Why a sailing legend swears by HF radio for reliable communication

Why a sailing legend swears by HF radio for reliable communication

21,600 nautical miles. That is what you have to sail for your voyage to be considered a world circumnavigation (as of World Sailing Speed Record Council).

For even the most seasoned sailor, tackling the world’s most remote and stormy oceans solo is a challenge.

For Jon Sanders, it’s now small fish. Last month, the yachting legend returned from his tenth circumnavigation of the globe.

A man of his significant experience knows that staying in touch with the outside world is vital to a safe expedition. So much can go wrong at sea, and communicating in challenging conditions requires communication equipment that can withstand anything – step forward HF radio.

Why is the uninterrupted communication facilitated with HF radio so important?

Jon knows all too well what can go wrong on the open ocean.

“Weather forecasts and warnings of gales, cyclones and hurricanes, and their location and movement, are very important”.

Storms form regularly around the Equator thanks to the warmer water adding excessive moisture to the air. It is hugely important to be able to monitor the development of weather extremes – it can be potentially life saving in the most extreme circumstances.

“Bureau of Meteorology updates are regular with HF radio. These were vital off South Africa and Australia, and I was able to receive forecasts 1,500 nautical miles (almost 2,800km) off the coast,” said Jon.

Similarly, on a journey like this you cross some of the most remote spots on the planet. Keeping in touch with his support team was vital for Jon, especially as a solo sailor – it meant if something went wrong he could let others know, no matter where he was.

“The Barrett radio is very important in emergency. It has a high frequency and can be received thousands of miles away,” he said.

“I’m amazed some long range yachts rely on satellite phones. They can be dodgy, glitch, and if weather issues affect them, you are stuffed”.

Barrett supported Jon's world voyage by supplying a number of HF communication devices.

Why Barrett’s HF equipment was the perfect fit

Barrett’s HF radio systems were ideal for supporting Jon’s latest odyssey. His yacht was fitted with a Barrett 2050 HF transceiver and a 911 antenna tuner, which meant:

• He could easily access weather forecasts, making planning for severe conditions possible.
• He was able to communicate in network black spots with other vessels and coastguard stations.
• Staying in touch with his support team and family was easier.

Jon’s experience means he should have the last word on why HF radio equipment is so important for nautical travel.

“I highly recommend a HF radio like Barrett provide always be carried. In my opinion you’d be daft not to”.

For more information on Barrett’s HF radio equipment, contact the team today.

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