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Suggestions on Winlink Position Reports

Posted on Sat 14 January 2012 in Amateur Radio, Navigation, Systems - Communications, Vessel Documentation

This is for all you Maritime Mobiles who are probably not really active in HAM Radio, but are using Winlink for email and position reports. Here are few operating suggestions:

Sending Position Reports


  • When you send a position report, ALWAYS but your vessel name in beginning of the comment fields. No one probably knows what your callsign is, but we can look around and see your boat name.
  • While underway, send at least one position report. I usually do this once a day on long passages or at roughly the midway on shorter passages. Its fun to later connect all the dots!
  • Always send a position report when you reach your destination indicating you are anchored or moored safely

Check Who’s around you

Did you know you can ask Winlink for a list of other people who are nearby? It goes without saying that you need to have updated your position recently for this to work. But assuming you have done that send a mail to INQURY with the subject REQUEST and the message body WL2K_NEARBY. Send that off and next time you check your mail you will have a list of nearby folks. Notice I didn’t say vessels. Winlink is for any HAM to use, so you will see RVers, Backpackers as well. Here’s a sample. If you always put your vessel name in your position report comments this is lot nicer to read!

List of users nearby W7PEA\ Postion: 21-09.69N  105-13.60W  posted at: 1/11/2012 6:16:00 AM\ (NOTE: All dates in UTC, distance in nautical miles and bearings true great circle.)

Winlink 2000 Nearby Mobile Users\ (Only the latest report for each call within the past 10 days is listed.

CALL     Dist(nm @ DegT)        POSITION             REPORTED            COMMENT\ W7PEA          0.0 @ 000   21-09.69N 105-13.60W  2012/01/11 06:16  Deep Playa - Anchored at Chacala\ KJ6LNI        26.1 @ 198   20-44.83N 105-22.13W  2012/01/08 15:15  Anchored in La Cruz\ KJ6NYJ        26.5 @ 197   20-44.40N 105-22.00W  2012/01/10 23:08 \ VE0NAV        55.0 @ 319   21-50.88N 105-52.72W  2012/01/13 00:59  Arrived Isla Isabella much warmer here than Mazatlan All Good\ KQ6MY         55.0 @ 319   21-50.88N 105-52.76W  2012/01/13 22:36  Isla Isabella\ KJ6NKS       113.8 @ 169   19-18.03N 104-50.19W  2012/01/09 01:04  Here in Tenacatita with all of our local friends\ KD7NPI       113.8 @ 169   19-18.02N 104-50.15W  2012/01/09 00:39 \

Let People Know Who you Are

One of the best things you can do is to put your vessel name in your position reports. The next thing you can do is update your entry on the HAM Lookup servers, login to www.QRZ.com and www.HAMQTH.com and at least update your description with your vessel name and a link to your web page. This way if someone looks up your callsign because they saw it on Winlink they can know your vessel name and send you an email via Winlink or contact you on VHF. Pretty handy!