A VHF radio is one of the most important tools on board a boat. Like any other tool, however, there are right ways and wrong ways to use it. The quickest way to determine the competence of a boater is not by his docking abilities but by his use of the radio. A professional will never abuse the VHF frequencies. He knows only too well that someone's life may depend on his ability to communicate.
When you're stuck in a jam-whether from engine failure or a fierce storm approaching, a VHF radio can be your lifeline to the world. In Coast Guard jurisdictions, VHFs are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For extra assurance, the USCG and most TowBoatU.S. towers can locate your boat by tracking your VHF signal. VHFs are handy in an emergency.