Are SSB radios really worth it? We use our cell phones quite often (I phones of which we have two). They cover us for communication (email, fax), GPS and for weather. These I phones are amazing. They have charts in them that work with the GPS and weather that show us where we are and the weather a head. We also have laptops that do the same.
Although I am new sailing I am also a master scuba diver instructor and mountaineer. I have taught my students over the years that redundancy is extremely important. Three is two, two is one and one is none. We sail in the Long Island Sound and our I phones, to this date, have never failed.
We also have two radios.
I have used SSB when out of range of VHF and Cell phones, the big advantage is when more than 100 miles offshore and not in shipping channels or in fishing grounds one can stll send an SOS, Mayday, get email, weatherfax, and let people know you are ok, but for coastal crusing (within 25 miles of shore), and with AIS becoming more and more popular I dont see SSB as a big deal, I was in a discussion last night with another sailor and He swore that you should not go out of sight of land without an SSB yet I have done so many times, but was always in the shipping lanes. I agree that once out of the lanes then there is a life-safety issue,
I would like to hear other opinions on this topic
Hi guys, I recently received my Genral License K2SDV (Kilo two Sailboart Drac Verd). With this license(technical and regs test required) I can work the Ameteur bands but need an operators license and a station license (no test for these but a fee of about $150) to operate the marine SSB channels.
I have a 2meter transceiver that has about the same range as the exiting VHF marine radio but with more power.
The range is still about the same all thought I can connect with repeater stations shore side to extend the range inland.
The SSB HF would extend my connecting with inland and marinite moble Hams but not replace weather and email from my Blackberry, at this time during coastal pursuits.
SSB really comes into play for blue water cruising.
Ron, are you a Ham or use just marine SSB channels? What is your rig and setup on the Beneteau? I have a 373 B and going to set up a IC-802 but wondering about the ground and counterpiose systems for it. Are you on maritine Moble net at 14.3 mHz?
"Sounds like a nice way to share experience. As you know I haven't crossed an ocean like you but have done a bit of coastal cruising as well as lived aboard the last three years. I'll be interested in both learning and sharing…"
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