In addition to government marine weather broadcasts, cruisers can listen to any of the numerous volunteers who spend a significant portion of their time managing a number of radio "nets" which provide useful--even essential--information to cruisers. Radio nets also help cruisers keep in touch with friends and family. Many of these nets are activated during emergencies and will broadcast boat-watches for overdue vessels. Nets also help find cruisers whose families urgently need to make contact with them.
Note that the times given are in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC) and some nets move forward an hour when daylight savings time goes into effect in their main area. For additional nets, see the Appendix at the back of Jim Howard's excellent Handbook of Offshore Cruising, where there is a list of over a hundred ham radio maritime mobile nets around the world.
This list of nets and broadcasts was current to the best of our knowledge as of the end of our cruising period (summer, 2004). However, nets do change frequencies (usually up or down a few Hz) and times so we don't guarantee the accuracy of this list and are no longer actively maintaining it. However we do make changes when people email them to us.
|1. Weather Nets||2. Weather Broadcasts||3. Other Nets|
|Caribbean Emergency and Weather (Ham)||7162.0 LSB||1030 UTC||Trinidad, Rosemond, J69BB|
|East Caribbean Weather Net (Ham)||3855.0 LSB||1030 UTC||Eric Mackie 9Z4CP, Trinidad|
|BASRA Weather||4003.0 USB||1100 UTC||Carolyn, Nassau|
|Caribbean Weather (Ham)||7241.0 LSB||1115 UTC||George Cline, KB2G, St. John|
|Bahamas Weather (Ham)||7096.0 LSB||1120 UTC||Bahamas|
|Caribbean Weather (Ham)||7086.0 LSB||1130 UTC||George Cline, KB2G, St. John|
|Caribbean Weather Center -- Bahamas/East US coast||8137.0 USB||1130 EST or EDT||Chris Parker, Bel Ami, Miami/Tortola.|
|French Cruisers and Weather Net||6945.0 USB||1200 UTC||Maurice|
|Caribbean Weather Center-- Caribbean)||8104.0 USB||1230 UTC||Chris Parker, Bel Ami, Miami/Tortola.|
|Waterway Net (Ham)||7268.0 LSB||1245 UTC||Florida|
|Caribbean Weather Center -- Caribbean/Atlantic||12359.0 USB||1300 UTC||Chris Parker, Bel Ami, Miami/Tortolai|
|Caribbean Weather Center -- Atlantic||16531.0 USB||1330 UTC||Chris Parker, Bel Ami, Miami/Tortola.|
|Southbound II||12359.0 USB||2000 UTC||Herb Hilgenberg|
|Caribbean Cocktail Weather (Ham)||7068.0 LSB||2030 UTC||George Cline, KB2G, St. John|
|East Caribbean Weather Net (Ham)||3855.0 LSB||2230 UTC||Eric Mackie 9Z4CP, Trinidad|
|Caribbean Emergency and Weather Net (Ham)||3815.0 USB||2230 UTC||Trinidad|
|Trinidad & Tobago Amateur Radio Society (Ham)||7159.0 LSB||as needed||during active hurricane or emergencies|
|Hurricane Net (Ham)||14325.0 USB||as needed||during active hurricane|
[NOTE: since this page of our website is no longer actively maintained, cruisers are advised
to check with the weather service for changes to this listing.]
The US National Weather Service broadcasts marine weather forecasts on 4426 kHz, 6501 kHz, 8764 kHz, 13089 kHz, and 17314 kHz. Offshore and high seas forecasts for the Atlantic and Caribbean begin at 0330 UTC, 0500 UTC, 0930 UTC, 1530 UTC, and 2130 UTC. Weather forecasts are also transmitted continually over the VHF (Weather Channels 2-5) along the east coast of the US. Storm warnings are broadcast on WWV (5000mHz, 10000mHz, 15000mHz, and 20000mHz) at 8 minutes past each hour.
BBC Radio 4 shipping forecasts are broadcast at 0048, 0535, 1201, and 1754 local time on 198 kHz (1515m).
Radio France International broadcasts a 24-hour weather forecast at 1140 UCT daily on 6175kHz (English Channel, North Sea, Bay of Biscay), on 11700kHz, 15530kHz, 17575kHz (North Atlantic east of 050 degrees West), on 11845kHz (West Africa to Gibraltar), and 15300kHz (Equator to 27 degrees North).
For a complete list of worldwide weather broadcasts, see NOAA's Worldwide Marine Weather Broadcasts or the British Admiralty List of Radio Signals.
|Local Cruisers Net||VHF 68||7:30am local time||Grenada (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)|
|Local Cruisers Net||VHF 14||7:30am local time||Sint Maarten (daily)|
|Local Cruisers Net||VHF 72||8:00 am AST||
Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela (Mon - Sat)
|Local Cruisers Net||VHF 68||8:00am local time||Trinidad (daily)|
|Local Cruisers Net||VHF 68/72||8:00am local time||Luperon (Sunday, Wednesday)|
|Local Cruisers Net||VHF 68||8:15am local time||Abaco Islands, Bahamas (daily)|
|Seafarer's Net (Ham)||14313.0 USB||0300 UTC||Pacific|
|Pacific Seafarers (Ham)||14300.0 USB||0325 UTC||Pacific Ocean|
|S. African Maritime Mobile Net (Ham)||14316.0 USB||0630 UTC||South Atlantic|
|Med Maritime Mobile Net (Ham)||7085.0 USB||0700 UTC||Mediterranean|
|Caribbean Maritime Mobile Net (Ham)||7241.0LSB||1100 UTC||Lou Bean, KV4JC|
|Maritime Net (Ham)||3770.0 LSB||1100 UTC||NE Canada|
|S. African Net (Ham)||14316.0 LSB||1130 UTC||S. Africa/Indian Ocean|
|S. Atlantic Net (Ham)||21325.0 LSB||1130 UTC||South Atlantic|
|Maritime Mobile Net (Ham)||14300.0 USB||1600 - 0200 UTC||Worldwide (1700 - 0200 in the winter)|
|Canadian Cruisers Net||8182.0 USB||1200 UTC||Caribbean|
|Mississauga Net (Ham)||14121.0 USB||1200 UTC||E Canada and Atlantic|
|Caribbean Safety & Security Net||8104.0 USB||1215 UTC||Melody on S/V 2nd Millenium|
|Trans-Atlantic Net (Ham)||21400.0 USB||1300 UTC||Trudi, 8P6QM. This net is for daily checkin by boats crossing the Atlantic.|
|German Cruisers||8140.0 USB||1300 UTC||Caribbean|
|Central American Breakfast Net (Ham)||7085.0 LSB||1300 UTC||Central America|
|Panama Connection||8107.0 USB||1330 UTC||Central America|
|Cruiseheimers||8152.0 USB||1330 UTC||Bahamas and Caribbean|
|South African Cruisers||8116 USB||1330 UTC||Caribbean|
|Sonrisa Net (Ham)||3968.0 USB||1400 UTC||Mexico|
|Baja Net (Ham)||7233.5 LSB||8am Local Pacific time||California and Baja|
|Chubasco Net (Ham)||7192.0 LSB||1530 UTC||Mexico|
|The Kids Net||8122.0 USB||1800 UTC||West Atlantic and Caribbean|
|Manana Net (Ham)||14340.0 USB||1900 UTC||Mexico to Hawaii|
|Pacific Maritime Mobile Net (Ham)||21402.0 USB||2200 UTC||Pacific/Indian Oceans|
Users of radio nets should be aware of the generally accepted etiquette for using and participating in radio information and contact nets. While there are no hard and fast rules, the following suggestions may be helpful.
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