Be Prepared

Log ON  Log OFF ..
It’s all FREE!

As previously highlighted, if the VHF marine radio is not used, then it’s best to use it as an anchor.
Making a routine call to another boat or VMR, state clearly:

THE BOAT NAME OR MRG you are calling (spoken three times if communications are difficult)

THIS IS (use boat name or registration number if an unnamed boat), spoken three times if necessary

CLEARLY & SLOWLY STATE THE MESSAGE (finish with the word ‘over’)

When the conversation is completed,


When LOGGING ON with a MRG, provide:

  • NUMBER OF PERSONS ON BOARD (POB – 2 adults 3 children 1 dog)
  • EXPECTED TIME OF RETURN (ETR – eg 1700hrs, not 5pm)

A mobile phone contact as a back up can be useful, although your VHF marine radio should always be treated as the primary communication mode.

Most importantly:

Advise the MRG if you plan to change your COURSE, ETR or POB during the trip time and once returned to port, LOG OFF.

MRG and rescue authorities spend a lot of wasted time, resources and donated money, following up on forgotten Log Off calls.


English is the language most widely used at sea. To ensure your transmissions are clear and most importantly, understood by the MRG, you do need to know the phonetic alphabet.

An example will be on days when transmission is poor due to atmospheric and weather conditions, or in the case of a distress call, when you are wanting to identify yourself in the MAYDAY call.

Ideally, you should train your crew and passengers in how to transmit a Distress Call using the Phonetic Alphabet.

Click on this video presentation and start learning – just look around at the different motor vehicle registrations and start learning your vessel’s call sign – Phonetically..

Mike   Alpha   Yankee   Delta   Alpha   Yankee


Lifejacket laws and regulations differ throughout Australian states and territories and so it is important to know which type best fits the water activity you are planning to do. Vessels must have a specified number of lifejackets onboard, plus having a few extras is a wise decision by the skipper.

Lifejackets Do Save Lives, so if you are fishing, boating or sail boarding, consider these following points;

  • should an accident happen, you may have to spend a long time in the water
  • you may have to swim to shore;
  • you could be unconscious
  • a PFD will keep you buoyant, particularly when you’re tired.
  • if you out of the water your PFD should be nearby in a clearly identified stowage area
  • a lifejacket that is stowed away will be of no use to you in an emergency.

Train yourself and the crew to be able to have a lifejacket on within 2 minutes – better still Wear It at all times!


Before going to sea, check that you have adequate ropes on board the vessel for the variety of tasks that they may be called for.
Ropes can be used for:

  • Slings
  • Safety lines
  • Towing another vessel or yours!
  • Anchor ropes
  • Mooring lines at the pontoon

You can never have too many!

And make sure they are suitable for the task.

For every rope, there is likely to be a knot used to secure the line.

Click here to find out more about the “How To” of knot tying.

Animated Boating Knots by Grog

The Bowline is one of the most useful knots to learn, as it is quick and makes a good eye for mooring lines or to secure a person around the waist should they go “man-over-board” (MOB)