Australian Boating College Goes On-Line for VHF
  |  First Published: December 2008

Australian Boating College is the largest RTO (Registered Training Organisation) for boat and Jet Ski licences from Queensland to Victoria. Their head office is based on the Sunshine Coast along side their Maroochydore and Caloundra training facility.

Their latest boating course to be released is their on-line VHF Radio Course. The course is designed to train boating people on how to use their VHF radio and keep them safe. It is also a legal requirement that the operator of a VHF radio holds a licence, and a $220 on the spot fine is the current infringement for unlicensed persons.

I recently did this course on-line as I didn’t have a VHF licence, and when you’re offshore in boats it’s a pretty important piece of equipment to know how to use and to be licensed to use.

This course is the easiest way to get licensed if you’re time poor and find it hard to make compulsory study dates at particular venues. With an energetic two year old and a busy job, that description certainly fit me like a glove. I could study on line at my convenience rather than attend a two day TAFE course or multiple training sessions at the local Coast Guard.

The process has been kept simple as you just log on to pay, start the course and begin to learn all the important questions and answers that will likely come your way in the exam – yep, there is still an exam! You can learn and practice the quizzes, check your score, study some more and log your improvement in knowledge. When you feel comfortable with your knowledge base you simply contact your local examiner, sit the 25 question exam and pass to receive your operator’s licence for life.

In a nutshell you will learn all about the components of a VHF radio, the emergency channels, what to say, when to say it, when the silence periods are on VHF, and also learn the alphabet all over again in VHF speak. That sounds worse than it is as most people have already learnt some of the alphabet words like Alpha, Bravo, Golf and the like.

You will also learn the correct procedure in issuing a Mayday, distress call urgency and safety calls. There are also talks about EPIRBS, search and rescue, wiring, and more.

I found it fascinating and educational to say the least. This on-line course is something everyone who runs a boat with a VHF radio should at least have a look at. Apart from being the law, it makes good sense to be proficient in the use of one of the most important pieces of rescue equipment on your boat. Everyone knows how to put a PFD (life jacket) on, and everyone should know how to make sure the people who will rescue you know your position, situation and the welfare of yourself and your crew. This is best done by use of a VHF radio.

If you’re interested log onto www.vhfradioonline.com and get started. The information is simply and cleanly presented and after a few hours study, you will know more than you ever thought you might about eh world of VHF radios.

And if you’re interested Australian Boating College also do on-line boat coaching in an eight module question and answer quiz format and they also have their own training DVD offering bar crossing tips, rules and regulations and Jet Ski training information.

Contact Australian Boating College by visiting www.abcboating.com. – Stephen Booth

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