Marine Channel Frequencies VHF UHF Radio Programming

Radio communication is an integral part of nautical life. Whether you are a casual boater or a seagoing professional, this article provides the marine channels you need for programming modern VHF-UHF radios with the international frequencies for ships, yachts, motorboats, ferries, sailboats, cruise ships, freighters, tankers, industrial docks, skiffs, riverboats, inflatables, aquatic sports, fishing, kayaks, and all types of watercraft. Download and program your walkie talkies with this free programming file. For Baofeng or any other type of radio, these are the communication frequencies for oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers of the…

Marine Channel Frequency Programming for VHF-UHF Radios

Marine Channel Frequency Programming for VHF-UHF Radios

The original source of this article is RadioMaster Reports.

International Marine VHF and UHF Channel Frequencies Programming

PRINT THIS Marine VHF UHF channel list and save it. You will need it later.

International Marine VHF UHF Channel Frequencies Programming List

International Marine VHF UHF Channel Frequencies Programming List

PRINT THIS Marine VHF UHF channel list and save it.

Download: Marine VHF UHF Channels for Chirp Programming

  1. You will need a USB-to-Radio programming cable that is made for use with your radio. One end plugs into the USB port of your computer and the other plugs into the microphone jack of your radio.
  2. Program your radio with free Chirp software.Chirp
  3. Download the .csv freq file below and import it into Chirp.
  4. Upload the file to your radio.
  5. Check your radio for proper operation.

©2013 RadioMaster Reports

Download International Marine VHF UHF Programming Files:

©2013 RadioMaster Reports

Download USA-Canada Marine VHF UHF Programming Files:

©2013 RadioMaster Reports

Typical USB to Radio Programming Cables:

Convenient HT radio programming cable USB to microphone jack

Convenient HT radio programming cable USB to microphone jack

©2013 RadioMaster Reports

Backup Radios for Marine Use

Accidents happen on the water, just like they do on land. All ships and boats should have a proper VHF marine radio and keep it tuned to Channel 16 for normal safety and distress calls. The cost of a bonafide Marine VHF radio is not high. But, mariners also like to keep a backup radio on hand for when the main radio goes out or the marine VHF walkie talkie gets lost. Also, there is a need for UHF among some users, especially for operation with cruise ships and industrial operations. Larger ships, and especially petroleum industry vessels issue intrinsically safe radios to their crews. These are sealed to prevent any internal sparks from igniting fuel on board or at port. UHF capability is a feature that is not often found in lower priced marine VHF HTs. Ship crews often use separate UHF-only radios for on board comms. Fortunately, modern VHF-UHF walkie talkie HT handheld transceivers are inexpensive (in the $25 range) and ubiquitous. With the programming file provided here, they have all the channels and communication capability of a marine VHF HT plus a UHF HT. Such inexpensive radios can easily be acquired online or even in the local radio electronics shops of ports all over the world. These days, all crew members can easily afford their own personal radio, and now they never need to be without a backup radio of their own. Add a longer whip antenna (in the $12 range) on them and the VHF distance performance can be quite good for intership or ship-to-shore.

Water sports radio bag

Water sports radio bag

Sure, many of the cheaper radios are not waterproof, rugged, or intrinsically safe; and they certainly aren’t maritime-rated or type accepted for marine service, but they will still communicate adequately. The audio quality is usually good enough that the party on the other end of the transmission won’t even suspect what type of radio you are on. Keep it in a sealed zip lock plastic bag or water sports radio bag and it should provide many years of backup service. The radio might even save the life of you and your shipmates some day.

Distress Safety and Calling Channels

There are 3 VHF channels recognized worldwide for marine safety purposes:

MAR 16 (156.800 MHz) – Distress, Safety and Calling
MAR 13 (156.650 MHz) – Intership Navigation, Bridge-to-Bridge
MAR 70 (156.525 MHz) – Digital Selective Calling

The download channel files are set to scan channels 16 and 13.

Cruise Ship UHF Radio on a shore tour transport skiff

Cruise Ship UHF Radio on a shore tour transport skiff

UHF Cruise Ship Frequencies On Board

UHF frequencies are part of the channel list. These are not VHF marine channels, but they are the UHF marine channels commonly utilized on board large vessels, such as cruise ships and ferries. Ships also may have UHF repeaters on these frequencies for use by the working crews. There are  6 sets of paired channels. The 457 MHz range is common to both european CEPT and USA/North American ships. The channels in the 467 MHz range may vary by the area where the vessel is from. The UHF channel names with A designators are european CEPT and the channel names with B designators are USA/North American. Example: Channel UHF1B is a USA/North America channel at 467.750000 MHz. The repeater offset is 10.000000 MHz for CEPT vessels and 10.225000 MHz for USA and North American vessels. Duplex UHF repeaters with either (-) Negative or (+) Positive splits are common on vessels.

Industrial Ship UHF Radio

Industrial Ship UHF Radio

Most on board UHF ship radios utilize PL or CTCSS sub-audible tone squelch, although some use DCS digital coded squelch. The most common PL tone (88.5 Hz) is provided as a default in the programming list, but you may need to manually change the programming of that default tone on a channel to another specific tone frequency, to be compatible with a specific ship channel. The programming list uses carrier squelch for receive, so you can always listen to all transmissions by ships on the UHF channels, but they probably will not hear your transmission unless you change the PL transmit tone to the same tone as they are using. These same UHF channels are also found around major shipyards, freight docks, freighters, tankers, industrial marine sites, oil platforms, ports, and many other types of marine sites.

Cruise ship passengers commonly use FRS radios to keep in touch with family members on the cruise

Cruise ship passengers commonly use FRS or PMR radios to keep in touch with family members on the cruise

Additional Walkie Talkie Channels

A few additional walkie talkie channels are provided in the programming list. These include FRS, PMR, FreeNet, MURS, etc. They may come in handy to communicate with common bubble pack radios or other non-marine HT radios that are often encountered around marine environments. It is very common for passengers on cruise ships to use PMR Personal Mobile Radio or FRS Family Radio Service radios while on board, on shore tours, and in ports.

New Marine VHF Channels 12.5 kHz Interleaved

New maritime VHF channels which are interleaved between the existing channels are now available for use by suitably equipped vessels in some areas of the world. These new channels are numbered in the 200 series, and they are spaced at 12.5 kHz intervals from the previous channel frequencies. The use of these channels is in addition to the existing channels, and they do not replace the existing channels. Channel 16 calling, distress and safety channel remains the same, and the interleaved channels adjacent to it are reserved and not utilized in the interleaving plan, to prevent interference. Additionally, new AIS automatic identification system vessel tracking channels have been added, and new AIS services are being expanded in some areas. As part of the spectrum efficiency process called narrowbanding, the international maritime VHF band will also be further interleaved with 6.25 kHz spaced channels in the near future. More digital services and digitized voice modes will be applied to these channels. The narrowband 6.25 kHz marine VHF channels will have channel numbers in the 1000 series.

New Marine VHF 12.5 kHz Channel Frequencies Interleaved. Also known as the 200 channels.

New Marine VHF 12.5 kHz Channel Frequencies Interleaved. Also known as the 200 channels.

©2013 RadioMaster Reports

Marine VHF UHF Channel Frequencies USA-Canada Programming List File 2016B

0 MAR01 160.650000 -4.6MHz
1 MAR01A 156.050000 SIMPLEX
2 MAR02 160.700000 -4.6MHz
3 MAR02A 156.100000 SIMPLEX
4 MAR03A 156.150000 SIMPLEX
5 MAR04A 156.200000 SIMPLEX
6 MAR05A 156.250000 SIMPLEX
7 MAR06 156.300000 SIMPLEX
8 MAR07A 156.350000 SIMPLEX
9 MAR08 156.400000 SIMPLEX
10 MAR09 156.450000 SIMPLEX
11 MAR10 156.500000 SIMPLEX
12 MAR11 156.550000 SIMPLEX
13 MAR12 156.600000 SIMPLEX
14 MAR13 156.650000 SIMPLEX
15 MAR14 156.700000 SIMPLEX
16 MAR 16 156.800000 SIMPLEX
17 MAR15 156.750000 SIMPLEX
18 MAR17 156.850000 SIMPLEX
19 MAR18A 156.900000 SIMPLEX
20 MAR19A 156.950000 SIMPLEX
21 MAR20 161.600000 -4.6MHz
22 MAR20A 157.000000 SIMPLEX
23 MAR21 161.650000 -4.6MHz
24 MAR21A 157.050000 SIMPLEX
25 MAR22A 157.100000 SIMPLEX
26 MAR23 161.750000 -4.6MHz
27 MAR23A 157.150000 SIMPLEX
28 MAR24 161.800000 -4.6MHz
29 MAR25 161.850000 -4.6MHz
30 MAR26 161.900000 -4.6MHz
31 MAR27 161.950000 -4.6MHz
32 MAR28 162.000000 -4.6MHz
33 MAR60 160.625000 -4.6MHz
34 MAR60A 156.025000 SIMPLEX
35 MAR61A 156.075000 SIMPLEX
36 MAR62A 156.125000 SIMPLEX
37 MAR63A 156.175000 SIMPLEX
38 MAR64A 156.225000 SIMPLEX
39 MAR65A 156.275000 SIMPLEX
40 MAR66A 156.325000 SIMPLEX
41 MAR67 156.375000 SIMPLEX
42 MAR68 156.425000 SIMPLEX
43 MAR69 156.475000 SIMPLEX
44 MAR70 156.525000 SIMPLEX
45 MAR71 156.575000 SIMPLEX
46 MAR72 156.625000 SIMPLEX
47 MAR73 156.675000 SIMPLEX
48 MAR74 156.725000 SIMPLEX
49 MAR75 156.775000 SIMPLEX
50 MAR76 156.825000 SIMPLEX
51 MAR77 156.875000 SIMPLEX
52 MAR78A 156.925000 SIMPLEX
53 MAR79A 156.975000 SIMPLEX
54 MAR80A 157.025000 SIMPLEX
55 MAR81A 157.075000 SIMPLEX
56 MAR82A 157.125000 SIMPLEX
57 MAR83 161.775000 -4.6MHz
58 MAR83A 157.175000 SIMPLEX
59 MAR84 161.825000 -4.6MHz
60 MAR84A 157.225000 SIMPLEX
61 MAR85 161.875000 -4.6MHz
62 MAR85A 157.275000 SIMPLEX
63 MAR86 161.925000 -4.6MHz
64 MAR86A 157.325000 SIMPLEX
65 MAR87 161.975000 -4.6MHz
66 MAR87A 157.375000 SIMPLEX
67 MAR88 162.025000 -4.6MHz
68 MAR88A 157.425000 SIMPLEX
69 WX 1 162.550000 off
70 WX 2 162.400000 off
71 WX 3 162.475000 off
72 WX 4 162.425000 off
73 WX 5 162.450000 off
74 WX 6 162.500000 off
75 WX 7 162.525000 off
76 UHF 1 467.525000 SIMPLEX
77 UHF 1A 457.525000 SIMPLEX
78 UHF 1B 467.750000 SIMPLEX
79 UHF 2 467.550000 SIMPLEX
80 UHF 2A 457.550000 SIMPLEX
81 UHF 2B 467.775000 SIMPLEX
82 UHF 3 467.575000 SIMPLEX
83 UHF 3A 457.575000 SIMPLEX
84 UHF 3B 467.800000 SIMPLEX
85 UHF 4 467.500000 SIMPLEX
86 UHF 4A 457.500000 SIMPLEX
87 UHF 4B 467.725000 SIMPLEX
88 UHF 5 467.600000 SIMPLEX
89 UHF 5A 457.600000 SIMPLEX
90 UHF 5B 467.825000 SIMPLEX
91 UHF 6 467.625000 SIMPLEX
92 UHF 6A 457.625000 SIMPLEX
93 UHF 6B 467.850000 SIMPLEX
94 FRS 1 462.562500 SIMPLEX
95 FRS 3 462.612500 SIMPLEX
96 PMR 3 446.031250 SIMPLEX
97 MURS 1 151.820000 SIMPLEX
98 MURS 2 151.880000 SIMPLEX
99 MURS 3 151.940000 SIMPLEX

International Standard Channel Frequency List for Maritime Mobile UHF: ITU-R M.1174-3

ITU-R M.1174-3 UHF MARINE channels 2015

ITU-R M.1174-3 UHF MARINE channels (release date 2015) international standard list of UHF marine frequencies for use on vessels. This chart includes the original 6 channels (mostly analog FM at 25 kHz channel spacing). The 25 splinter channels (analog or digital at 12.5 kHz channel spacing). The new narrowband digital channel numbers 102-161 and 202-261 are interspersed (at 6.25 kHz channel spacing) between the splinter channels. The international standard for split frequency duplex is for base or repeater on the Lower Channel, but some vessels utilize the opposite of this standard.

Submission of monitoring reports, imagery, errata, and detailed information is encouraged by RadioMaster Reports.

Disclaimer: Content provided in RadioMaster Reports is included for the sole purpose of providing educational information on a passive basis. This information may be useful to the public in the event of emergencies. Users of this educational information are solely responsible for their actions. 

©2016 RadioMaster Reports


6 responses to “Marine Channel Frequencies VHF UHF Radio Programming

  1. Hi. I have a pair of these radios and I am trying to get a PTT to work with them with no luck at all. The system I am using is an eBay special, military style headset with the oversized 4 way plug and a PTT button with a 2.5m plug for the radio end. The speaker works fine but the PTT either doesn’t work at all or will activate the mic for a second and then it shuts off. Any tips would be appreciated, I am having a real hard time finding anything useful (read very ammature level) for this.

  2. thank you for inform us. I feel happy to know industrial Communicative operation of radio. for a long times i would attempted to create frequency programming and make free channel conditionally same communication operation Icom and pptf were can’t resistant water proof and crash accident. so i need metal cover absolutely strength frequency channel file.

  3. Hey thankya for the channel download it helps to have a spare radio for going ashore. The frs channels in it turned out to be real handy too. We can talk to those talkabouts the kids have

  4. Martin Kellinghusen

    Thank you for the file! I was going to start typing every channel in by hand before coming across this post. It saved me quite a bit of time!

  5. Thanks for this article, saves me a lot of research. And the printable image is very handy indeed!

  6. why ch 9 is 156.400 instead of 156.450 usa canada marine ch list wrong i guess

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