Ocean Racing Club of Victoria
Steb Fisher

ORCV Practical, hands-on marine radio workshop.

This practical hands on marine radio workshop has no dates set for 2024.  Be the first to know of our new dates by registering yourself on the waitlist below

Waitlist here


Date & Time:  TBC
Cost:  Non ORCV Members $50, ORCV Members - complimentary.

ORCV Offices, 3 Aquatic Drive, Albert Park

All sailors, skipper and crew, should be confident in their ability to operate the radio equipment on any boat. You never know when you may be called upon to issue an important distress call or coordinate radio communication while your skipper comes to the aid of another vessel. 

While obtaining your Marine Radio Operators Certificate of Proficiency is a very important step it only recently included a limited practical component.  This hands-on practical workshop provides the practical experience required to deal with routine radio communications, position reporting skeds, communication with limited coast stations, distress traffic and using the local VHF repeater network. General confidence in using a microphone can take some time to acquire.  

The ORCV has developed this hands-on workshop to provide new skippers and crew with the opportunity to gain the experience required to operate marine radios with confidence.


Participants will rotate through four different sessions in group sizes of approximately ten. Each session will provide all participants with the opportunity to familiarise themselves with various aspects of radio operation including hands on use of simulators and actual radio equipment in the ORCV mobile communications van.

This practical training includes routine communication, fleet position reporting schedules and distress situations as well as understanding the capability of the ORCV mobile communications van which is used to support our on-water events.


At the completion of the workshop, participants will have acquired sufficient knowledge and experience to understand the radio communication protocols and processes which will apply during on-water events and coastal waters cruising.

Participants will be able to:

  • Make a Mayday and/or Pan Pan radio call (which includes frequency selection and details of their location and identity)
  • Be able to make a Digital Selective Calling distress alert
  • Be able to radio into Coast Radio Melbourne and other limited coast stations up the east coast on appropriate channels
  • Be able to participate in an ORCV event position reporting sched
  • Get weather forecasts via radio


To gain maximum benefit from this hands-on workshop you should already hold a Marine Radio Operator's Certificate of Proficiency issued by the Australian Maritime College on behalf of the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Minimum prerequisite is a thorough knowledge of the Marine Radio Operations Handbook.

Who should attend?

Anyone who has a Marine Radio Operator's Certificate of Proficiency but hasn't had practical experience using a marine radio.

An ideal refresher and update on new marine radio technologies such as DSC, VHF Repeaters, HF weather fax, for anyone who obtained their Marine Radio Operator's Certificate of Proficiency more than 5 years ago.

Practical Hands-On Marine Radio Course Content

This course provides a series of practical sessions divided into four general topics.

Participants will be divided to four groups of eight to ten people and rotate around four activities -

Session A – Live radio sked practical

Session B – Practical Mayday and Digital Selective Calling

Session C – Repeaters, Coast Stations and conditions/frequency selection

Session D – In the van with the HF radio (obtaining weather forecast, weatherfax, doing a radio check)


No formal assessment is conducted. Instructors will perform continuous assessment with the objective of ensuring each person completes each of the sessions with a working knowledge of how to participate in that aspect of marine radio communication.


ORCV requires that at least one, and for Category 2 and above events and double handed entries, two members of the crew to hold the relevant certificate of proficiency. In addition, it is recommended that at least one of the crew is familiar with ORCV routine communication protocols for position reporting.

What to bring

Notepad and pen or pencil.

orcv logo reversed

3 Aquatic Drive, Albert Park VIC 3206 Ph. 0493 102 744 E. orcv@orcv.org.au