A marine radio is one of the most important safety tools on board any vessel and is required in NSW if two nautical miles or more offshore.  Marin Radios radios operate in the 27Mhz band, the international VHF marine band and MF/HF radios.  The 27Mhz radios are typically considered more of an inshore radio, with a maximum range typically being from 8 to 16km. 

VHF radios are both clearer and more powerful and are often used for offshore, as well as inshore applications, with a maximum range of up to 20km between vessels or up to 50km from a shore base. One big advantage of VHF radios is that they are monitored by coast stations operated by rescue and other organisations, and vessels can set up logs between themselves and coast stations on coastal voyages. 

The Australian Maritime College produces a handbook that provides all the information needed to operate your VHF radio correctly: Australian Maritime College: Marine Radio Operator's Handbook

The below videos will also provide some tips on using a VHF radio and getting the most out of it.

VHF Marine Radio - How to use it

Using VHF Marine Radio for weather information

How to use Dual Watch

Digital Selective Calling & Marine Radio: Taking the search out of search and rescue

Call and Switch on Marine Radio