HF Radio For Circumnavigators

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Check List

  • Radio callsign and MMSI issued by flag state (country of ship registration).
  • Ship HF radio is approved for Maritime Service use. (Not a ham radio).
  • HF radio is licensed by flag state and is issued with a callsign.
  • If the HF radio is configured with an MMSI, it must be issued by the flag state, and the same MMSI configured in the AIS transponder and VHF radio.
  • All crew intending to operate the HF radio hold a Long Range Operator Certificate of Competency, Maritime Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Certificate or similar. Not the same certificate that is issued to operate a marine VHF radio.
  • Purchase the Admiralty List of Radio Signals volumes specified below.
  • HF radio is installed according to best practice. Ask me if you are unsure.

Admiralty List of Radio Signals

I recommend that all circumnavigators carry the following publications in hard copy aboard;


  • Volume 1 (NP281) - Maritime Radio Stations (Parts 1 & 2)
  • Volume 3 (NP283) - Maritime Safety Information Services (Parts 1 & 2)
  • Volume 5 (NP285) - Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)

That’s a total of 5 books, they should all be dated 2022 or later. Be wary of resellers with old versions.

Where to buy:


The above gets you a) all the maritime coast stations, b) which weather forecasts are available and how to receive them, and c) all of the Rescue Co-ordination Centres.