The OP is planning to sail an Australian-registered yacht in the Mediterranean
, not in Australia.
VHF is arguably the most important piece of safety equipment
aboard a yacht. While VHF voice comms are very useful for calling other boats and shore stations in North America, Digital Selective Calling (DSC) is the most important mode in Europe
, both for VHF and for HF comms.
What you need to focus on is equipping your boat with a VHF radio which has DSC
capability AND which has an MMSI number programmed into it to identify the boat, its owner, etc. You therefore need to obtain an MMSI number, as noted in a few posts above, and program this number into your VHF radio and AIS
if you have one. EPIRBs are different...they have their own ID number, and don't use MMSI numbers.
Under international regulations, to operate a two-way radio aboard a boat you need both an operators permit
for anyone using the radio and a station license
for the boat. Normally, these are issued by the country of registry.
Once properly licensed, you can use the radio anywhere in the world -- again, as per international treaty agreements by the ITU (a UN agency).
VHF/DSC radios are cheap
these days, so if the boat doesn't already have one it would be prudent to purchase
and install one. If the existing radio has DSC
capability, it MAY be possible to reprogram it for the new MMSI number, though this can be a hassle since many radios don't allow for changing the MMSI number and the radio must be returned to the manufacturer. It may be cheaper just to buy a new radio.
Again, this is the primary means of safety communications
aboard a boat and you shouldn't skimp here. Get the very best installation
you can, and learn how to use it.