Radio Amateur “Portable-Afloat”

I have been gathering links related to radio-amateur operations from small boats over small bodies of water, and would greatly appreciate hearing from other radio amateurs and boat enthusiasts about similar “water-activations”.

Version 2

In some of the links listed below the suffix “/MM” (“Marine-Mobile”) is used to indicate the nautical nature of the operation. However these radio operations are hardly “marine” and seldom “mobile”, and do no respond to such description. “Portable-Afloat” seems to better describe this mode of radio-amateur operation: i.e., the operation of radio-amateur portable equipment from small boats floating over relatively small bodies of water. Often, the radio-amateur is also the sole operator of the boat. I am proposing that in these circunstances, the suffix “/PAF” be attached to the callsign to indicate that the radio-amateur operation is being conducted “Portable Afloat”.

“Portable Afloat” would not only apply to radio-amateur operation from boats navigating in small and inland bodies of water, but would also appropriately describe operations with equipment not permanently affixed to the boat. Also, it would not be imperative for the boat to be underway, thus fostering safety by encouraging operations afloat while at anchor or moored to a mooring buoy or a dock. Between this kind of operation and a full-fledged /MM, depending on the body of water, the size of the craft and whether the stations is actually “mobile” rather than “portable”, there may be many possible intermediate variations and it should be at the discretion of the operator to decide which suffix applies best.

Borrowing a famous phrase from two superlative mentors and colleagues from a previous life (James Watson & Francis Crick in their clasical 1953 article in “Nature” – “It has not escaped our notice…” that this mode of radio operation could, in due time, evolve into “W.O.T.A.” (“Waters On The Air”), a program that would reward /PAF radioamateurs for “activating” or “chasing” different bodies of water from sailboats, watercrafts, rowboats, canoes, kayaks, skiffs, tenders, coracles…

These are the links I have gathered so far:


















2 thoughts on “Radio Amateur “Portable-Afloat”

  1. Hello Sassy — I’ve been operating from a kayak for quite a few months now, from CA inland delta and near San Francisco Bay. Give me an email address and I’ll send my QSL card that shows my setup. Use a homebrew vertical dipole. Got into France on CW and 20m yesterday. I’m really into the antenna end of things. Using an Elecraft equipment now. Contact me at naturalbornwriter (at) hotmail (dot) com. Cheers!


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