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Old 06-02-2009, 08:45   #16
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Operating a VHF radio without the operator's cert. is a federal crime in Canada.

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Originally Posted by Jim Quibell View Post
Persons operating a VHF radio must hold a Restricted Operators Licence. If travelling into another nations waters, you must also have a Station Licence.
Just because you don't hear of people being fined for illegal operation of VHF without the operator licence doesn't mean they are not being fined. People are being charged and fined, and the federal law is going to be getting a lot more enforcement as time rolls along.
All boaters who use a VHF radio should take the course. Knowing the proper way to use the VHF radio, and having a command of the international VHF language (alpha, bravo etc) would certainly improve communications.
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Sheesh! It might be a good idea to get the facts before accusations of committing a "Federal crime" are tossed about. According to FCC Form 1070Y (July 2004), persons DO NOT NEED a restricted radiotelephone permit when "On board a voluntarily equipped ship using only VHF frequencies on domestic voyages OR using a radar, EPIRB, survival craft, or onboard station."

That yacht club has a pretty good scam going if they've convinced you to pay 75 bucks to avoid committing a "Federal crime" that doesn't exist. I hope lunch was included in the cost.

US residents entering Canadian waters must have the Restricted Operators Licence and a Station Licence.
That $75.00 fee for two persons is a good deal. In the Toronto area, the Power Squadron usually charges around $60.00 per person for the complete course (CD / Manual / Exam / Certificate).
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:10   #17
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That's interesting, then...in Canada you need a VHF operator's license (and yes I have mine with DSC endorsement and so does the Admiral) but you don't need a station license.

In the U.S., apparently, no VHF license is needed (which may account for the poor radio procedure I hear from U.S. yachts visiting our side of the lake*), but you do need a station license. (I have one to go stateside but I'll have to renew this summer.)


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* Kidding, for god's sake. A little bit anyway, good buddy. Over and out.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:21   #18
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Originally Posted by bitman View Post
that's pretty bad if you don't need a license in the US

must be a mess then when you listen to the VHF over there, brrrr
Its sometimes irritating hearing about Aunt Thelma's kidney stones on channel 16 but its really not too bad here in the States. Most times, those who are misusing the radio on 16 here get dressed down by the Coast Guard. On other well used channels, other people dress down those who are not using the VHF correctly. I have spoken up a few times towards those who are blatantly misusing the VHF...simply because I got tired of hearing it.

In the US, the need for a station license still applies to inspected commercial vessels that carry a COI.

In the US, all vessels 20 meters and over are required to have a station license and for the operator to have a Restricted FCC license.

A little off topic, but if you ever hear someone making an obviously fake distress call...stay off the radio..period. Don't get on the radio and say "Its fake!" I heard someone do this once. The fake distress caller got off the radio which prevented the Coasties from being able to track down the location of the caller with their radio direction finders. The law also says you are supposed to stay off the radio unless you have the ability to provide assistance.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:30   #19
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Ok so my appologies for 3 things:

1) I assumed it was Fedral Law in the USA

2) The post going off, about US dialog on VHF

3) My bad spelling......lol

Thanks for all the replies, I guess it comes down to who wants to be educated and who doesn't. We are taking the course because we made the decission to be better boaters, and I think everyone should take the course regardless of Local Laws....my two cents.....lol.

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Old 06-02-2009, 09:45   #20
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Unless the law has changed, A U.S. pleasure boat is not required to have a VHF license when sailing in U.S. waters.

DGC
That is not the case from what I've read (but that may not apply to the US and Canada, but certainly does for the UK and other countries), vessels are not required to have a VHF RADIO, but if they do have one they need a license. Although it seems as though this law is not enforced.
Also, you cannot use a handheld VHF in the UK.
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:48   #21
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That is not the case from what I've read (but that may not apply to the US and Canada, but certainly does for the UK and other countries), vessels are not required to have a VHF RADIO, but if they do have one they need a license. Although it seems as though this law is not enforced.
Also, you cannot use a handheld VHF in the UK.
Would someone like to dig up the FCC requirements pertaining to small recreational vessels (non-passenger carrying, under 20 meters) operating in domestic waters? Its in the CFR's.

Lets resolve this once and for all. I know for a fact that a station license and an operators permit is not required but lets see what the law says so we can without any doubt, settle this.

Does someone want to do the footwork?
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:59   #22
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Also, you cannot use a handheld VHF in the UK.

Wow. And yet they're sold there, if I believe those pages and pages of ads in Yachting Monthly. And it seems to me one of the Brit mags did a review of various models in the past year or so.

Why not? Bureaucratic pettifogging? or some actual reason?

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Old 06-02-2009, 10:02   #23
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Is that actually true? You cannot use a handheld? Would someone provide a reference to the law?
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:08   #24
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I think the unlicensed American VHF users, at least in the Puget Sound, do a pretty good job when using their radios. If you want to find something to complain about, try listening to the infamous whistling fisherman of the Sea of Cortez. They might have a whole stack of government issued licenses, but I think they were all signed by Jose Cuervo.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:11   #25
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The same debate has been going on in France for years. It is normally compulsory for one member of the crew at least to have a Short Range Certificate when there is a VHF on board, either fixed or mobile, whether you use it or not - plus a licence for your radio station.
The certificate is very easy to take, the exam is relatively inexpensive (78€), you don't necessarily have to take a special course for it, and the licence is free. In case you have a DSC VHF, they provide you with an MMSI number.
It is true however that the French authorities very rarely ask for those documents - they mostly check our safey equipment depending on our sailing area - which does not mean we may get on the wrong side of the law.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:12   #26
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Let's not get different countries mixed up here now.

The Restricted Radio Operators Certificate and a radio station license is required in Canada. (Period)Canadian laws, requirement whether you have been asked for it or not. That is of course if you have a VHF radio on board, which is not required of most pleasure boats.

These are not required for (most? all?) pleasure boats in the US unless those boats are going to travel to a foreign country or the boats are going to communicate with a radio station in a foreign country (US laws, requirement).

Geesh, I wonder how many times this is going to be argued over in this forum.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:27   #27
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Unless the law has changed, A U.S. pleasure boat is not required to have a VHF license when sailing in U.S. waters.

DGC
Yes, I inquired two years ago and was told this. I was surprised.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:29   #28
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Is that actually true? You cannot use a handheld? Would someone provide a reference to the law?
Hi, yes I read it in UK customs site, not sure if it only applies to boats, just digging for it now and will post link when I find it.
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Old 06-02-2009, 10:31   #29
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The Restricted Radio Operators Certificate and a radio station license is required in Canada. (Period)Canadian laws, requirement whether you have been asked for it or not. That is of course if you have a VHF radio on board, which is not required of most pleasure boats.
Nope. Just the operator's certificate. Station license requirement was lifted in about 1999 or 2000(?).

The Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons issue the operator's certificates on behalf of the government. Here's a link to what they have to say about the station license.

Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons.


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Old 06-02-2009, 10:46   #30
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Ok this isn't the original page that I read the info from :-
RA 364 - Ship Radio Licence Information Sheet
But it seems you need to be specially licensed to use a hand held, and if I remember right, the law was regarding the use of a handheld VHF as the only VHF for your boat e.g. with no non-portable radio onboard. I did actually try and phone them to ask, but the office is now closed for the weekend.
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