Marine radios and range
VHF: A Marine VHF Radio set is highly recommended to all boaters due to better range and better quality communication. Effective range: up to 20 nm, often much further depending on elevation of land-based receiving stations. VHF with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) and GPS connectivity functions provide extra safety and convenience and are easy to integrate whilst installing. Information about DSC is available on the ACMA website or their Youtube channel
27MHz: Basic entry level marine radios Effective range: 10-15 nautical miles, usually limited to “line of sight”. A VHF set is recommended over 27MHz, as 27Mhz is highly susceptible to static and has significantly reduced radio coverage compared to VHF.
MF/HF: More costly and for offshore coastal and overseas cruising. Effective range: up to 200 nm for “local” communications, considerably further depending on conditions, antennas and frequencies used. MF/HF distress frequencies are monitored by a commercial contractor, engaged by RMS. As part of this RMS contract, the commercial contractor also conducts HF broadcasts Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecasts. Marine Rescue NSW does not monitor public MF/HF.
Marine Rescue NSW
Marine Rescue NSW provides 24/7 continuous radio coverage along the NSW coastline from Point Danger in the North to Eden in the South. Through their 44 Marine Rescue Units their volunteer radio operators provide the recreational boating community with many services and a great deal of information, including:
- 24/7 marine distress monitoring along the entire NSW coastline
- A radio safety watch – make sure you always Log On when you head out and Log Off when you return. If you’re not back when expected, they’ll start looking
- Assistance in case of emergencies and breakdowns
- Weather forecasts and warnings at regular times or any time upon request
- Radio checks to help you know the strength and clarity of your radio signal
- Marine radio training courses.
Talk to Sydney Marine Electrical for advice, repairs, service or a new installation of your Marine UHF/VHF Radio system.
Primary marine radio frequencies used and monitored by Marine Rescue NSW are:
- VHF Channel 16 (Marine Rescue radio bases will then move the caller to a ‘’working channel’)
- 27 MHz Channel 88