the difference between Maritime channel 16 and 146.520 is that it is required to monitor channel 16 frequency as it is designated as a calling frequency where you establish your contact then move off to either a ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore channel. Conversations cannot be held on channel 16, other than to establish what channel you are moving to, generally because the Coast Guard will come on the channel and ask you to move to a working frequency.
Operation on 146.520 is entirely a gentlemans' agreement between hams. Using the frequency is OK, but if other traffic comes on the channel, you should yield the frequency and move to any other frequency that the stations in the conversation agree upon. But, there is not a legal requisite to do so. It is just a good operating practice.
So, IMHO, I would say,listen and use it as a local QSO frequency, and listen to it just in case somthing of real importance comes on there needing your or someone elses help.
Last edited by WA8LGM; 04-24-2012 at 05:12 PM.
Reason: clarification of content
[FONT=Arial Black][SIZE=4][SIZE=3][FONT=Garamond]John, WA8LGM
Hey!! Why am I in this handcart and where am I going? :mad::mad: