Each morning at 0830 Pacific time, a large group of northwest boating hams and those interested in boating activities switch on their ham radio transceivers
and answer the rollcall of the "PLYC NORTHWEST BOATERS NET".
The net provides weather reports, conveys vessel position reports, passes
messages, and assists northwest boaters. It also provides contact between
a large number of land based northwest amateur radio operators with an
interest in boating activities. Such scheduled contact has proven
extremely valuable to visiting cruising boats and northwest Washington
and Canada boaters, especially those who find themselves beyond the range
of normal communication facilities. It is not uncommon to have offshore
cruising boats check in from the Gulf of Alaska to as far south as San
Francisco Bay. The net welcomes all northwest boaters and those interested in northwest boating activities from California to Alaska. The net also provides a primary radio contact link for members of the Port
Ludlow (Washington) Amateur Radio Club.
The net meets on 3.865 Mhz utilizing the lower sideband
mode. At the present time the active rollcall consists of about 70 U.S.
and Canadian Amateur Radio Stations with usually about 65 actually checking
in during summer months and 45 checking in during winter months. The rollcall is accomplished in less than 15 minutes and is followed
by contacts between individual stations. From 0800 to 0830 a warmup session is provided for general discussions and early checkins by net participants. The net is tightly controlled
by control operators to provide timely efficiency. Current Control Operators
are: Lee Watts, WA7OK; Bill Whitney, WO7O; Bill Webber, K7IK; Jack West, W7LD; Aaron Benson, N7XT; Jack Schmidt, W7JS; and Dick Miles, K7RNZ .
During the summer months, boats farther north meet on "The Great Northern Boaters Net" which is managed by VE7KLU, Barbara at Sidney and KL0YC, Darlene at Ketchikan. The net currently meets on a frequency of 3.870 Mhz at 0730 PDT and and 7.28 Mhz at 0800 PDT. A summary of boats of interest to the Great Northern Boaters Net is relayed to the Northwest Boaters Net group.
The Northwest Boaters Net had its beginning over 20 years ago in 1985 when a
small group of Port Ludlow Yacht Club members began checking with each
other every morning on ham radio. Paul Morris, W7GT; Bill Whipple, KD7FX;
Bill Wootton, WO7J; and Bill Whitney, WO7O; were key members in the original group with WO7O as the net control. The
group rapidly expanded to include other Port Ludlow boaters and local residents. During later years since 1989, the group has expanded to the present net with its regional coverage and extensive
Listing of participating members.
The net also began having luncheons which later became
a weekly function for all amateurs residing in the Port Ludlow area as well as visiting yachting hams. The
luncheons are held every Wednesday at various restaurants in the Port Ludlow / Port Hadlock vicinity with 25 to 30 attending. In 1993, the Port Ludlow Amateur Radio
Club was formed and now handles the luncheon programs with monthly club
meetings held in conjunction with one of the luncheon gatherings. The Net is now sponsored by both the Port Ludlow Yacht Club and The Port Ludlow Amateur Radio Club.
Visitors are welcome both on the net and at the luncheons.