Originally Posted by BOBRR
Any changes contemplated in the "near future" ?
Narrow band channels have already been assigned. 12.5KHz spacing:
MARITIME VHF NARROWBAND CHANNELS - 12.5 KHZ
This is a US Coast Guard page, my quick look at the FCC page for Part 80 didn't show this. I don't know of any radios available on the retail market that are out that will do this. Of course any part 80 approved commercial LMR radio (Kenwood makes a few Part 90 radios that also have Part 80 certs.) will do these narrow channels.
If you scroll down to the bottom of that page, there are examples of 6.25KHz spaced channels. Analog FM doesn't work in 6.25 channels, so when that happens, it'll be some version of digital. I wouldn't count on it happening any time soon. There are not any standards for digital on Marine VHF at this time, and the page states that it's not allowed by WRC or the FCC yet.