Don’t forget VHF for safety


To the editor: Paul Exner’s article on safety electronics (“Marine safety electronics,” November/December 2015) was most instructive and useful. However, and it’s a big however, I was surprised that he made no mention of VHF radios, both fixed mount and waterproof hand-held. These are one of the true touchstones of marine safety. Whether you’re leaving the U.S. and heading for the Indian Ocean or out for a day sail, a VHF can reach the USCG through their System 21 in nearshore waters and talk to the helicopter or other rescue vessel when it locates you in offshore waters. A waterproof hand-held VHF with built-in GPS that goes with you into the life raft is about as good as safety electronics gets.

—Tom Clements runs his 42-foot Joel White-designed lobster yacht Woody out of Blue Hill, Maine, and ranges from Nantucket to Nova Scotia.

By Ocean Navigator