Whether you are a professional seaman, port worker, or just run a small canoe club, walkie-talkies are an essential and versatile tool. This article discusses the main uses and benefits of walkie-talkies in a marine environment and offers advice on choosing the right 2-way radio.
The Benefits of Walkie-Talkies in a Marine Environment
We have always been drawn to the sea – amateurs and professionals alike seem compelled to take to the waters. But whether you are a trawlerman braving the winter storms or a fair-weather sailor on a summer jaunt, the perils are ever-present – No matter how precautious you are, this is not our natural habitat and accidents do happen.
Staying as safe as possible while venturing out on any body of water is always the number-one priority, and this is one of the major benefits of walkie-talkies:
Walkie-talkies can greatly improve safety at sea and the workplace
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of walkie-talkies is the increased levels of safety they provide. The reliable, simple, and clear communication they provide is an obvious safety feature in its own right. This ability to communicate instantly and without the requirement of a mobile signal is crucial in innumerable circumstances.
This one factor on its own is a huge safety boon, but there are more safety features that walkie-talkies bring to the table, including:
- Man Down Feature – This uses sensors to detect motion that could relate to the user’s haven fallen, and unless cancelled by the user, will broadcast an emergency signal.
- Lone Worker – This feature requires workers to “check-in” at predetermined intervals. This simply involves pressing a button on the radio. If this fails to happen, the walkie-talkie will broadcast an alert
- Emergency Button – As it sounds, this is an easily accessible button that can be used in the case of emergencies
- GPS Locator – Some walkie-talkie systems can be set up to track the location of the handset
- ATEX Rated – ATEX rated equipment is designed to offer reliable and safe communication in hazardous areas, this is particularly useful for ships that carry dangerous cargoes and for port storage areas that often store volatile goods
Walkie-talkies are robust enough to withstand the marine environment
Marine rated walkie-talkies are designed to specifically cope with the uniquely harsh marine environment. Waterproof and sturdy, these are designed to not only withstand but to function perfectly in the most extreme conditions.
Bodies of water offer a direct line of sight free from obstructions and terrain. This is the ideal environment for walkie-talkies to produce close to their maximum range. The maximum range of walkie-talkies, as described by the manufacturer, is the theoretical maximum achievable. In practice, this rarely happens; terrain, buildings, and atmospheric conditions will restrict the range.
Large bodies of water offer a flat and open area that allows walkie-talkie users to communicate over many miles.
No reliance on mobile signal
The mobile signal at sea can be patchy, even close to the shore. Walkie-talkies have no reliance on mobile or wi-fi signals to function. This means they keep you connected no matter where you are, but it also means there are no associated call, data, or contract costs with walkie-talkies.
Long battery life
Rather than spending half their life attached to a charger (not always readily available in the middle of the sea), walkie-talkies can keep broadcasting throughout an entire day in most circumstances.
Who can benefit from walkie-talkies in a marine environment?
Put simply, anyone from a pair of canoeists on a shoreline hugging adventure to the crew of a supertanker can benefit from using two-way radios. Here are just a few examples of situations where this versatile tool and safety aid can help.
Ship and boat crews
Whether used on a massive container ship to facilitate smooth communication from bow to stern or a 20-metre fishing vessel in the turmoil of an Irish Sea storm, walkie-talkies provide instant and crystal-clear communications that cut through the noise of a storm and offer clear coverage on the largest of ships.
To work reliably in such environments, the radios must be robust and built to withstand the often-brutal conditions. Models like the Kenwood NX-330EXE, which feature waterproof and dustproof certification, GPS, and ATEX certified, are perfect choices.
Sailing schools and Yacht Races
The beautiful Irish coastline has hundreds of sheltered bays and harbours where adults and kids can safely learn the art of sailing and experienced, and novices alike can experience the thrill of a yacht race.
Walkie-talkies make the perfect tool for keeping in touch with large groups of small training yachts or the tricky task of coordinating a yacht race.
For yacht schools, or canoe clubs that are often run-on tight budgets, the cost of walkie-talkies might seem prohibitive, but this isn’t the case. Walkie-talkies for such organisations can be simple devices that are still robust, fully waterproofed and don’t cost the earth.
For instance, a pack of four Motorola T82 Extreme, a model that is designed to work in the harshest of environments, comes in at less than the price of a mid-range smartphone.
Organising and coordinating the day-to-day running of busy ports is an ongoing logistical nightmare, with workers always needing to react to ever-changing circumstances.
Simple and seamless communication that can quickly inform remote groups of workers of changes in circumstances or even of potential dangers helps ensure that port operations stay on track and workers are always aware of hazards as they occur.
A great option for any port, manufacturing, or industrial operation is the feature-rich Motorola DP4401Ex walkie-talkie. Robust, waterproof, and Apex rated, this model also features text messaging facilities, GPS, and the ability to use the internet to communicate on up to 15 remote sites.
Walkie-talkies are an incredibly versatile tool that can assist in the smooth and safe running of just about any marine situation. From the hobby sailor to organising the berthing schedule of a busy port and everything in-between, walkie-talkies are essential.
At Lynn Communications, our expert staff will be delighted to help you choose the perfect set of radios for your marine needs. Why not contact us today and find out more about how walkie-talkies can help your organisation.