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For more than 35 years, Practical Sailor has been taking the guesswork out of boat and gear buying with bold, independent boat tests, and product-test reports for serious sailors and boaters. Practical Sailor does not accept any advertising. Our testing program is supported by loyal subscribers who believe in our mission and want to make the best choices when buying a boat, or equipping and maintaining the one they have.

Today, paid subscribers to Practical Sailor have access to a vast online archive of test reports, including hundreds of unbiased evaluations of sailboats and sailing equipment. We invite you to sign up for our free e-letter, Waypoints or subscription to Practical Sailor today.

Inside Practical Sailor Blog

Calling Mayday on an SSB

by Darrell Nicholson on October 21, 2014

Based on US Coast Guard statistics, surprisingly few boaters enable the Digital Selective Calling (DSC) function on their VHF radio, or have it operating correctly. From what we are hearing from some marine manufacturers like ICOM, the numbers for marine single-sideband (SSB) marine radios—the topic of our ongoing series of tests—are just as discouraging. It doesn't have to be that way. With a few simple tools and maybe a trip to a Radio Shack, getting your radio (VHF or SSB) DSC-ready can be carried in a single weekend.

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