The National Coastwatch Institute (NCI) is a voluntary organisation which operates a visual and listening watchkeeping service all along the coast. In addition to their Coastguard liaison service they also help out by offering an alternative radio check on Channel 65 between the hours of 10am and 4pm. The Solent VHF frequencies can be exceptionally busy and if you want a radio check you can be overspoken or the Coastguard can simply be too busy. As an alternative, switch to Channel 65 and call NCI for a radio check in the same way as you would the Coastguard:
“NCI, NCI, NCI this is Rebel Runner, Rebel Runner, Rebel Runner. Radio Check please, Over.”
For local VHF Channels please refer to the relevant NCI page here
Key local VHF Channels are:
11 – Queens Harbour Master (Portsmouth)
68 – Langstone Harbour Master
80 – Southsea Marina
A lot of anglers use Channel 10 for chat. Although this is an inter-ship channel it is theoretically reserved for tugs and pilots, although I don’t ever remember hearing them on this channel.