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VHF for the helmsman


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What is the issue?
VHF systems are typically installed below decks and effectively out of ear shot in the tiller area. Consequently the helmsman who is required to act upon details relayed by VHF is out of audible range. This situation is exacerbated when an engine is running and a VHF call may be entirely masked.

Solo sailors are equally forced to dash back and forth from the tiller should they be without a hand held, or out the handhelds communicating range, and need to use the ship’s VHF radio.


Why address this?
This is an awkward arrangement and it could also cause a difficult situation in tight waterways or an important message not to be heard.

How to address this?
Implement a VHF system with an external speaker jack and mount an external speaker in the cockpit as presented in figure 1. Add a hand piece with an extended coiled cord length that permits it to reach out into the cockpit.

Alternatively an occasional waterproof speaker in a box can be attached by a jack plug and dropped under the spray dodger as needed.

Whichever set-up is selected make certain to position the loudspeaker as far from the compass, or compass based tiller pilot, as possible so that the speaker magnets do not affect the instruments.


With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.


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