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Old 06-02-2009, 10:53   #31
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Talking U.S. here:
I don't see how filling out a form and sending in a check to the FCC would make anyone a better radio operator or improve their manners on VHF, especially since there is no monitoring or enforcement.

There are rude people everywhere. A piece of paper won't make them any nicer -- no matter what country they're from. The U.S. doesn't own a franchise on that.

DGC
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:11   #32
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The subject of VHF licensing comes up over and over, ad nauseum. It has been "put to rest" numerous times on this and other Boards.

The rules of each country may differ (e.g., Canada and the U.S. have different rules). However, international rules are the same.

For U.S. recreational vessels which are voluntarily equipped with a VHF (i.e., are not otherwise under the law required to carry a radio), AND which are in domestic waters and only contact other U.S. stations, there is no requirement either for a station license or an operators license.

However, when such vessels travel abroad or wish to communicate with foreign-licensed vessels, they must have both an operators license and a station license.

Here's some of the relevant FCC language:

Quote
Who Needs a Ship Station License


You do not need a license to operate a marine VHF radio, radar, or EPIRBs aboard voluntary ships operating domestically. The term "voluntary ships" refers to ships that are not required by law to carry a radio. Generally, this term applies to recreation or pleasure craft. The term "voluntary ships" does not apply to the following:
  1. Cargo ships over 300 gross tons navigating in the open sea;
  2. Ships certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry more than 6 passengers for hire in the open sea or tidewaters of the U.S.;
  3. Power driven ships over 20 meters in length on navigable waterways;
  4. Ships of more than 100 gross tons certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry at least one passenger on navigable waterways;
  5. Tow boats of more than 7.8 meters in length on navigable waterways; and,
  6. Uninspected commercial fishing industry vessels required to carry a VHF radio.
  7. Ships required to carry an Automatic Identification System (AIS) transceiver by the U.S. Coast Guard regulations enacted pursuant to the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2000.

Ships are considered as operating domestically when they do not travel to foreign ports or do not transmit radio communications to foreign stations. Sailing in international waters is permitted, so long as the previous conditions are met. If you travel to a foreign port (e.g., Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands), a license is required. Additionally, if you travel to a foreign port, you are required to have an operator permit. Unquote


This comes from the FCC page: FCC: Wireless Services: Ship Radio Stations: Licensing

Elsewhere on the FCC site, and on the USCG NavCen site, are further explanations.

Somewhere above it was stated that Canadian vessels visiting the U.S. only require an operator's license. I don't think that's correct. When you visit the U.S. you are operating internationally, and are therefor subject to the international rules. I think you would need both an operators permit and a station license.

Bill
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:23   #33
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As regards to Canada
Quote:
Nope. Just the operator's certificate. Station license requirement was lifted in about 1999 or 2000(?).
I stand corrected. It was a while before 1999 that I got my license and did realize the requirement had changed.

As far as a Canadian boat operating internationally I believe Bill T. is correct. A station license is also required whether asked for or not.
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Old 06-02-2009, 11:51   #34
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Someone asked for the U.S. reg.

 80.13 Station license required.

80.13 (c) A ship station is licensed by rule and does not need an individual license issued
by the FCC if the ship station is not subject to the radio equipment carriage requirements any
statute, treaty or agreement to which the United States is signatory, the ship station does not
travel to foreign ports, and the ship station does not make international communications. A ship
station licensed by rule is authorized to transmit radio signals using a marine radio operating
in the 156-162 MHz band, any type of EPIRB, and any type of radar installation.
All other
transmissions must be authorized under a ship station license. Even though an individual license
is not required, a ship station licensed by rule must be operated in accordance with all
applicable operating requirements, procedures, and technical specifications found in Part 80.
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Old 06-02-2009, 23:35   #35
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I think we should seriously consider contacting a subject matter expert on VHF to clear this up. Does anyone have any contact info for Mr. Filipino Monkey???

...banana banana banana......
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Old 08-02-2009, 00:48   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jaz View Post
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.
UK law;

In order to use a VHF radio on board a boat, two quite different types of license are required:

A Ship Radio License
An Authority to Operate

A Ship Portable Radio License covers only one portable radio (VHF), and does not include the issue of a callsign. The main difference between this and a ship radio license is that it license the radio rather then the vessel, so it is useful for people such as instructors and delivery skippers, who may well have a portable that they want to be able to use on any boat.

Under UK law, "Voluntary fit" vessels includes those whose owners have "chosen" to conform to the Codes of Practice for small commercial craft.
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Old 08-02-2009, 04:25   #37
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Well we passed our course, it was quite interesting. Not only did they cover VHF procedures, maintance, and laws. They touched base on GMDSS, using catagory 1 and 2 EPIRB. The course was not hard but it was informative and we did learn alot.
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Old 08-02-2009, 13:35   #38
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In Hong Kong you need a restricted operators license or some such nonsense. I have a license (and it was an extremely tedious course). I believe most of Asia requires licenses.

However, many yachties here don't hold a license. I suspect that as long as you use good radio etiquette no one is particularly interested in your status.
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:56   #39
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Ok so this should get some interesting answers. Below is one of the questions that was on my exam. I got the answer wrong, although I think I was right so here it is.

"It is a beautiful sailing day, you are 160 NM south of Yarmouth. NS. You are solo sailing your 11 meter Yacht "Day Dreaming". The auto helm is set and the wind is about 15 to 20 knots. It is noon and you look around to make sure everything is ok before going below to make some lunch. While being below you feel the boat turn and go into irons, then list and lean on the opposite tact. You run out on deck to grab the helm and it turns losely as if there is no rudder. In fact there is no rudder."

What situation is this? 1) MAYDAY 2) PAN PAN 3) SECURITE

I might add this is a true story. So what is everyones answer?
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:52   #40
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Securite

There is no emergency. You would be broadcasting a navigational warning -- craft adrift or unable to maneuver.

DGC
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:11   #41
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2) pan pan

no immediate danger to craft or human
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:14   #42
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As DavidGC has answered, so did I. However this was not the right answer. Apperently the US Captain that was sailing from Boston to Halifax did a MAYDAY and requested a tow from fishermen on the Georges Banks.

Footnote: They took him to a small fishing town in Nova Scotia where he stayed for 6 weeks and the towns people took him in and fed him, housed him and apperently he has not left Nova Scotia since. He was doing a trans atlantic at the time and ended it only some 300 miles away.

Cheers

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Old 09-02-2009, 09:38   #43
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Not enough information to answer the question properly.

Security, to not get run over while I'm fixing the problem.

Pan Pan, I've determined I can't fix the problem and I need help to get home.

Mayday, A storm is coming that I believe will put me in danger without steering control.

I have read teaching materials that I disagree with, such as man overboard is not a Mayday call, maybe not in the tropics, but up here people have died from falling overboard.

John
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:50   #44
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John

I agree 100%, I answered Securite. As I would be a manice to navigation, but would try and jerry rig a new rudder. I once steered my 35 Schooner when 6 miles off the coast when I lost the rudder, with only an outboard in 8 to 10 foot seas. Mind you I was going down wind with the swell. But I would not concider this a MAYDAY situation.
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:20   #45
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Interestingly enough, I now find that in congested areas in the US such as the Chesapeake Bay or LI Sound, VHF communication is much easier now given the cell phone revolution. So many of the annoying Channel 16 conversations we used to hear about "whose motorboat has more beer," etc are probably over cell phone.
So I don't feel as strongly any more that licensure should be required to reduce stupid usage in crowded areas, keeping "real uses" from getting through.
In the US I'll now use my cell phone to contact marinas directly when their number is listed- often easier for both parties.
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