Introduction to NAVTEX
NAVTEX is a government-provided service that provides weather and safety information. It was originally designed for large vessels. These large vessels employ a dedicated NAVTEX receiver that uses a printer to display the information. New, low-cost NAVTEX receivers for recreational marine use display this information on an LCD.
NAVTEX can be used within 200 nautical miles of shore, where available. Before purchasing a NAVTEX receiver, check that coverage is available in your area. For example, in the US there are 12 broadcast stations covering most coastal areas, but there are gaps in the Southeast, Alaska, and Guam. The following charts show the current coverage:
- Chart of NAVTEX Stations Worldwide
- Worldwide NAVTEX Broadcast Schedule
- Eastern U.S NAVTEX Coverage (less Savannah)
- Savannah GA NAVTEX Coverage
- Western U.S. NAVTEX Coverage
- NOAA/National Weather Service NAVTEX Page
- Other Maritime Safety Broadcast Information
In the US, weather updates are broadcast 4 times per day. There is no charge for the NAVTEX service.
NAVTEX Receiver Installation
The Receiver is simple to install. Broadcasts are received via a dedicated, small whip antenna.
You will need to program your receiver to receive item of interest using the NAVTEX message header. Each message is preceded by a four character header B(1)B(2)B(3)B(4).
· B(1) is an alpha character identifying the transmitter. Example: A=Miami, FL. Select the station nearest to your location.
· B(2) is an alpha character used to identify the message subject. You can use this character to reject messages concerning subjects of no interest. Example: You may want to display Meteorological forecasts, but discard LORAN messages. Important messages, like Navigational warnings, cannot be rejected.
· B(3)B(4) are used to keep already received messages from being repeated
Sample NAVTEX Messages
You can view NAVTEX messages at the following website: Worldwide NAVTEX messages