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Maritime Telecommunications
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Maritime Information

Channel Number Ship Transmit MHz Ship Receive MHz Use
01A 156.050 156.050 Port Operations and Commercial, VTS. Available only in New Orleans / Lower Mississippi area.
05A 156.250 156.250 Port Operations or VTS in the Houston, New Orleans and Seattle areas.
06 156.300 156.300 Intership Safety
07A 156.350 156.350 Commercial. VDSMS
08 156.400 156.400 Commercial (Intership only). VDSMS
09 156.450 156.450 Boater Calling. Commercial and Non-Commercial. VDSMS
10 156.500 156.500 Commercial. VDSMS
11 156.550 156.550 Commercial. VTS in selected areas. VDSMS
12 156.600 156.600 Port Operations. VTS in selected areas.
13 156.650 156.650 Intership Navigation Safety (Bridge-to-bridge). Ships >20m length maintain a listening watch on this channel in US waters.
14 156.700 156.700 Port Operations. VTS in selected areas.
15 -- 156.750 Environmental (Receive only). Used by Class C EPIRBs.
16 156.800 156.800 International Distress, Safety and Calling. Ships required to carry radio, USCG, and most coast stations maintain a listening watch on this channel.  See our Watchkeeping Regulations page.
17 156.850 156.850 State & local govt maritime control
18A 156.900 156.900 Commercial. VDSMS
19A 156.950 156.950 Commercial. VDSMS
20 157.000 161.600 Port Operations (duplex)
20A 157.000 157.000 Port Operations
21A 157.050 157.050 U.S. Coast Guard only
22A 157.100 157.100 Coast Guard Liaison and Maritime Safety Information Broadcasts. Broadcasts announced on channel 16.
23A 157.150 157.150 U.S. Coast Guard only
24 157.200 161.800 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS
25 157.250 161.850 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS
26 157.300 161.900 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS
27 157.350 161.950 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS
28 157.400 162.000 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS
63A 156.175 156.175 Port Operations and Commercial, VTS. Available only in New Orleans / Lower Mississippi area.
65A 156.275 156.275 Port Operations
66A 156.325 156.325 Port Operations
67 156.375 156.375 Commercial. Used for Bridge-to-bridge communications in lower Mississippi River. Intership only.
68 156.425 156.425 Non-Commercial. VDSMS
69 156.475 156.475 Non-Commercial. VDSMS
70 156.525 156.525 Digital Selective Calling (voice communications not allowed)
71 156.575 156.575 Non-Commercial. VDSMS
72 156.625 156.625 Non-Commercial (Intership only). VDSMS
73 156.675 156.675 Port Operations
74 156.725 156.725 Port Operations
77 156.875 156.875 Port Operations (Intership only)
78A 156.925 156.925 Non-Commercial. VDSMS
79A 156.975 156.975 Commercial. Non-Commercial in Great Lakes only. VDSMS
80A 157.025 157.025 Commercial. Non-Commercial in Great Lakes only. VDSMS
81A 157.075 157.075 U.S. Government only - Environmental protection operations.
82A 157.125 157.125 U.S. Government only
83A 157.175 157.175 U.S. Coast Guard only
84 157.225 161.825 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS
85 157.275 161.875 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS
86 157.325 161.925 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS
87 157.375 157.375 Public Correspondence (Marine Operator). VDSMS
88A 157.425 157.425 Commercial, Intership only. VDSMS
AIS 1 161.975 161.975 Automatic Identification System (AIS)
AIS 2 162.025 162.025 Automatic Identification System (AIS)

Note: VDSMS (VHF Digital Small Message Services). Transmissions of short digital messages in accordance with RTCM Standard 12301.1 is allowed.

Frequencies are in MHz. Modulation is 16KF3E or 16KG3E.

Note that the letter "A" indicates simplex use of the ship station transmit side of an international duplex channel.  Internationally these channels are designated with the prefix "10" rather than the suffix "a".  That is, the US channel 05A is internationally designated as channel 1005, and the US Coast Guard channel 22A is internationally designated as 1022.  The letter "B" indicates simplex use of the coast station transmit side of an international duplex channel. Internationally, such channels are designated by the prefix "20".  The U.S. does not currently use "B" or "20NN" channels in the VHF maritime band. Some VHF transceivers are equipped with an "International - U.S." switch to avoid conflicting use of these channels.  See ITU Radio Regulation Appendix 18 and ITU-R M.1084-5 Annex 4.

Boaters should normally use channels listed as Non-Commercial. Channel 16 is used for calling other stations or for distress alerting. Channel 13 should be used to contact a ship when there is danger of collision. All ships of length 20m or greater are required to guard VHF channel 13, in addition to VHF channel 16, when operating within U.S. territorial waters. Users may be fined by the FCC for improper use of these channels. See Marine Radio Watch Requirements for further information.


VHF Maritime Spectrum Chart

NOAA Weather Radio Frequencies

Channel Frequency (MHz)















Channel numbers, e.g. (WX1, WX2) etc. have no special significance but are often designated this way in consumer equipment. Other channel numbering schemes are also prevalent.

The order of channels shown is the order they were established and is slowly becoming less "popular" over time than a numerical ordering of channels.


Additional Information, Frequencies, & Charts

Also available are International VHF Maritime Radio Channels and Frequencies, Narrowband VHF Maritime Channels and Frequencies, Radio Information for Boaters , and U.S. Coast Guard VHF Distress and Safety Coverage Charts.