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HF/SSB radio email and voice services

Small Craft Services - Links

HF/SSB Radio Services & Suppliers:
Links to services, equipment suppliers and information relevant  to Brunei Bay Radio's HF-SSB voice and e-mail services for small craft. 

SailMail Association:
A not-for-profit Association of vessel owners operating a low cost and world wide e-mail service via HF-SSB radio for recreational small-craft.  The originators of SailMail are all experienced cruising and racing sailors with professional expertise in radios and computing. The SailMail service has proven to be the world's most attractive and dependable, low cost HF-SSB service for cruisers.

SailMail membership is a flat annual fee of US$250, with no additional charge for connection time. A daily limit of 12 minutes connection time (averaged over seven days) provides ample connection time for most requirements. A free supporting service - SailDocs - automates e-mailing of GRIB weather charts, official METAREA forecasts, and other web pages. 

Vessels only require an official marine radio call-sign, marine radio operator's license, modern marine HF radio - eg: ICOM M802(DSC) or ICOM M801(E), Pactor Controller and on-board PC/notebook. An amateur radio license is not required.

Brunei Bay Radio is the regional SailMail hub for SE Asia, the NW Pacific, Indian Ocean. Our effective service range extends over 2000nm. Yachts in Japan, near Perth, Chagos or Madagascar use Brunei Bay Radio for their SailMail connections. 

UK based marine radio equipment, Pactor modems for SailMail,  and training. 

Made Simple for Cruisers:
Terry Sparks' career as a navy officer, his active cruising lifestyle and his HAM radio knowledge is combined in his books and advise on HF/SSB radio equipment, installation and operation. 

Offshore Outfitters:
California based marine radio equipment, Pactor modems for SailMail, and SailMail technical support.
Queensland based radio equipment supplier, Pactor modem distributor for SailMail, and used equipment. 

Pangolin Communications:
Auckland (New Zealand) business designing and selling useful small-craft software, including tides,  HF propagation, and astro navigation. 

Also the home of YotReps, the online vessel tracking and passage planning service for small-craft.  Vessel positions can be seen on screen via the Internet. Reports to YOTREPS include weather and sea state information which contributes to weather forecasting services such as GRIB weather charts.  YOTRPES reports can be  sent direct from the vessel via radio e-mail, or via voice to land bases - including to Brunei Bay Radio - for later submission to the YOTREPS computer.  

The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS):
Click on the above link to access information and developments in the GMDSS service. Points to remember in SE Asia and elsewhere:

1. The GMDSS service was not developed for small craft but the HF/SSB radio service and worldwide network of MRCCs it supports is strongly recommended for all vessels, because maintaining a 24/7 watch on a DSC capable marine HF/SSB radio links all mariners together for mutual support and assistance.

2. Australia has declared it has no VHF or NAVTEX system under the GMDSS concept.

3. There are no regular VHF services in SE Asia for position reporting etc.

4. NAVTEX stations and weather fax services have deteriorated since the GMDSS service was introduced because large ships were required to install high-powered and expensive INMARSAT systems and they now get their weather and other marine safety information via that system. 

5. There are no major HF/SSB coast stations in SE Asia. Many existing coast radio stations (eg: Singapore Radio) closed soon after GMDSS was introduced because large ships shifted their telephone interconnect traffic to their compulsory INMARSAT system and that caused a dramatic fall in income for the major HF/SSB radio stations. Without the telephone interconnect traffic income there was nothing to pay the operators who broadcast the weather, MSI warnings etc on HF/SSB. So stations closed.

6. Australia closed all it's major HF/SSB radio stations for the same reason. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology set up two large transmitter stations to continue the voice broadcast of Australian coastal, METAREA 10 and Northern  Region (Indonesian archipelago to Singapore) forecasts. See the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website for details. The transmitters operate on frequencies with sufficient power to cover most of SE Asia

7. Australian's Rescue Coordination Centre has access to the Bureau of Meteorology transmitters for use in monitoring for DSC alerts, and to manage maritime distress situations. Distress alerts received by EPIRB, phone, satellite phone or HF/SSB radio will be managed using the RCC/BOM  HF/SSB radios because that allows the RCC to simultaneously talk to all vessels, search aircraft etc. They do not use satellite phone to coordinate search and rescue operations because it is impractical, does not have a broadcast facility and is expensive.

Yacht Cruising Resources:
Web sites with information of particular interest to yachts traveling long distances, making extended cruises, being self sufficient, or venturing to out of the way places. 

Jimmy Connell's web based version of his renowned publication, World Cruising Routes. This site has comprehensive information on ports and facilities around the world, with regular updates and information from local contacts and cruising yachts. 

John's Nautical Links: 
Described as The Mother of All Maritime Links, a massive resource of information and links to boating related services, information, suppliers, history, places and activities. 

Frank Singleton's Weather Pages:
Frank's recreation as an active cruiser and his career in the UK Met Office gives him a unique perspective on recreational boating weather requirements. Along with the services available to access the information. 

Made Simple for Cruisers:
Terry Sparks' career as a professional navy officer, his active cruising lifestyle and his HAM radio knowledge is combined in his books about cruising, equipment for cruising, and communication services for cruising.

Sea Room:
Toronto (Canada) based site with information for the cruising sailor, and a special focus on Canadian sailors. Links to North American maritime safety information.

Cruiser Log:
Cruising yacht website with lots of useful material, plus free web page hosting for your yacht.  Links to information and resources for world cruisers.


The guide to sailing and cruising stories. Also lots of useful links and information for long term cruisers, including boat equipment, maintenance, and advice.  

Malta Yachting: 
A comprehensive resource of yachting news, information, equipment, and services in the Mediterranean. 

Cyprus based web site with yachts for sale, plus private adds for sails and other boat parts, and links to Cyprus yachting resources. Also crew available/wanted.

Yacht Solutions - marine consultancy: 
Phuket (Thailand) based company offering a wide variety of yacht support services, including deliveries, charter yacht management, and crew agency. 

Clubs, Anchorages, Marinas, and Maintenance:

Links to clubs, marinas, resorts and hotels where small craft can find berths, anchorages and moorings. Also onshore maintenance and service facilities. 

Gove Yacht Club: 
Nhulunbuy - northern Australia:
First major port for many yachts entering Australia direct from the Pacific towards Asia. Good support and maintenance services. 

Conducts the annual Over the Top Cruise in Company event to Darwin in late June/early July that links with the Darwin to Bali race.

Darwin Sailing Club: 

The principal racing club for dinghies and yachts in Darwin. Inconvenient anchorage for yachts but good club facilities and information. 

Conducts the annual Darwin to Ambon, or more recently, Darwin to Bali race as a kick off for yachts cruising through the Indonesian Archipelago to Borneo and Philippines, or to Singapore and Port Klang for the Raja Muda Regatta and then Phuket for the Kings Cup Regatta.

Dinah Beach Cruising Yacht Association: 
Convenient location for anchorage, shore access and access to Tipperary Waters Marina with nearby maintenance yards and town a short walk away. Operates the annual Darwin to Ambon yacht race.

Tipperary Waters Marina:
Darwin: The lock bound marina in Darwin. Convenient home for cruising yachts in Darwin, with nearby chandlery and repair services. Leave the boat here while exploring the many national parks and spectacular wildlife attractions in the Top End of Australia. 

Middle Harbour Yacht Club: 
Middle Harbour Yacht Club (MHYC) is one of the major Australian yacht clubs. Located at a scenic position not far inside Sydney Harbour, they run a range of inshore and offshore racing events, as well as having a strong cruising division.  Contact on +61 9969-1244, or via VHF Ch 73 during opening hours

Brunei Darussalam:

Marine equipment is duty free into Brunei, so local prices are competitive. It's easy to collect freighted spares, new sails etc.
2. There is no import duty on yachts, motor cruisers etc so boats can stay as long as required while exploring on land in Borneo, or traveling home.    
Diesel is Bn$0.31 cents (about US$0.19) per litre.
4. Brunei $ is identical value to Singapore $ and notes from each currency can be used is both countries. 
5. Click on this link for immigration and visa requirements.

Royal Brunei Yacht Club:
Safe anchorage off the club at Serasa (Muara Port) amongst moored yachts. Tender service and temporary membership available. Free use of club facilities, including pool, restaurant/dining room, washing machine, water, jetty, workshop etc for one month. Competent marine engineering and repair works available. Public buses to Bandar Seri Begawan.

A second (Kota Batu) clubhouse further up the Brunei River provides similar services (no pool or workshop), with floating jetty for tenders. Deep water and good holding within 50 metres of the jetty. With an excellent restaurant and dining room (indoor air-cond, outdoor verandah beside the river) and only 10 minutes in the local air-conditioned bus to the centre of the capital - Bandar Seri Begawan - it is a popular visitors' anchorage.

Intrepid Yachting: 
Agent for C-Map (electronic charts), Raytheon (instruments, VHF radios, chart plotters), Burke (clothing and personal safety equipment), Lewmar (hatches, winches, deck fittings), Bainbridge (cloth, rope fittings), Barrett (HF radio), Kleenhull (antifouling anode system).

Also contact for local information, discount shore accommodation, tours, vehicle hire, engine maintenance, fuel etc.  

Hong Kong:
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club:

Focal point for yachting in Hong Kong. Organisers of the bi-Annual South China Sea Race, and bi-annual San Fernando races to the Philippines. The South China Sea race brings yachts to the Presidents Cup Regatta, held over Easter. HKYC's  China Coast Series in October is another big yachting event, and finishes with the HK to Hainan race.  Recently announced the revised Hainan to Vietnam race. Marina, moorings and on-shore facilities.

Bali International Marina: 
"Escape to Bali, a tropical paradise with warm & wonderful people"  A small marina, big on hospitality, and home of the Royal Bali Yacht Club. Website contains informative Indonesian local knowledge.

Jakarta Offshore Sailing Club: 
Founded in 1973 and designed to promote keel boat racing and ocean cruising in Indonesia.

Riau Yacht Club - Batam Island:
Located across the Singapore Straits, 30 minutes ferry ride from Singapore, at the Nongsa Point Marina.  Co-host and 2 night venue for the annual  Singapore Straits Regatta held each January.  

Royal Bali Yacht Club
A non profit club dedicated to promote the sport of sailing, and Indonesia as a yachting destination.

Royal Selangor Yacht Club:
A well established yacht club with marina and support facilities. Host of the annual Raja Muda Regatta (November) along the Straits of Malacca. Located at Port Klang, with public transport access to Kuala Lumpur. 

Manila Yacht Club:
Situated on the waterfront in central Manila. Berths, full maintenance and service facilities and a strong sailing programme.

Puerto Galera Yacht Club:
A club based adjacent to a resort and marina facility in a popular holiday adn recreation area of the Philippines; 40 minutes flight and 15 hours sailing from Manila. Their website and club operations aim to provide the best source of information for cruising yachts visiting the Philippines.

Maya Maya Yacht Club:
Another club operated in close liaison with a major resort. Substantial haul-out and repair facilities.

Pinoy Boat Services: 
Located in Port Carmen, Cebu. Comprehensive maintenance service and safe place to leave a yacht while exploring on land. 

Kookoos Nest:
A small beachside resort on the Southern Philippines island of Negros. Operated by a an English couple this friendly venue plays host to many cruising yachts.  

Changi Sailing Club:
Active sailing programme, plus moorings, temporary membership and tender service for visiting yachts.

Republic of Singapore Yacht Club:
Marina and lots of on shore facilities. Host to the Singapore Straits Regatta each January.

Raffles Marina:
Commercial marina with berths, moorings and lots of on shore facilities, including accommodation, repairs etc

Ponggol Marina:
Secluded and quiet marina with on shore facilities. Linked to Ubin Lagoon Resort for accommodation, adventure activities and water sports.


Yacht Haven Marina - Phuket:
A popular venue for vessels stopping over in Phuket. Full marina and maintenance services available. Berths have water and power. 

Links to places, resorts, islands and beaches that make great destinations for cruising and activities.  

Christmas Island - Indian Ocean: 
A regular stop for yachts on route from Darwin to Bali. Large island with lots happening. Reasonable support facilities, regular flights to Perth. Diving, wildlife and activities.  

Cocos Island - Indian Ocean: 
A first stop for many yachts heading across the Indian Ocean to Chagos or Mauritius. Basic support facilities, regular flights to Perth, and a fantastic anchorage. Lots of diving. 

The highest land above sea level is 3 metres, so you need to be close to see it.  

Yacht Races, Regattas and Events:
Regular events in Brunei Bay Radio's service area.  Conducted on an annual, bi-annual, or more regular basis.  

Sail Indonesia:

This organised rally has evolved and grown from the Darwin to Dili yacht race. It now includes numerous shore based events, cultural experiences and activities.  This event is used by many world cruising yachts as their principle exposure to the traditional cultures of the Indonesian Archipeligo. It now links with Sail Malaysia from Singapore to Lanagkawi.  Organisers help with Indonesian Cruising Permits. 

Sail To Indonesia:
Provides a varying programme of rallies along with support for individual yachts or small groups of yachts exploring Indonesia. Backed by the knowledge of an experience Indonesian rally organiser and marine tourism facilitator, with local contacts in many of the popular yacht cruising areas in Indonesia.

Darwin to Ambon Yacht Race:
An annual event organised by Dinah Beach Cruising Yacht Association in Darwin. Yachts moving from Australia into Asia can take advantage of this event to enter the Spice Islands area and follow the race with island hopping through the Spice Islands to Manado at the top of Sulawesi. Organisers help with Indonesian Cruising Permits. 

BIMP = Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia & Philippines
EAGA = East Asian Growth Area

BIMP-EAGA includes all of Borneo island, Sulawesi, the Spice Islands, Irian Jaya, and parts of the southern Philippines. This was a traditional trading region where goods and people moved by local sailing vessels and canoes. Prior to the arrival of colonial nations - UK, Dutch and Spain - a large part of it was the region over which the the Sultan of Brunei reigned.

The BIMP-EAGA Business Council is the fifth member of BIMP-EAGA, with Nation level status.

The Northern Territory (a state of Australia) is a partner in BIMP-EAGA.

Seas, islands and coasts of the The Coral Triangle - containing a large portion of the worlds coral reefs - make up a significant part of BIMP-EAGA and help give the area it's unique character and environmental significance.

BIMP-EAGA Yacht Rally:
The BIMP-EAGA Yacht Rally is a series of passages, venues, anchorages, events, islands, shore excursions and local regattas linking the four countries of BIMP-EAGA - Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. This rally was proposed and ratified by the BIMP-EAGA Business Council at their October 2008 Community-based Ecotourism Conference in Manado. The rally has the support of the BIMP-EAGA Tourism Cluster members in the different regions where it visits. In 2009 the rally begins from Manado - following the conclusion of Sail Bunaken - travels to Sabah and Palawan and concludes in Brunei in early November.

Sail Malaysia:
This rally now involves two events, a programme that follows Sail Indonesia to venues and attractions along the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia - in the Malacca Straits - to Lankawi. The second event involves a return down the Malacca Straits to sail up the east coats of Peninsula Malaysia to the Tioman Islands, before making a passage to Kuching - on the island of Borneo - and subsequently short hops to venues and events along the west coast of Borneo, including Brunei and round the top of Sabah.

ASEAN Regatta:
Based at Port Dickson this annual event is the first of the November/December series of regattas along the Straits Of Malacca leading to the Kings Cup in Phuket.

Borneo Cup Yachting Challenge: 
A major event on the north west coast of Borneo. Since it's early years of starting in Labuan to end in Miri - sailing against the SW Monsoon - the event has shifted to start at Miri and finish in Kota Kinabalu. The event is most suited to lighter cruising yachts and racing yachts.

Raja Muda Regatta: 
An extremely popular event for racing and cruising yachts. Involves a series of overnight passages and day races along the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia.

Lankawi International Regatta: 
Spectacular racing area based from Malaysia's premier tourist island. 

Presidents Cup Regatta:
Based in Subic Bay this is a premier regatta with great support from local sponsors.  The HKYC's South China Sea race (held on alternate years) brings yachts from HK to participate in the President's Cup. On these years the President's Cup is held over Easter. On alternate years (when the CSR is not run) the Presidents Cup Regatta is held earlier in the year, when winds are normally fresher.

Singapore Straits Regatta: 
Held each year in mid January it includes a number of prominent Singapore yachting venues, and a passage across to Batam Island (Riau Yacht Club) and return.   

Andaman Sea Rally:
An organised event open to sail and motor yachts. Great way to see this beautiful area. 

Ko Samui Regatta: 
A relatively new event with lots of attractions and action. 

Phang Nga Bay Regatta: 

Phuket Kings Cup Regatta:
Asia's largest sailing regatta held each year in late November or early December. A focal point for racing and cruising yachts.


updated: 30 October 2017 

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