VHF Marine Channels

The VHF marine band is divided into channels, the frequency and number of which may vary from country to country.

Frequencies and Spacing

Canali VHF Marini n.1

Marine VHF channels are between 156.050 and 162.500 MHz and have been selected according to a 25 KHz spacing. The number of channels and their frequencies differ from country to country.

In EEC countries, channels are standardised, but there may still be differences for some countries. For example, in the Netherlands, ATIS channels are used for inland navigation.

There is a new IMO project, designed to change the channel spacing to only 12.5 KHz, thus giving the possibility to increase the number of channels available, thus allocating many of them to the new digital services. It is expected that several more years will pass before this project will become operational, but at that time all current VHF will become obsolete because it is not adaptable to the new system.

Special features

Many of the VHF channels are called duplex channels and are those that have a transmission frequency (TX) different from the reception frequency (RX).

These give the possibility to those who are equipped with a professional VHF with duplex functionality to be able to transmit and talk at the same time as in common phones.

For all other common VHF will not be possible to communicate on duplex channels, you must therefore use the simplex channels (those with the same TX frequency to the RX) to allow half-duplex communication.

VHF channel table

The following table illustrates the standard channels in the EEC countries, the data reported have not been taken from official sources and therefore are purely indicative.

Channel No.Freq. TxFreq. RxUseSimplex
1156.050160.650Public correspondence and port operations
2156.100160.700Public correspondence and port operations
3156.150160.750Public correspondence and port operations
4156.200160.800Public correspondence and port operations
5156.250160.850Public correspondence and port operations
6156.300156.300Ship-to-ship safetyX
7156.350160.950Public correspondence and port operations
8156.400156.400Commercial ship - shipX
12156.600156.600Port operationsX
13156.650156.650Ship-to-ship safety at seaX
14156.700156.700Port operationsX
15156.750156.750Port Operations - Low Power OnlyX
16156.800156.800International call and rescueX
17156.850156.850Port Operations - Low Power OnlyX
18156.900161.500Port operations
19156.950161.550Port operations
20157.000161.600Port operations
21157.050161.650Port operations
22157.100161.700Port operations
23157.150161.750Public correspondence
24157.200161.800Public correspondence
25157.250161.850Public correspondence
26157.300161.900Public correspondence
27157.350161.950Public correspondence
28157.400162.000Public correspondence
60156.025160.625Public correspondence
61156.075160.675Public correspondence
62156.125160.725Public correspondence
63156.175160.775Public correspondence
64156.225160.825Public correspondence
65156.275160.875Public correspondence
66156.325160.925Public correspondence
67156.375156.375Ship - ship + Port OperationsX
68156.425156.425Nautical Bulletin - Port Operations X
69156.475156.475Ship - Ship in Port OperationsX
70156.525156.525Reserved for the SDCX
71156.575156.575Ship - ship + Port OperationsX
72156.625156.625Ship - Ship + Ship - AircraftX
73156.675156.675Ship - Ship + Ship - AircraftX
74156.725156.725Port operationsX
75156.775156.775Ship - Ship in port - Low power onlyX
76156.825156.825Ship - Ship in port - Low power onlyX
77156.875156.875ship - shipX
78156.925161.525Public correspondence + Port operations
79156.975161.575Port operations
80157.025161.625Port operations
81157.075161.675Public correspondence + Port operations
82157.125161.725Public correspondence + Port operations
83157.175161.775Public correspondence
84157.225161.825Public correspondence
85157.275161.875Public correspondence
86157.325161.925Public correspondence
87157.375157.375Public correspondenceX
88157.425157.425Public correspondenceX