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Fair enough, each to their own KM! It's just with a good AP, most people do their navigating and planning below...

 

In about a week, when the Navico marketing guys come back from the sanctuary cove boat show, There will be a unit available for demos at the Navico Office in Albany if anyone is interested. 1st stock available in about 2 weeks...

 

Matt 

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while we're griping about VHF

 

after getting my DSC VHF hooked up to the GPS

 

i thought coastguard would immediately know where i was if i pushed the distress button within range of a station

 

but when i asked about this at the recent coastguard open day at mechanics bay they said

 

"no actually, your VHF may very well fire off the lat/long from your GPS but our NZ system isn't configured to receive it, so don't believe the radio manual that says you can press the distress button + abandon ship secure in the knowledge that your GPS linked DSC VHF will continually broadcast your position while you await rescue" 

 

stay on chan 16 until someone answers and get them to write down your position" 

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if a DSC VHF distress call with lat/long 

 

will show up on your plotter

 

will it show up on a coast guard or police launch plotter?

 

ie

 

is this DSC receive blindspot

 

nz coastguard stations only

 

or is it land stations and coastguard boats?

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Erice, the shore stations have to have the reception gear. A DSC radio that can receive the signal over the radio, and transmit it via the NMEA stream to the plotters. ALL the shore stations must have this gear before they can publicly state it is supported. NZ rescue services don't currently  have it, and monitoring it is a 24/7 expense. It is not the tech thats the issue, it's the $.

 

By the way, many "DSC" radios only receive, and won't transmit the data over NMEA, so are no good for the "on plotter" setup. Read the specs carefully if buying, read your manual if you already have the set you wish to use.

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My under standing was that as NZ has VHF coverage for most of the coast the DSC capability was not required - the decision also meant that NZ vessels did not have to spend big coin back then to replace non DSC capable VHF radios. NZ does have HF DSC.

 

Having worked in waters much busier than NZ the only time I received a valid VHF DSC distress call was in the Gulf of Aden, after I had already responded to a VHF Mayday call made by another yacht in the same fleet. the Mayday calls were for the same reason.

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Maybe Rigger, but I don't agree with that logic. DSC is a simple, one button press distress call. Can be made in under a second, and allow you to keep dealing with the issue, rather than being tied to the radio.... IMO it should be used. But it is not. Here, in NZ.

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It seems surprising to me that DSC is not supported by NZ coastguard shore stations. I have a Std Horizon HX851 that I carry on my body when sailing my Formula 16, e.g. singlehanded on Lake Michigan, and DSC was a significant selling point for me. If I'm on my own, in the water, on Lake Michigan and I have to make a distress call, I don't know for sure that I'm going to be in a position to carry on a voice conversation.

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