Upcoming Events

Friday, 5 Apr 2019
Time: 05:30 pm - 08:30 pm
Location: ORCV, State Sailing Centre, Albert Park

Sunday, 14 Apr 2019
Time: 01:45 pm - 05:10 pm
Location: The Heads, Port Phillip Bay

Friday, 19 Apr 2019 - Sunday, 21 Apr 2019
Time: 0:30 - 23:00
Location: Queenscliff

Sunday, 5 May 2019
Time: 10:00 - 15:00
Location: Royal Brighton Yacht Club

Monday, 6 May 2019
Time: 19:00 - 21:30
Location: ORCV, State Sailing Centre, Albert Park

Saturday, 18 May 2019 - Sunday, 19 May 2019
Time: 7:00 - 17:00
Location: Queenscliff

Saturday, 25 May 2019 - Sunday, 26 May 2019
Time: 08:15 am - 05:00 pm
Location: Wesley College

Sunday, 26 May 2019
Time: 08:15 am - 05:00 pm
Location: Wesley College

Training Radio

ORCV Practical, hands-on marine radio workshop.

All sailors, skipper and crew, should be confident to operate the radio equipment on any boat. You never know when you may be called upon to issue that important distress call or coordinate radio communication while your skipper comes to the aid of another vessel. While obtaining your Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency is a very important first step it does not provide the practical experience required to deal with routine radio communications, position reporting skeds, communication with limited coast stations, distress traffic and using the local VHF repeater network. Even general confidence in using a microphone often takes sometime to acquire. The ORCV has developed this hands on workshop to provide new skippers and crew with the opportunity to gain the experience required to operate marine radios with confidence.


Participants will rotate through four different sessions in group sizes of approximately 10. Each session will provide all participants with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with various aspects of radio operation including hands on use of simulators and actual radio equipment in the ORCV mobile communications van.

This practical training includes routine communication, fleet postion reporting schedules and distress situations as well as understanding the capability of the ORCV mobile communications van which is used to support our our on-water events.


At the completion of the workshop, participants will have acquired sufficient knowledge and experience to understand the radio communication protocols and processes which will apply during on-water events and coastal waters cruising.

In particular participants will be able to:

  • Make a Mayday and/or Pan Pan radio call (which includes frequency selection and details of their location and identity)
  • Be able to make a Digital Selective Calling distress alert
  • Be able to radio into Coast Radio Melbourne and other limited coast stations up the east coast on appropriate channels
  • Be able to participate in an ORCV event position reporting sched
  • Get weather forecasts via radio

Who should attend?

  • Anyone who has a Marine Radio Operator's Certificate of Proficiency but hasn't had practical experience using a a marine radio.
  • An ideal refresher and update on new marine radio technologies such as DSC, VHF Repeaters, HF weather fax, for anyone who obtained their Marine Radio Operator's Certificate of Proficiency more than 5 years ago.


To gain maximum benefit from this hands on workshop you should already hold a Marine Radio Operator's Certificate of Proficiency issued by the Australian Maritime College on behalf of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Minimum prerequisite is a thorough knowledge of the Marine Radio Operations Handbook.

What to bring

Notepad and pen or pencil.

Course Outline.

This course provides a series of practical sessions divided into four general topics.

Participants will be divided to four groups of 8 – 10 people and rotate around four activities -

  • Session A – Live radio sked practical

  • Session B – Practical Mayday and Digital Selective Calling

  • Session C – Repeaters, Coast Stations and conditions/frequency selection

  • Session D – In the van with the HF radio (obtaining weather forecast, weatherfax, doing a radio check)


No formal assessment is conducted. Instructors will perform continuous assessment with the objective of ensuring each person completes each of the sessions with a working knowledge of how to participate in that aspect of marine radio communication.


ORCV requires that at least one, and for Category 2 and above events and double handed entries, two members of the crew to hold the relevant certificate of proficiency. In addition is is recommended that at least one of the crew is familiar with ORCV routine communication protocols for position reporting.

Course Materials

All participants will be provided with -

  • Copies of the East coast repeater network maps

  • Outline of the Bureau of Meteorology HF weather information broadcasting service.

  • Copies of weather recording templates..

  • Sample standard position reporting sked sheet.

  • Sample radio mayday instruction sheet.

Dates, Locations, Times, Duration

Sunday, July 19th 2015

Duration 4.0 hrs

1:30pm - 5:30pm

The Boatshed.
3 Aquatic Drive,
Albert Park Reserve

N.B. The ORCV has arranged a Marine Radio Operator's Certificate of Proficiency preparation and exam to be conducted in conjunction with this workshop. Further details are available online at ORCV.org.au or by contacting our training partner “This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.”.


ORCV members $40

Non-ORCV members $60

Cost includes course handouts.


Online enrolment is available through the registration button. Course numbers are limited, payment in advance of at least 5 days is required to secure your place.


For those boats planning to head to Portland on Cup Weekend, hopefully you have already had your HF radios programmed to include the required additional simplex frequencies of 6218 kHz, 8210 kHz and 12305 kHz in addition to retaining our old faithful at 4483 kHz.

The next step is to complete the radio check as required by the Notice of Race.

Call Kordia on (02) 6279 5774 and ask to a radio check to Charleville Radio (their call sign) as part of the ORCV Melbourne to Portland race. They will tell you which frequency to try calling on (most likely 12305 kHz if calling -during the day). If possible, try all the new frequencies although during the day, communicating on anything but 12305 may well be problematic since the lower frequencies are better suited to night-time hours. Kordia will assess your radio’s performance and let the ORCV know the results.

HF Radio Communications for 2013-14 Ocean Races


For all Category 2 races this coming Summer, we will be using Kordia, the company that operates the national HF radio service, based in Canberra (alongside AMSA) and using The Charleville ( Qld) and Wiluna (WA) transmitters.


As has been mentioned before, for this coming Summer Season’s ORCV ocean races, we will be using Kordia to provide our HF communications using the Chareleville station in Queensland.

This change was the result of our long term, loyal radio operator, Peter Clancy, deciding to hang up his microphone and retire and we are immensely grateful for his past services and wish him well. Although we did consider other alternatives, Kordia was an easy choice for several strong reasons;

  • They operate the Australian Government HF radio communication systems out of Charleville and Wiluna and because of their mission-critical role, they have built in redundant systems to cope with possible equipment failure.
  • They operate 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, and 365 days/year!
  • They are co-located with AMSA in Canberra which will be invaluable in case of an emergency.
  • They have ready access to other emergency services that might be needed, like medical.
  • We used them for the recent Osaka Race and they did a very good job for us
  • They are free!

Since we will be using the Charleville station in Queensland, our old 4483 kHz frequency will generally not be acceptable due the extra distance and we will need to use higher frequencies, particularly during daylight hours. Kordia evaluated a number of frequencies and have chosen 6218 kHz, 8210 kHz and 12305 kHz and maybe our old trusty 4483 will be usable for some races and at some times. The main reason for choosing these frequencies is to ensure a minimum level of interference from other users.

These frequencies need to be set up in simplex mode (using the same frequency for transmitting as well as receiving. The three new frequencies are generally used in duplex mode (different frequencies for transmitting and receiving) but we need to use them in simplex mode. This is because not all sets can operate in duplex mode and more importantly, from a safety perspective, it is critical that all boats are potentially able to hear both sides of all conversations.

Some HF sets can easily be set up with these new frequencies while other sets may need the services of one of the local marine radio technicians so with the Portland race just around the corner, don’t leave it too late to get your HF radio all set up to go!

Using a Marine VHF radio.

If you own or use a Marine VHF Radio make sure you know the procedures for radio use.

National and international systems exist to provide prompt and effective search and rescue assistance to ships in distress. By complying with the correct radio protocols and procedures, ship station operators can ensure that these systems continue to work effectively for the benefit of all users.

Calling a coast station or ship station on channel 16

Keep it clear - call and switch. Call on channel 16, then switch to an appropriate working channel that will keep channel 16 clear for someone else to use.

Alternatively, before you leave the wharf, arrange a sked on an appropriate working channel. When calling and working with other vessels—use channels 72, 73 or 77. When calling and working with a coast station - use channel 73.

Marine VHF radio operators handbook


The Australian Maritime College produces a handbook that provides all the information needed to operate your VHF radio correctly. As part of the Australian Communications and Media Authority's Marine VHF Radio Information Program, the Marine VHF Radio Operators Handbook has been made available for free download.    This offer has been extended and will now conclude on 30/06/2012.  Click here to take advantage of this offer and download a copy of the handbook for free now from the Australian Martime College.

Hard copies can be purchased from The Australian Maritime College.

For more information visit www.acma.gov.au/vhfmarine

Sticker and postcard



The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has also produced stickers VHF marine radio channels sticker reminding boaters of the purpose of each VHF channel and VHF marine radio postcards which reinforce the importance of calling on Channel 16 and then switching to a working channel. The information card also reminds boaters to always listen on Channel 16 when not using the radio.

More information about VHF Marine radio, including links to other organisations such as the Bureau of Meteorology visit the ACMA website www.acma.gov.au/vhfmarine

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