U.S. Marine Frequencies
by joel Sampson / N5LXI

Most modern HT's and scanners can receive marine frequencies. It's fun to monitor ships when in Galveston or other port areas. The Yaesu HT's that include marine frequencies in ROM include international channels not used in U.S. costal waters. These are the frequencies used in the United States.

Channel NumberShip Transmit MHzShip Receive MHzUse
01A156.050156.050Port Operations and Commercial, VTS.  Available only in New Orleans / Lower Mississippi area.
05A156.250156.250Port Operations or VTS in the Houston, New Orleans and Seattle areas.
06156.300156.300Intership Safety
07A156.350 156.350Commercial
08156.400156.400Commercial (Intership only)
09156.450156.450Boater Calling.  Commercial and Non-Commercial.
11156.550156.550Commercial.  VTS in selected areas.
12156.600 156.600 Port Operations.  VTS in selected areas.
13156.650156.650Intership Navigation Safety (Bridge-to-bridge).  Ships >20m length maintain a listening watch on this channel in US waters.
14156.700156.700 Port Operations.  VTS in selected areas.
15--156.750Environmental (Receive only).  Used by Class C EPIRBs.
16156.800156.800International Distress, Safety and Calling.  Ships required to carry radio, USCG, and most coast stations maintain a listening watch on this channel.
17156.850156.850State Control
20157.000161.600Port Operations (duplex)
20A157.000157.000Port Operations
21A157.050157.050U.S. Coast Guard only
22A157.100157.100Coast Guard Liaison and Maritime Safety Information Broadcasts. Broadcasts announced on channel 16.
23A157.150157.150U.S. Coast Guard only
24157.200 161.800Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
25157.250161.850Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
26157.300161.900Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
27157.350161.950Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
28157.400162.000Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
63A156.175156.175Port Operations and Commercial, VTS.  Available only in New Orleans / Lower Mississippi  area.
65A156.275 156.275Port Operations
66A156.325 156.325Port Operations
67156.375 156.375 Commercial.  Used for Bridge-to-bridge communications in lower Mississippi River.  Intership only.
69156.475  156.475Non-Commercial
70156.525 156.525Digital Selective Calling (voice communications not allowed)
71156.575156.575  Non-Commercial
72156.625156.625Non-Commercial (Intership only)
73156.675156.675Port Operations
74156.725 156.725 Port Operations
77156.875156.875Port Operations (Intership only)
79A156.975156.975Commercial.  Non-Commercial in Great Lakes only
80A157.025157.025Commercial.  Non-Commercial in Great Lakes only
81A157.075157.075U.S. Government only - Environmental protection operations.
82A157.125157.125U.S. Government only
83A157.175157.175U.S. Coast Guard only
84157.225161.825Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
85157.275 161.875Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
86157.325161.925Public Correspondence (Marine Operator)
AIS 1161.975161.975Automatic Identification System (AIS)
AIS 2162.025162.025Automatic Identification System (AIS)
88A157.425157.425Commercial, Intership only.

Source: U.S. Coast Guard


Channel(s)Type of Message Appropriate
16 - Distress Safety And CallingUse this channel to get the attention of another station (calling) or inemergencies (distress and safety).
6 - Intership SafetyUse this channel for ship-to-ship safety messages and for search and rescuemessages and ships and aircraft of the Coast Guard.
22 - Coast Guard LiaisonUse this channel to talk to the Coast Guard (butfirst make contact on Channel 16).
96, 68, 69, 71, 72, 78, 794, 804, 677 - NoncommercialWorking channels for voluntary boats. Messages must be about theneeds of the ship. Typical uses include fishing reports, rendezvous,schedulingrepairs and berthing information. Use Channels 67 and 72 only for ship-to-shipmessages.
15, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 18, 19, 635, 677, 79, 80, 881 - CommercialWorking channels for working ships only. Messages must be aboutbusiness or the needs of the ship. Use channels 8, 67, 72 and 88 only forship-to-ship messages.
24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88 - Public CorrespondenceUse these channels to call the marine operator at a public coast station. Bycontacting a public coast station, you can make and receive calls fromtelephones on shore. Except for distress calls, public coast stations usuallycharge for this service.
15, 53, 12, 14, 20, 635, 65, 66, 73, 74, 77 - Port OperationsThese channels are used in directing the movement of ships in or near ports,locks or waterways. Messages must be about the operational handling movement andsafety of ships. In certain major ports, Channels 11,12 and are not availablefor general port operations messages. Use channel 20 only for ship-to-coastmessages. Channel 77 is limited to intership communications to and from pilots.
13, 67 - NavigationalAlso known as the bridge-to-bridge channel. This channel is available to allships. Messages must be about ship navigation, for example, passing or meetingother ships. You must keep your messages short. Your power output must not bemore than one watt. This is also the main working channel at most locks anddrawbridges.
17 - Maritime ControlThis channel may be used to talk to ships and coast stationsoperated by state or local governments. Messages must pertain to regulation andcontrol, boating activities, or assistance to ships.
70 - Digital Selective CallingUse this channel for distress and safety calling andfor general purpose calling using only digital selective callingtechniques.