The Outdoors Net
Boats on The Air

Boats on The Air

Boats on the Air was created to combine two passions: boating and ham radio! Following in the footsteps of successful activation platforms such as SOTAPOTA, or IOTA, this program is in its early stages and will continue to develop over time. Join us to activate any floating object on any body of water. In addition to being a fun activity, it is hoped that BOTA will further emergency preparedness and experimentation with amateur radio. Participate by activating or chasing!


  1. As long as it safely floats, any type of watercraft is allowed to be used.
  2. The boat may be underway, anchored, moored or in port/alongside.
  3. You must make a minimum of 4 QSOs for your activity to count toward a BOTA activation.
  4. Chasers still gain credit, even if the activator hasn’t reached 4 QSOs.
  5. The activator must submit the log on
  6. Activator must obey Local, State and Federal Safety guidelines and laws or will be disqualified.
  7. Use of repeaters is not allowed for activations, except when on board satellites and space stations.

Activating a Boat

We will soon have a form to create your own activation. But for now, send an email to with the following information:

  • Name of vessel
  • Activation window (date/time range)
  • Activation location (name of body of water and Maidenhead grid square)
  • Boat length: Small (under 20′), Large (over 20′)
  • Boat power type: Motor, Sail, Human, Other
  • Ham frequency and mode (FM, AM, SSB, CW, Digital Voice, Digital Data)
  • Photo of watercraft (optional)
  • Callsigns of all hams on the activation team.

Once we receive your activation information, we will post it as an upcoming activation.
Coming soon: The ability to add activations using the site.

Uploading Logs

Members of the activation team and chasers should each upload logs to

Logs should consist of the following:

  • Name of vessel and date of activation (selected from a drop-down list to associate logs with the correct activation).
  • Date/time (UTC)
  • Activator’s call sign
  • Chaser’s call sign
  • Frequency
  • Mode
  • Signal Report

Activation Report

An activation report containing a summary of uploaded logs will automatically be generated after your activation is complete. You may also add to the activation report with information about your own experience and learnings. Sharing your experiences is a key part of the BOTA program, and we encourage activators to submit a writeup containing details about the activation. A GPS track file of your activation may also be included in the report. You may submit a writeup by email to
Coming soon: Submit your own activation report via