Maritime Mobile Service
History: In the early 1900s, sailors realized that radio would be a boon to sailing if they could communicate with shore from a long distance away. Now most boats and ships have a marine radio that could be used to call Mayday (Distress) or communicate with any port. These are even used on the Missouri river for boats and ships to call the canal operators.
License Needed: None needed for personal use and smaller commercial boats. A license will be needed for any boat or ship over a certain tonnage, travels to a foreign port, or needs to communication internationally.
Use: Personal or Business
Range: Depends on antenna height and power. Can be up to 62 miles between two tall commercial ships.
Equipment needed: Any Make or Model of a Marine Radio that is certified by the FCC under Part 80 of the regulations. You can check a radio’s certification by looking in the FCC online database.
Antenna: Attached or Detached Antenna depending if the radio is a handheld or mobile type radio. Antennas are typically placed on a sailmast or off the highest mounting point on a boat or ship.
Output: Maximum 25 Watts
Modulation: Frequency Modulation (FM), Narrowband Frequency Modulation (FMN) and Data
Frequencies: 80-120 channels. Some frequencies are common internationally, some are country specific. Some are voice channels, some are data channels.
Emergency Channel: Channel 16 is the International Distress Calling Channel.
|New Channel||Old Channel||Transmit Freqency||Receive Frequency||Use|
|1001||01A||156.050||156.050||Port Operations and Commercial, VTS. Available only in New Orleans / Lower Mississippi area.|
|1005||05A||156.250||156.250||Port Operations or VTS in the Houston, New Orleans and Seattle areas.|
|08||08||156.400||156.400||Commercial (Intership only). VDSMS|
|09||09||156.450||156.450||Boater Calling. Commercial and Non-Commercial. VDSMS|
|11||11||156.550||156.550||Commercial. VTS in selected areas. VDSMS|
|12||12||156.600||156.600||Port Operations. VTS in selected areas.|
|13||13||156.650||156.650||Intership Navigation Safety (Bridge-to-bridge). Ships >20m length maintain a listening watch on this channel in US waters.|
|14||14||156.700||156.700||Port Operations. VTS in selected areas.|
|15||15||--||156.750||Environmental (Receive only). Used by Class C EPIRBs.|
|16||16||156.800||156.800||International Distress, Safety and Calling. Ships required to carry radio, USCG, and most coast stations maintain a listening watch on this channel.|
|17||17||156.850||156.850||State & local govt maritime control|
|20||20||157.000||161.600||Port Operations (duplex)|
|1021||21A||157.050||157.050||U.S. Coast Guard only|
|1022||22A||157.100||157.100||Coast Guard Liaison and Maritime Safety Information Broadcasts. Broadcasts announced on channel 16.|
|1023||23A||157.150||157.150||U.S. Coast Guard only|
|24||24||157.200||161.800||Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS|
|25||25||157.250||161.850||Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS|
|26||26||157.300||161.900||Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS|
|27||27||157.350||161.950||Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS|
|28||28||157.400||162.000||Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS|
|1063||63A||156.175||156.175||Port Operations and Commercial, VTS. Available only in New Orleans / Lower Mississippi area.|
|67||67||156.375||156.375||Commercial. Used for Bridge-to-bridge communications in lower Mississippi River. Intership only.|
|70||70||156.525||156.525||Digital Selective Calling (voice communications not allowed)|
|72||72||156.625||156.625||Non-Commercial (Intership only). VDSMS|
|77||77||156.875||156.875||Port Operations (Intership only)|
|1079||79A||156.975||156.975||Commercial. Non-Commercial in Great Lakes only. VDSMS|
|1080||80A||157.025||157.025||Commercial. Non-Commercial in Great Lakes only. VDSMS|
|1081||81A||157.075||157.075||U.S. Government only - Environmental protection operations.|
|1082||82A||157.125||157.125||U.S. Government only|
|1083||83A||157.175||157.175||U.S. Coast Guard only|
|84||84||157.225||161.825||Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS|
|85||85||157.275||161.875||Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS|
|86||86||157.325||161.925||Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS|
|87||87||157.375||157.375||Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS|
|88||88||157.425||157.425||Commercial, Intership only. VDSMS|
|AIS 1||AIS 1||161.975||161.975||Automatic Identification System (AIS)|
|AIS 2||AIS 2||162.025||162.025||Automatic Identification System (AIS)|