Marine VHF Channel Frequencies & Use

        Marine VHF channel frequencies and usage
Channel 16 (distress and calling) will be quiet, except when pleasure boats are
active.  Commercial vessels rarely use it except to make "safety" broadcasts as
they approach narrow channels, etc.

Commercial vessels will normally communicate with a Vessel Traffic Management
Center, reporting their position and intentions at specified calling-in points.
Traffic will then tell them what other vessels they should expect to meet.
Vancouver Traffic uses channels 11 and 12 locally, and Seattle Traffic uses 5A
in Puget Sound.

Chan Ship Tx    Ship Rx  Area   Use
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
01   156.050    160.650  IC     Ship/shore - telephone
02   156.100    160.700  IC     Ship/shore - telephone
03   156.150    160.750  IC     Ship/shore - telephone
04   156.200    160.800  I      Ship/shore - telephone
04A  156.200             C      Canadian Coast Guard - authorized stations
05   156.250    160.850  I      *Ship/shore - telephone
06   156.300                    Intership - Safety
07   156.050    160.650         *Ship/shore - telephone
07A  156.350                    Intership-Ship/shore - commercial
08   156.400                    Intership - commercial
09   156.450                    Intership-Ship/shore
10   156.500                    Intership-Ship/shore - commercial
11   156.550                    Vessel Traffic Management
12   156.600                    Vessel Traffic Management
13   156.650                    Bridge to bridge - 1 watt - Safety of Nav.
14   156.700                    Vessel Traffic Management
15              156.750         EPIRB Buoy
16   156.800                    International Distress/Safety/Calling
17   156.850                    Pilotage - vessel docking/maneuvers
18   156.900    161.500  I      *Port Operation 
18A  156.900                    Intership-Ship/shore - commercial
19   156.950    161.550  I      *Port Operation
19A  156.950                    *Port Operation
20   157.000                    *Port Operation
21   157.050    161.650  I      *Port Operation
21A  157.050             A      US Coast Guard - authorized stations
21B             161.650  C      Canadian Coast Guard - Weather Broadcasts
22   157.100    161.700  I      *Port Operation
22A  157.100             CA     US/Canadian Coast Guard - Public Working Freq.
23   157.150    161.750  IC     Ship/shore - telephone (in Canada)
23A  157.150                    *Port Operation (USCG)
24   157.200    161.800         Ship/shore - telephone
25   157.250    161.850         Ship/shore - telephone
26   157.300    161.900         Ship/shore - telephone
27   157.350    161.950         Ship/shore - telephone
28   157.400    162.000         Ship/shore - telephone

60   156.025    160.625  IC     Ship/shore - telephone
61   156.075    160.675  I      *Ship/shore - telephone
61A  156.075             C      Intership-S/S - Can. Coast Guard Private
62   156.125    160.725  I      *Ship/shore - telephone
62A  156.125             C      Intership-S/S - Can. Coast Guard Private
63   156.175    160.775  I      *Ship/shore - telephone
63A  156.175             C      Intership-Ship/shore - commercial
64   156.225    160.825  IC     Ship/shore - telephone
65   156.275    160.875  I      *Ship/shore - telephone
65A  156.275             CA     Port Operation (Canadian Coast Guard Private)
66   156.325    160.925  I      *Ship/shore - telephone, Port Operation
67   156.375                    Intership-Ship/shore
68   156.425                    Intership-Ship/shore - non-commercial
69   156.475                    Intership-Ship/shore
70   156.525                    Digital Selective Calling - Distress and Safety
71   156.575                    Vessel Traffic Management
72   156.625                    Intership
73   156.675                    Intership-Ship/shore
74   156.725                    Vessel Traffic Management
  ( 75 and 76 not used )
77   156.875                    Pilotage - vessel docking/maneuvers
78   156.925    161.525         *Port Operation
78A  156.925                    Intership-Ship/shore - commercial
79   156.975    161.575  I      *Port Operation
79A  156.975                    Intership-Ship/shore - commercial
79B             161.575  C      Commercial Fishing - Receive only
80   157.025    161.625  I      *Port Operation
80A  157.025                    Intership-Ship/shore - commercial
81   157.075    161.675  I      *Port Operation
81A  157.075             A      *Port Operation (USCG)(CCG anti-pollution)
82   157.125    161.725  I      *Port Operation, s/s telephone
82A  157.125             A      *Port Operation (USCG)(CCG)
83   157.175    161.775  I      *Ship/shore - telephone (CCG)
83A  157.225             A      *Intership, Port Operation (USCG)
84   157.225    161.825         Ship/shore - telephone
85   157.275    161.875         Ship/shore - telephone
86   157.325    161.925         Ship/shore - telephone
87   157.375    161.975         Ship/shore - telephone
88   157.425    162.025  IC     *Ship/shore - telephone
88A  157.425              A     *Intership

Weather Channels:  (as in Icom IC-M55)
Wx1     162.550
Wx2     162.400
Wx3     162.475
Wx4     161.650  Marine 21B - CCG West Coast Weather Broadcasts
Wx5     162.425
Wx6     162.500
Wx7     162.525
Wx8     162.450
Wx9     161.775 Marine 83B - CCG Great Lakes & East Wx Broadcasts
Wx10    163.275
(Wx5 - Wx10 are not listed in the manual, but are in the radio)

The channel usage marked with an asterisk (*) are from tables in Icom IC-M2
and IC-M55 marine radio manuals, and are probably fairly "generic", and 
subject to change in different jurisdictions.  Other channel usage is from my 
station license for the Canadian West Coast, and from things overheard on the 
air. "Your usage may vary."

Channels marked (CCG) or (USCG) are for Canadian or US Coast guard authorized
stations only.

Channel 70 is supposed to be reserved for a future selective calling distress
and safety system, but is (illegally) being used for intership communications
(even by the RCMP!)

The letters under "area" mean:
        I: International only (non-US) according to Icom
        C: Canadian usage
        A: American usage

Channels with an "A" suffix are simplex operation on the ship transmit 
frequency of an international duplex channel.

Canada uses a "B" suffix to denote broadcast (one-way) use of the shore 
transmit side of an international duplex channel.

There are no repeaters (as hams know them) in the marine service .  If you
are willing to pay for a phone call, the telco might let you place a call
to another vessel on the same (or different) channel, and so get the effect 
of a repeater