Frequently Asked Questions

What is the range of your station?
Northland Radio is a regional maritime station rather than a New Zealand centric operation.

I routinely talk to vessels up to 5000nm away from my transmission site in Russell, New Zealand.

ZMH292 has multiple antenna systems designed for working vessels in these areas:

  • Coastal New Zealand
  • Tasman Sea, Coral Sea
  • South Pacific Islands (including Pitcairn, Easter Island)
  • Mexico / Panama / Galapagos to French Polynesia
When are you on watch?
I am ONLY listening if you have filed a Trip Report with Northland Radio!

Once you depart port, I endeavour to be on watch every day until you make landfall.

In the unlikely event this is not possible, I will hand you over to a government coast station to take your daily reports.
Do I need to check in every day?
Yes! The purpose of the daily check in service is to track the passage of your vessel and confirm you and your crew are safe and well.

If you don’t check in, that triggers a process here that could lead to an unnecessary search for you.

At the very least I am listening for your call when I could be doing other things. Please be respectful of my time.

What happens if I miss a check in?
I make an assessment as to whether you may be in trouble or not.

If I suspect you may be in difficulty or will be soon, then I will notify the Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) for the NavArea you are transiting that you have missed a check in. They will decide what action (if any) to take next.

I provide RCC with all of the data you provide in your trip report filed before departure.

I consider a lot of factors when making this assessment including whether your vessel is single handed, weather conditions at the time and predicted for the next 24 hours, and the status reported on your previous check in.

If you miss two consecutive check ins, then the likelihood of me informing the RCC increases significantly. If you miss three check ins, I will will automatically notify the RCC.
Which frequency do I call on?
The trip report acknowledgement email contains an attachment with instructions. If you are unable to reach me on MF/HF radio, there is an option to email your daily report (if you have email at sea).
Why do I need to file a Trip Report /Float Plan?
Your Trip Report tells me which days to be listening for you. Without a Trip Report, I may miss your calls.

The Trip Report also contains valuable data that I would pass to the Rescue Coordination Centre in the event you need assistance at sea.
How do I file a Trip Report / Float Plan?
If you are well connected to the Internet, please use the Trip Report Form on this web site.

Alternatively if you are at sea, you can send email to or telephone +64 21 279 4995.
Are there any fees for your service?
Northland Radio is a free of charge service.

Please consider making a donation.

Donations contribute to the following operational costs;

* Annual radio license fees
* Internet connectivity
* International telephone calls
* Satellite AIS subscription
* Electricity + generator fuel
* Internet accessible software defined radios

Donations also help pay for travel costs incurred visiting yacht clubs and marinas where I deliver presentations on the use of SSB radio on ocean passages.