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Old 28-08-2018, 07:09   #1
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International MMSI for Bahamas?

The previous owner of my boat registered the VHF with a “USA only” MMSI number which is what is available for free from West Marine etc. I plan on cruising in the Bahamas soon and I am wondering if the USA MMSI needs to be changed over to a international number. Unfortunately this VHF is only programmable once and will require a trip to Raymarine for an update.
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Old 28-08-2018, 12:56   #2
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Re: International MMSI for Bahamas?

I'm not sure about West Marine but BoatUS (who also issue domestic MMSI numbers) ask that you have the previous owner contact them to cancel the previous registration--since any rescue attempt will still be trying to contact the original registrant. Ooops.

The Bahamians probably are familiar enough with US boaters so that they would figure out how to deal with a US domestic number. But technically? You'll need a VHF license as well, to operate it in foreign waters.
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Old 28-08-2018, 13:41   #3
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Re: International MMSI for Bahamas?

An FCC Station License is required for the Bahamas and it comes with an International MMSI #.
Boat US are not required to share their domestic MMSI numbers with foreign countries, hence the DSC alarm function on your radio may be compromised abroad as no information on boat or owner are attached to the alarm signal.
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Old 28-08-2018, 13:53   #4
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Re: International MMSI for Bahamas?

Thanks for the info. I have already switched my MMSInumber over to me and I have the proper station license and operator permit. The question relates to whether an international number offers some better information sharing in case if need offshore or in the Bahamas. I realize that my USA number will work but will limit what info is available to a non-USA rescue need and/or any legal requirement for an international number.
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