Training Officer’s Report, Spring 2017

Thursday 3rd August, 2017
Stan Jackson

On Sunday, July 16, Peter Donaldson conducted a very informative day taking 9 participants through a tour of the technical and legal intricacies and the etiquette of proper use of the VHF radio.

During the morning session Peter took us through the Marine VHF Radio Operator’s Handbook and spent time in our radio room showing us how the radio works, and what all the buttons are for. Consequently, all the participants found that this piece of essential equipment (which, in general most of us have very little knowledge of its broader operational capabilities) has a great deal more to offer us than they thought.

The afternoon session saw the participants undertake the examination to acquire their VHF radio licence, which is now officially known as the Short Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency (SROCP). Well done to all participants for successfully completing the examination.

Below is a list of new ‘learnings’ noted by the participants as a result of the day:
– the correct way to set squelch
– the radio can be set to low power for transmitting short distances, and high power for transmitting longer distances
– the radio will automatically switch from low power to high power when transmitting on Channel 16
– the importance of antenna height in terms of achieving greatest range
– DSC (Digital Selective Calling) can be used to send automated distress calls on Channel 70
– consider getting a small solar-powered 12 Volt battery dedicated for only the radio in case of primary power failure
– SOLAS stands for Safety Of Life At Sea
– you can pre-program the scanning button
– the importance of understanding how to operate the radio before heading out
We were extremely fortunate to have Peter take this course. He has extensive boating experience in a wide variety of contexts. As a service to our local Yachting Westernport clubs, Peter took the day at no charge. We thank you, Peter.

With the acquisition of our 4 Hansa dinghies and the near completion of the Dinghy Storage Shed we are in a
position to include dinghy sailing to enhance our Sailability Program. We are also able to use the dinghies to step up our Introduction to Sailing events. With the increase in boating activities requiring support safety vessels, the Committee has acknowledged the need for competent, qualified Safety Boat operators.

Consequently, we have arranged for a recognised Safety Boat Operator Course to be conducted by Westernport Yacht Club at Balnarring over October 7 & 8 this year. Six members who have made a commitment to skipper/crew in Safety Boats during club events will participate in the course.

I wish to remind you that there will be a fire information and response day on Sunday, October 8. The day will
comprise an information/discussion session in the morning, followed by a practical response session in the

Obviously, our response to a fire – or any other emergency situation – is of critical importance, and the more
members we have knowledgeable about the required responses, the better. Therefore, all members are encouraged to attend this important event.

Happy and safe boating
Stan Jackson

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