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Information on the NAVTEX System

Navtex or Navigational Telex is an international printing system which delivers meteorological and navigational warnings. It helps provide urgent safety information to the ships. It is a simple and low cost means of providing information to navigating vessels to avoid risks and inform them about any safety precautions they would need to take.

It involves no user fee and all telecasts are made directly from the Navtex, National Weather Authority office in Italy or from the Coast Guards System in USA or the national navigation authority in Canada.

The format used to issue the warning is similar to the shipping forecast format. It is the part of the International Maritime Organization and also a part of the Global Marine Distress Safety System. It is mandatory for certain vessels to carry the Navtex system as a safety and precautionary measure.

Technical information regarding Navtex

  • All transmissions made by Navtes are also known as narrow band direct printing.
  • All Navtex information is broadcasted at a medium frequency of 518 kHz or 490 kHz
  • The broadcasts are always made in English
  • Navtex is considered the standard for all sorts of maritime information

What is the transmissions Schedule for Navtex?

The transmission of Navtex is detected by a station identifier at a ten minute interval. A broadcast is made every four hours. This prevents any instance of mutual disturbances amongst different stations.  Throughout each time slot there are received all of the following which include

  • The necessary navigational warnings
  • Weather forecasts
  • Iceberg information
  • Rescue and search information and information about pirate attacks

Each of this information is according to a structured plan for each specific weather station. It deals with one station at every time slot.

About Navtex Receivers

All approved Navtex receivers should contain all of the following

  • An internal printer
  • A scrollable display

However there are a few new generation Navtex receivers which come with an LCD screen and range anywhere from $300 to $500. Certain software packages when connects to each of these receivers help gather the Navtex data with ease.

Since 1999, the national weather service decided to release a list of products which were especially well suited to receive any signals received by the Navtex head office in the United States. This allows the signals to travel long distance when the weather conditions are favorable. The stations which are within hundreds of miles of each other make successful transmissions to different receivers across the world.

Just make sure to keep the following things in mind when buying receivers for Navtex

  • Make sure you know how to install the instrument in the right manner.
  • It would be wise to buy the receiver from a well know dealer. Make sure you don’t scrimp on the budget because a high quality receiver ensures that your vessel receives timely warnings in case of disturbances at sea. After all it involves critical situation which you shouldn’t be taking lightly.
  • This holds especially true for recreational vessels at sea.