Frequencies are in MHz. Modulation is 16KF3E or 16KG3E.
NOTE: USCG District 1 (Northeast US) is now reserving
Channel 16 for Distress and International Hailing only. Channel 9 is now the
recommended hailing channel. Once contact is made on a hailing frequency,
boaters should switch to a working frequency to engage in conversation. This
practice should keep the hailing frequencies relatively clear of "idle
Note that the letter "A" indicates simplex use of the ship station transmit
side of an international duplex channel, and that operations are different than
international operations on that channel. Some VHF transceivers are equipped with an
"International - U.S." switch for that purpose. "A" channels are
generally only used in the United States, and use is normally not recognized or allowed
outside the U.S. The letter "B" indicates simplex use of the coast station
transmit side of an international duplex channel. The U.S. does not currently use
"B" channels for simplex communications in this band.
Boaters should normally use channels listed as Non-Commercial. Channel 16 is used for
calling other stations or for distress alerting. Channel 13 should be used to contact a
ship when there is danger of collision. All ships of length 20m or greater are required to
guard VHF channel 13, in addition to VHF channel 16, when operating within U.S.
territorial waters. Users may be fined by the FCC for improper use of these channels.
DISTRESS SAFETY AND CALLING - Use this channel to get the attention of another station (calling) or in emergencies (distress and safety).
INTERSHIP SAFETY - Use this channel for ship-to-ship safety messages and for search and rescue
messages and ships and aircraft of the Coast Guard.
COAST GUARD LIAISON - Use this channel to talk to the Coast Guard (but first make contact on
NONCOMMERCIAL - Working channels for voluntary boats. Messages must be about the needs of the ship. Typical uses include fishing reports, rendezvous,scheduling repairs and berthing information. Use
Channels 67 and 72 only for ship-to-ship messages.
PUBLIC CORRESPONDENCE (MARINE OPERATOR) - Use these channels to call the marine
operator at a public coast station. By contacting a public coast station, you can make and receive calls
from telephones on shore. Except for distress calls, public coast stations usually charge for this service.
24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88(fn2)
PORT OPERATIONS - These channels are used in directing the movement of ships in or near ports,
locks or waterways. Messages must be about the operational handling movement and safety of ships. In
certain major ports, Channels 11,12 and are not available for general port operations messages. Use
channel 20 only for ship-to-coast messages. Channel 77 is limited to intership communications to and
NAVIGATIONAL - (Also known as the bridge-to-bridge channel.) This channel is available to all ships. Messages must be about ship navigation, for example, passing or meeting other ships. You must keep your messages short. Your power output must not be more than one watt. This is also the main working
channel at most locks and drawbridges.
MARITIME CONTROL - This channel may be used to talk to ships and coast stations operated by state or local governments. Messages must pertain to regulation and control, boating activities, or assistance to ships.
DIGITAL SELECTIVE CALLING - Use this channel for distress and safety calling and for general
purpose calling using only digital selective calling techniques.
WEATHER - On these channels you may receive weather broadcasts of the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. These channels are only for receiving. You cannot transmit on them.
Wx-1 162.55 Wx-2 162.4 Wx-3 162.475
Footnotes to table
Not available in the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway, or the Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and its approaches.
Only for use In the Great Lakes, St Lawrence Seaway, and Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de fuca and its approaches.
Available only In the Houston and New Orleans areas.
Available only in the Great Lakes.
Available only In the New Orleans area.
Available for Intership, ship, and coast general purpose calling by noncommercial ships.
Available only In the Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.