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TOPIC: VHF Handheld requirements and recommendations

VHF Handheld requirements and recommendations 27 May 2022 17:06 #129955

  • Paul Hayes
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The only other thing I would add is.
Keep a camera handy.

Especially if the yellow fire fighting planes are taking water from the river. Any sight of them and get over towards the bank. Quite spectacular.

Paul
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VHF Handheld requirements and recommendations 27 May 2022 16:32 #129954

  • Marty Latham
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Thanks for your detailed reply Paul, very interesting and useful information.
Marty

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VHF Handheld requirements and recommendations 27 May 2022 09:14 #129948

  • Paul Hayes
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Hi Marty

Yes get one, not just for the locks, but between them leave it on on channel 10, the ship to ship channel, which Commercials and hotel ships use to talk to each other. If you hear them you know that they are within a few km.

Coming downstream especially, they need the river channel, and if they think that you are obstructing it will call you on 10.

Even in August downstream of the Rhone locks the flow is rarely below 7kph, so the big boys can't stop easily.

Also the pusher tugs with two dumb pans are 180m long, they come upstream at 20 kph, if they catch up with you just before a bridge, you should tell them that you see them and move to one side, slowing down to let them have priority and a straight approach to the allocated bridge arch.

Both of the above will appreciate your boating skills.

A VHF is also good in an emergency.

The fastest two places on the Rhone are going under railway bridges at Beaucaire and Pont Mediterranee.

Look on the Inforhone.fr site every day for the Debits of 800 at Beaucaire and 600 at Valance. Which should be ok for the average private vessel unless you have a lot of power. 1200 is "interesting" (we were down to 1½ kph in a 30m barge with 185 horses galloping). Unless you have plenty of h.p. the above is not even with thinking about, tie up and wait for it to reduce. I have shot Beaucaire at 8 kph, with a 1800 debit figure, but in a very powerful craft.

The problem is keeping the bows directly into the flow, let the flow get on either side for a moment and the river can spin you round into the bridge buttresses.

The difficult bits are only 100m long, and it gets a bit earlier after you clear the bridges.

August should be a good time for the journey, but weather patterns are changing. In May we have had June's weather, just watch the weather forecast for the areas 300km upstream. A good thunderstorm in the Burgundy / Jura area produces a slug of water that gets to the lower Rhone in about 3 days. Several days of rain, lifts the river for a number of days, time to find a port and town to explore.

Above Lyon on The Saône things are much less frenetic.

Enjoy your trip. You go through some beautiful scenery.

Paul Hayes
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VHF Handheld requirements and recommendations 25 May 2022 21:16 #129920

  • Pete Milne
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Most float - though if you need that, you may have a bigger problem! Google /Amazon for 'vhf portatif'. Cost looks like c.€120 for something adequate.
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VHF Handheld requirements and recommendations 25 May 2022 20:47 #129918

  • Peter Cawson
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Yes you do need vhf eve though you may rarely use it. I use a hand held as you can take it with you around the boat, eg when holding ropes in locks and keeper asks something. ICOM very good and they float if dropped overboard. If you buy in UK, ask the vendor to activate the EU channels that are often omitted from UK bought ones and also ensure ATIS is activated. Or buy in EU where these should already be done.

Peter
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VHF Handheld requirements and recommendations 25 May 2022 20:26 #129917

  • Pete Milne
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I recommend the cheapest! I have a Standard Horizon HX300 for that reason and it just does the job - but others are available. Just the essentials. I certainly suggest buying in the EU as the UK suppliers don't pre-configure for the EU inland channel allocations.
Most locks have phone numbers but VHF and its conversation protocol is so much easier I'd not be without it, even on a smaller boat.
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VHF Handheld requirements and recommendations 25 May 2022 20:10 #129916

  • Marty Latham
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or can I use a mobile phone?

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VHF Handheld requirements and recommendations 25 May 2022 20:03 #129915

  • Marty Latham
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We are travelling north on the Rhone & Saone to SJDL in August and have been advised that we require a VHF for the commercial locks, is this correct?

We are 12m and have not had a VHF previously.

If required could you recommend a model and is it better to buy in France or the UK?
Thanks
Marty

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