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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was thinking of purchasing a VHF handheld radio, mostley for safty. I was wondering how much the Ifish members comunicate on the river. It sure would be nice to know if the fish are bitting in a sertian spot, sure would save time if we could all talk while we are out their, trying to accomplish the same goal????????
 

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even if you never use it for chatting, it's a good idea to have a VHF on the boat. The Coast Guard can't get a "fix" on a cell phone signal, but can locate you if you have a VHF. Nice to know if you need assistance :wink:
 

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I have a hard mounted VHF and use it occasionally. It is mostly a safety feature while operating out on the ocean or when we make trips to the Columbia.

SD
 

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I would say it should be the second thing you put in your boat after your lifejackets. I have never used mine for an emergency. But have heard plenty of others calling out emergencys.
 

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Yup. Got one. I don't use it, but then again, I haven't had any emergencies. I've heard horror stories about the length of time it takes to route an emergency 911 call to the Coast Guard. I've personally seen how quickly they respond on the VHF. Also, SeaTow (here in Portland) monitors 16 and can help you out in a pinch.

A handy feature is the VHF radios that you can plug into your GPS. In an emergency, you can hit the panic button, and your position and Mayday is automatically broadcast.
 

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I have been surprised at how little interest there seems to be in VHFs any more. Cell phones must have replaced them. I've tried at garage sales and gun shows to sell two ICOM M-5 units, complete with charger, for next to nothing, and nobody is ever interested.
 

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I just installed one, there is quite a bit of chat. I like it because I can hear when a barge is coming through the locks and get out of the way in time. It also lest you talk to a barge captain and see if you are in the way. I have talked to a few ifishers and exchanged reports also.
 

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I usually listen to the chatter, but I don't participate. Cell phones can't call 100 boats at once!
 

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Now that you don't need to be licensed or pay fee to have one, picked up the basic hand held Uniden VHF a while back, has about a 5 mile range for sending, a little better for receiving, gets all channels plus NOAA --- chose the portable so that I can throw it in my soft side tackle box when I go aboard other boat, I know I can get help or listen in to what's up. Has a nice dash mount that comes with it. Chose it over the standard dash mount as it's portable, discreet, doen't need anthing like an antennae and wiring, power is a A/C adapter.
 

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I'm looking to put one on the boat this year and was wondering what to look for as far as which one to get,out put wattage, antenna size or where to go and get one.
 

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FMS has a pretty good selection, you might want to shop for pricing after you choose which model you want. Also cruise the web, Google "VHF marine radio"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the fast replies still worndering how much you guys talk to each other while on the river.
 

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A VHF is a must when owning a boat and fishing in the Columbia or the Ocean. We have a STANDARD HORIZON brand VHF. WE did a lot of research and this one is awesome. We have had it for several years and never had a problem once. We have talked to barge captains and etc. Don't get a handheld VHF. The have weak range. This is especially true when fishing the ocean. A friend of ours had a handheld and we were fishing about 3 miles away from each other. We couldn't hear a dang thing he was saying. Therefore, when people think they can reach help, they may not be able to with the small range of a handheld. A cell phone is definately not the answer either. Also, get an 8' antanae. You never see charter boats or barges with little 6" antanaes. Also, I have know people with a hummingbird radio and it never works correctly. Like troller said, it is an important investment. West Marine sells the brand we have. Good Luck
 

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I have three VHFs on my boat. Two permanent mounts and a handheld. Handhelds are only 5 watt. They are handy if you are fishing with other boats and just want to communicate short distances. They are also nice if you get a waterproof one and take it with you should you have to abandon ship. Permanent mounts are capable of 25 watts of power. The best antenna that I have seen is the 6' stainless steel whip with the load coil at the base of the antenna(looks like an orange juice can) I haven't installed one on my boat yet, but a friend that does a lot of Coast Guard search and rescue at the mouth of the CR, swears by them and he sounds clear as a bell. I'll definately have one on my boat as soon as I can beg the little woman for the money :laugh:
 

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Is there a standard channel that is used by the barge traffic on the Columbia? Is the same channel used around Bonnevile as the Kelley Pt. and lower Columbia?
 

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I tend to use channel 71 for fishing info, as far as barge traffic is concerned I believe channel 13 is common, though all barge operators monitor channel 16
 

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Channel 16 should be reserved for emergencies only. The barges operate on 13 and 14. If you can't get them on those, they will sometimes monitor 7 as well. Stick with 13 or 14. Be polite and they usually are as well. If not, they might just run you over :laugh: :dance:
 

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I've got a Standard Horizon hand held and it serves my purpose.

Yes, there are ifishers that use the vhf to communicate. :cool: I've talked to several ifishers on the river. I'm not worried about "privacy" and giving out info on it. Can you pick my boat out of the crowd in 5 miles of river? :rolleyes:

Get a radio that has the scan feature. I scan 9,13,16,68,72. If I hear a call for an ifisher, I'll usually respond. :smile:
 
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