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View Poll Results: Which communications license do you have?
I have a SSB license issued by a country other than the USA. 10 12.50%
I have a HAM license issued by a country other than the USA. 8 10.00%
I have an FCC issued SSB license. 26 32.50%
I have an FCC issued Technician Class HAM license. 6 7.50%
I have an FCC issued General Class HAM license. 19 23.75%
I have an FCC issued Extra Class HAM license 10 12.50%
I do not have a radio operators license. 11 13.75%
I have a radio operators licence but none of the above. 19 23.75%
I know Morse code at 5 WPM or better. 24 30.00%
I do not know Morse Code 21 26.25%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-05-2008, 17:28   #1
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Poll: What communications license do you have?

In the poll, your user name will not appear. Please select all answers that are applicable to you. Thanks!

I was reading about the various communications licenses that cruisers have the option of choosing from. So from what I have read a HAM license opens up more frequency bands that you can legally communicate on. So that leads to the question, what license do you have and why?

For me personally, I have a HAM transceiver at home but I have no license for it. So I am considering getting a license because this would give me somthing to "practice" on before purchasing a boat. Would having a HAM license on a yacht open up a new spectrum of options that you would not have with just a SSB?

What are the benefits and the drawbacks?..if any.

The poll is just to satisfy my curiosity and I am sure others curiosities, as to what others are using offshore. I also thought it would make an interesting post.

David
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Old 12-05-2008, 18:13   #2
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Third class radio operators certificate -allows the use of marine VHF and HF bands.
Radio telephone licence - allows the use aeronautical VHF & HF bands
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Old 12-05-2008, 19:04   #3
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David,

A HAM general ticket allows you to use Winlink for email at sea. Also, once you are out and about, you soon come to find out that you can almost ALWAYS get a reply on a HAM freq. NOT SO on the SSB.

Greg
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Old 12-05-2008, 19:13   #4
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Got a Marine RadioOperators ticket issued by the FCC. Don't think it was in your poll...FCC - Marine Radio Operator Permit (MP)
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Old 12-05-2008, 19:48   #5
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Quote:
So from what I have read a HAM license opens up more frequency bands that you can legally communicate on.
It opens more frequencies that you can legally communicate on. A US HAM license is not universally transferable around the word but it generates more reciprocity than about anything else will. Each country can have it's own rules (many do). All the other FCC licenses are of a commercial nature and unless you plan on doing this on a commercial ship it won't be of any use. With the basic FCC license and the added 3 HAM licenses it's as much license as there is for an amateur in the US - period. Anything you can't do with all of these can't be done legally in an armature situation..
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Old 12-05-2008, 21:38   #6
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I have an Extra class Ham license, my oldest daughter has her Extra class (she is now 11 years old - has had it since seven years old - AE7MC) and my second daughter has her tech license. Also, my wife holds her Extra class license.
The kids are looking forward to operating from the boat this summer.
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Old 12-05-2008, 23:28   #7
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For the record, what license does one need in the USA to operate marine VHF on a recreational boat?
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Old 13-05-2008, 05:55   #8
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Wot, no license is required while operating "domestically", i.e, withing U.S. waters.

The FCC says, "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."

David, I assume that your poll choice "I have an FCC issued SSB license", it means Ship Station License, Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit, or both?
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Old 13-05-2008, 06:18   #9
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Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit
This permit no longer applies to US citizens not involved in commercial activities. The restriction is for non US citizens. The standard form 605 does everything in one application and includes everything you could need including VHF, EPIRB, And SSB. The fee I think was $180 and took about 3 weeks. This is all new rules and applications since last year. You can pay on line with a credit card. HAM endorsements require a separate form and of course passing the exams. Everything else from the FCC is for commercial use. As noted you need none of this at all in US waters as a US citizen except if you use HAM frequencies.
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Old 13-05-2008, 06:47   #10
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Paul,

Just to clarify, I believe that a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit is still required if sailing outside the US. Not inside the country, as you point out.

The excerpt below is from the FCC website. The double negative complicates the wording a bit.

FCC - Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit (RP)

RP holders are authorized to operate most aircraft and aeronautical ground stations. They can also operate marine radiotelephone stations aboard pleasure craft (other than those carrying more than six passengers for hire on the Great Lakes or bays or tidewaters or in the open sea) when operator licensing is required. An RP is NOT needed to operate the following:
  • a voluntarily equipped ship or aircraft station (including a CAP station) which operates only on VHF frequencies and does not make foreign voyages or flights.
  • an aeronautical ground or coast station which operates only on VHF frequencies.
  • on-board stations.
  • a marine utility station unless it is taken aboard a vessel which makes a foreign voyage.
  • a survival craft station when using telephony or an emergency position indicating radiobeacon (EPIRB) station.
  • a ship radar station, if the operating frequency is determined by a fixed tuned device and the radar is capable of being operated by only external controls.
  • shore radar, shore radiolocation, maritime support, or shore radio-navigation stations.
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Old 13-05-2008, 07:03   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
This permit no longer applies to US citizens not involved in commercial activities. The restriction is for non US citizens. The standard form 605 does everything in one application and includes everything you could need including VHF, EPIRB, And SSB. The fee I think was $180 and took about 3 weeks. This is all new rules and applications since last year. You can pay on line with a credit card. HAM endorsements require a separate form and of course passing the exams. Everything else from the FCC is for commercial use. As noted you need none of this at all in US waters as a US citizen except if you use HAM frequencies.
I'm glad you said that it's all new rules and applications since last year, because I just did mine and the license looks a lot different than what I expected, and what I've seen in the nav stations of other boats. I did mine last week on line, it was $160, and the license arrived within a week!! And yes, it includes vhf,ssb,radar,epirb,NB-DP/Sitor (whatever that is?) satellite, facsimilie, and On-board (don't know what they mean by that one either, just reading off the license).
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Old 13-05-2008, 07:32   #12
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Among the (too) many pieces of plastic in my wallet is the Restricted Operator's Certificate (Maritime), issued by the Canadian government. which is what I nee to use the boat's VHF in domestic waters.

In the process of the getting a station license for the equipment itself so I can use my radio in US waters this summer. That's a requirement that was phased out here a few years back.

Connemara

PS Summer is officially here -- the boat's in the water, the stick is in the air, and the sails are on. Might even get out for a quick one this afternoon. Yay!
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Old 13-05-2008, 08:27   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Wot, no license is required while operating "domestically", i.e, withing U.S. waters.

The FCC says, "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."

David, I assume that your poll choice "I have an FCC issued SSB license", it means Ship Station License, Restricted Radiotelephone Operator Permit, or both?
Hud,
Paul answered it.
Thanks

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Old 13-05-2008, 14:46   #14
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If you have your lights, black ball, black cone, and your middle finger what other communication is needed????????????.....just kidding around moderators
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Old 13-05-2008, 17:59   #15
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Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
This permit no longer applies to US citizens not involved in commercial activities. The restriction is for non US citizens.
According to FCC title 47 section 80.165 Code of Federal Regulations (Revised as of May9, 2008), Operator Requirements for Voluntary Stations, the minimum operator license for ship telephone, with or without DSC, not more than 100 watts carrier power or 400 watts peak envelope power, below 30Mhz, an RP is required.

At the same time, their form 605 schedule E would have you believe that one is not required if you do not intend to engage in international voyages or international communications. The prudent thing to do would be to have one in addition to your station license.

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