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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Deadliest Catch: Ship Radios
|Author||Topic: Deadliest Catch: Ship Radios|
posted 05-19-2014 12:18 PM ET (US)
As a ardent fan of Deadliest Catch, the long-running television show about commercial fishing in the Bering Sea, I have taken to noticing the VHF Marine Band radios being used on the various fishing vessels. Since these boats are operating in the Bering Sea under some of the worst wind and wave conditions you could imagine, I suspect they give some thought to their VHF Marine Band radio equipment. So far in the 2014 season I have noticed the following ships and radios in use:
F/V NORTHWESTERN callsign WDE5199, MMSI 367363350, appears to be using a SAILOR brand VHF Marine Band DSC radio. The SAILOR radios are made by Cobham in England, and they are rather pricey. I didn't catch the model number in use. There is a model 6216 that goes for about $600, and it looked a lot like the radio I caught a glimpse of during the television show. ( SAILOR 6216 )
F/V TIME BANDIT callsign WDH2111 , MMSI 367594480, appeared in a recent episode to be using a Standard-Horizon INTREPID+ radio, model GX1270S. (This is a discontinued radio.) ( GX1270 )
I will watch for other instances on the show where the ship and its VHF radio can be identified and report more sightings.
posted 05-19-2014 05:41 PM ET (US)
Another good commercial brand of VHF you might see on some of the boats is SEA radio. RF Harris used to be a top brand but, don't know if it still made today.
posted 05-19-2014 09:05 PM ET (US)
Well let us know if you see that SEA brand on any of the fishing boats on Deadliest Catch at sea. I see that SEA radios are made near Seattle. I wouldn't be surprised to see one on a boat from that home port.
posted 05-21-2014 06:15 AM ET (US)
In the episode where the Arctic Hunter is sinking - you can clearly see the Saga's (the boat that comes to rescue the the Arctic Hunter's crew) Furuno VHF radio. This is visibly about the 1:33 mark in the video clip. https://tv.yahoo.com/blogs/tv-news/ deadliest-catch-villain-elliott-neese-hero-rescue-video-031704631.html
The Saga's Furuno VHF radio seems to be an older discontinued model, but looking at the Furuno website it was interesting to see their top of the line FM800S has an MSRP of $2,495. The FM800S is a 24 volt radio and meets the GMDSS carriage requirements for SOLAS ships and can connect to the public telephone network. What is the advantages of a VHF radio running on 24 volts?
posted 05-21-2014 08:18 AM ET (US)
Many commercial boats and ships are delivered with a 24 volt power source at the bridge. Most have a serious battery bank and distribution of 24 volt power allows the use of smaller gauge cable. The advantages are obvious.
posted 05-21-2014 12:59 PM ET (US)
I saw that FURUNO radio last night, too. Good work on tracking down the model numbers.
posted 05-25-2014 09:02 AM ET (US)
"Many commercial boats and ships are delivered with a 24 volt power source at the bridge."
Yes, even mid sized pleasure boats.
Prior to the popularization of 24 volt DC systems, our 1980 Hatteras 58 purchased in 2000 had a 32 volt DC system.
This required four long and skinny 8 volt batteries for each house bank (2 volts per cell), or 8 batteries in all for two house banks. All the house lights were 32 volt bulbs. To my great relief, when one of the 32 volt engine alternators packed up in Juneau, a local repair shop rebuilt it overnight and I was able to reinstall it the next morning and get under way. With 32 volt starters, the Detroit Diesels started instantly.
When we replaced the old radar, the new Furuno unit was spec'd to receive 12-32 volts.
Now with 24 volt systems in use one can use the taller 6 volt golf cart batteries in series to produce the house banks and save significant engine room space.
posted 06-13-2014 01:26 PM ET (US)
Below find the callsign, MMSI, link to more ship data, and VHF radio model (if known) for several of the vessels of DEADLIEST CATCH:
F/V CAPE CAUTION
posted 06-13-2014 01:35 PM ET (US)
With the vessel MMSI, you can locate a recent position for the vessel using MARINETRAFFIC.COM. For example, for the NORTHWESTERN, see
posted 06-14-2014 12:32 AM ET (US)
[Changed topic. Dave--please start a new thread for your new topic. Many thanks. --jimh]
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