Communications for the sailor

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Communications and getting the best out of them, depending on your type of sailing and where you sail.

These pages reflect my own learning curve and, to some, may well demonstrate how little I still really know. '''For many British leisure sailors and motor boaters, BBC Radio 4 with the legendary shipping forecast plus the Inshore waters forecasts, is all they ever think about and, more importantly and regrettably, all they ever use. Two points have to be borne in mind. First, the BBC has no obligation to broadcast the shipping forecast and, to some, it represents an unnecessary interruption to Test Match commentaries. Secondly, the information content in the shipping forecast is insufficient to meet any but the most basic needs.

Those who use nothing else are ignoring much valuable information available via the GMDSS that is maintained with marine safety as its sole reason. Almost as importantly, they are ignoring the Internet which is, first, a back-up or an alternative, non-operational, way of getting GMDSS weather information. More significantly, the Internet provides much extra information that is particularly useful for planning purposes. This can be of great help in keeping you out of trouble.

These pages have been produced to help sailors gain a better idea of how to use the many communications media that are open to them.