that a vessel is approaching the entrance from seaward, and no vessel is to leave the Harbour.

4. Three Red Balls, vertical, will indicate that the entrance is closed, and vessels cannot enter or leave. ...

One of the aspects of consideration is to avoid bothering/damaging/endangering others with the wash from your craft...

The sea can be a wonderful, open, private place - BUT it is terribly, terribly unforgiving. Play safely!
crofter

Good post Dougal, I will just add that you need sunscreen on the bottom of your nose (!) and a spare / extra fuel supply is wise.
Noodles

Question for the author of the article - where did you launch from? It looks familiar but I can't quite place it...
Northern_Lad

Can't really speak for him, but probably somewhere in Northern Ireland.

Welcome, by the way, super to have you Noodles.
mark

main tips to remember when fishing from a boat

- if one of your colleagues throws up over the side congratulate them on producing some bait to draw in the fish. Put your hook where their puked

- drinking cans of beer won't stop you puking ovcer the side but you won't care so much!!

- having a big bacon breakfast before you set off to "settle your stomach is a serious mistake!

- almost everything to do with fishing from a boat (eating lunch, guttin gfish on way back, baiting hook) can make you feel queasy!

other than that its a load of fun!



Very Happy
happytechie

I've said this before but I'll say it again.

a VHF radio will enable the coastguard to give the good people from the lifeboat your exact(ish) position when you call for help. A cell phone is really not an alternative.

a well maintained engine and a spare tank of fuel and perhaps a cheap satnav if you're feeling flush. Stay within sight of the land and look backwards a few times as you leave the harbour so you know what it looks like from the other side

hope you all have good fishing

edit, I've just read jonnyboy's article and you DO NOT require a license to operate a VHF radio in an emergency.
RichardW

Also the boat licence is now free.

Justme
Jonnyboy

happytechie wrote:

edit, I've just read jonnyboy's article and you DO NOT require a license to operate a VHF radio in an emergency.


Correct, but you do need a licence to have one on the boat in the first place, and to make general communications. Unless that regulation has changed without my knowledge

link
RichardW

Jonnyboy wrote:
happytechie wrote:

edit, I've just read jonnyboy's article and you DO NOT require a license to operate a VHF radio in an emergency.


Correct, but you do need a licence to have one on the boat in the first place, and to make general communications. Unless that regulation has changed without my knowledge

link


One thing I have learnt is never to believ any thing from some one with a vested interest (in this case providing training). There first statement on that link is wrong.

Quote:

A VHF licence is compulsory for both the equipment and for the operator

For a vessel owned by a UK citizen or registered in the UK this means that all maritime radio equipment must be:

compliant with national requirements
covered by a Ship Radio Licence
operated by (or under the direct supervision of) a holder of a maritime radio operator's certificate


You would be better looking here http://www.ofcom.org.uk/radiocomms/ifi/licensing/classes/maritime/

Free (if applied for online) life time ship licence.


Justme
Jonnyboy

Yes, but you still need to take and pass the course first.

Quote:
If you wish to use the online system to apply for your amateur radio licence, you must have:

Passed the RSGB RAE certificate from June 2003, and need to supply:
Candidate number;
Type of examination passed (e.g. Foundation, Intermediate, or Full);
RichardW

So to get a free one you have to take the test but pay £20 & you dont? Is that the operators licence or the ship / boat licence?
Had a scan round & cant find that info.

Justme
Jonnyboy

It's a bit confusing but the VHF licence is free online but you have to pay £20 to get a paper copy.

In either event you have to take and pass an approved course to be able to apply for the licence.

EDIT: I belive this applies to the operators licence, I registered and went through the links to register for an amateur licence.

However, in any event, as I recommend in the article, if you have sufficient funds to do so it is better to take the course, get a licence and legally own the equipment. And I still think that £200 is a reasonable budget for that.

I'm happy to make any additions to the article to clear this up. But it is intended as a simple introduction rather than the only thing you will ever need to read on boating. Very Happy
RichardW

So to clarify you can :-

buy & use the radio for 999 stuff if you have a boat / ship licence (free online) without any test or training.

buy & use for any purpose only if you take a test & have a boat / ship licence.

Better people know that they dont need to take a test & have a radio if needed than be put off by the test & not have one if needed. I guess for small local harbours & inshore stuff for me £200 is to much as it would never be used for any other purpose. If you are in a busy harbour (or a unknown one) & need to communicate boat to boat (or water taxi etc) then you need a test / training.

Also I think there are some other rules for the newer radio gear with identification carried on the back of the signal. Not sure what that is. They were planning on turning off the older service but think it got shelved.



Justme
Jonnyboy

Justme wrote:

buy & use the radio for 999 stuff if you have a boat / ship licence (free online) without any test or training.


I'm not sure that that is correct. From my reading, you cannot get the licence in the first place without taking the test. I assume that the reason why you can use it in an emergency is to enable an untrained person on a boat to use the radio without any training without fear of prosecution, rather than have someone not use it in an emergency for fear of prosecution.

Quote:
buy & use for any purpose only if you take a test & have a boat / ship licence.


Yes

Quote:
Better people know that they dont need to take a test & have a radio if needed than be put off by the test & not have one if needed. I guess for small local harbours & inshore stuff for me £200 is to much as it would never be used for any other purpose. If you are in a busy harbour (or a unknown one) & need to communicate boat to boat (or water taxi etc) then you need a test / training.


That is my personal view, but it's not for me to suggest what is safe or reasonable for others. Likewise, one could buy a vhf cheaply and keep it for emergencies without great expenditure. As this isn't strictly legal it's not something we could recommend in an article. Wink

Quote:
Also I think there are some other rules for the newer radio gear with identification carried on the back of the signal. Not sure what that is. They were planning on turning off the older service but think it got shelved.



Justme


Not a clue!

Just to clarify, my fishing takes place within visual sight of the harbour/lifeboat station and within mobile phone range, plus I always carry flares. And as it's a drying harbour I always know the tide conditions and weather forecast, and I have an alternative harbour 3 miles down the coast, plus a gently shelving beach in an emergency.

If i was thinking of fishing anywhere near a busy ferry port or more exposed sea my choice of boat, traing and safety equipment would probably be completely different. this isn't a one size fits all thing.
RichardW

Jonnyboy wrote:
Justme wrote:

buy & use the radio for 999 stuff if you have a boat / ship licence (free online) without any test or training.


I'm not sure that that is correct. From my reading, you cannot get the licence in the first place without taking the test. I assume that the reason why you can use it in an emergency is to enable an untrained person on a boat to use the radio without any training without fear of prosecution, rather than have someone not use it in an emergency for fear of prosecution.


Just found this

Quote:

Q Do I need an operatorís certificate to have a Marine radio transceiver on my boat?

A No, a marine radio can be installed on a boat with a ship radio licence alone. However without the operatorís certificate the radio can only be legally used for receive-only purposes unless you are in a DISTRESS situation.

from here http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/ra/topics/maritime/airwaves/airwave2/airwaves.htm


Justme
Jonnyboy

I'm still confused, when I follow any of the online applications it's asking me for licence details
VSS

if you are going out in a boat, then act responsibly and get the license and the radio. life is too short and too fragile, particularly at sea to split hairs over £20!

we fished semi commercially for lobsters for four years while living on an offshore island cut of from the mainland in any thing over a force 4-5. it teaches you huge respect for the sea and the loss at sea of the best boatman i ever knew reinforced that respect.

the sea must be treated with extreme respect. get a VHF, get the license, and preferably get some experience boating with others before you venture out on your own. its not worth the risk otherwise.
Jonnyboy

It's not about £20 Rolling Eyes It's about whether you need to pass the certification course first.
VSS

from what i remember the answer is yes. although it is possible the regs may have changed since then.

ask the local harbourmaster, coastguard, or contact the RYA - they will know the answer.
Jonnyboy

Hopefully someone will, ofcom doesn't appear to.
happytechie

whilst I think the efforts to abide by the letter of the law are admirable I don't think anyone is going to throw the book at you for calling the coastguard if you're in trouble. It goes like this

sinking boat: select channel 16 and say 'holyhead coastguard holyhead coastguard this is fishing vessel jonnyboys boat I am sinking and in ugent need of assistance over'

sinking boat: I am about 3 miles SW of wherever

coastguard: (they have already hit the lifeboat pagers and the crew are on the way) We are DFing your exact position now please stay on air.

At no stage will they refuse to talk to you for not having a radio license or report you to the police for not having one.

Of course when you call them on a cell phone via 999 you need to know where exactly you are or the lifeboat and helicopters will take ages to find you in the fog!

It's just my 2p as an ex lifeboat man who has undertaken several searches for boats in the fog after calls to the coastguard from a mobile.

All that said, I am a hypocrite as I sailed with another lifeboat crew for years with no radio (and I even have a license).
RichardW

happytechie wrote:
We are DFing your exact position now


Thats interesting as they say that the reason for all the new radio's is that it gives your current position (and boat name) in a carrier signal under the voice signal. But sounds like they can just DF a standard signal.

Justme
Jamanda

What's DFing stand for?
vegplot

happytechie wrote:
'holyhead coastguard holyhead coastguard this is fishing vessel jonnyboys boat I am sinking and in ugent need of assistance over'


Good range from Virginia Water, going to take ages to get to you though.

I took my VHF course a couple of years ago, have forgotten almost everything.
dpack

another thing to do
ps im still looking for a good boat (maritime so to say ) solid ,good range ,self contained and most importantly easy to use
RichardW

Jamanda wrote:
What's DFing stand for?


Direction Finding

Justme
deanowales

Not sure if this has been mentioned but one thing I noticed in the video was the adult wearing waders!! THATS A DEFINATE NO NO sure way of drowning if going overboard waders fill with water and theres no way back...sorry if has been mentioned but its very important...you can have all the VHF Radios you like but you have to be alive to use them
Nick

And, are sure they can't find you with a mobile phone? Certainly mine is used to locate me several times a week. Perhaps it's a resolution thing, so it might not be precise enough. (Anyone curious, on Vodaphone, can dial 2222, and hit option 3).
RichardW

I think that works ok in l;arge towns with more base stations so they can see how many your signal can be picked up on then using the overlaping base station areas work our roughly where you are. I guess at see you will be on one or two at most. Could be a large area.

Justme
gnome

i wouldnt risk my life on a mobile - for one thing, most oceans don't have masts every couple of miles, so you can't guarantee a signal (your nearest mast is probably on land - so make sure you are in range) there is nothing intrinsic to a basic mobile that enables them to pinpoint where it is. i think it can be done if you are within range of two masts and they can triangulate a position - not sure on that. being within sight of the harbour is no measure of safety - a great many people drown within sight of a harbour. unless you are close enough to it to safely swim to the steps wearing soaking wet clothing and boots, and against the tide in stormy weather.
happytechie

Nick wrote:
And, are sure they can't find you with a mobile phone? Certainly mine is used to locate me several times a week. Perhaps it's a resolution thing, so it might not be precise enough. (Anyone curious, on Vodaphone, can dial 2222, and hit option 3).


Not to my knowledge. The Coast Guard can DF a VHF signal very accurately using multiple aerials. They just press some buttons while you are transmitting and then tell the lifeboat where you are (or were when transmitting).

Mobile positioning will tell you which cellphone mast you are using. In a city this is likely to be quite a small area but out at sea it would only be the nearest bit of land to you. In a rural area (like anglesey) this could put you anywhere within a big circle and in the launch area for 2 or 3 different lifeboats.
RichardW

We tried a service that located you via the mobile phone in the Gwynedd area. The best it could do was a 6 mile radius if near Pwllheli or a 15 mile one if outside of the Pwllheli one. Not much help on land would be worse at sea.


Justme
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