Boats With Voluntary-equipped Radio

VHF Marine Band radios, protocol, radio communication theory, practical advice; AIS; DSC; MMSI; EPIRB.
Hoosier
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Boats With Voluntary-equipped Radio

Postby Hoosier » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:51 am

[This thread was separated from another thread which was discussing fees for FCC issued ship station licenses.--jimh]

I found this on the FCC website:

uncited wrote:Smaller ships used for recreation (e.g., sailing, diving, sport fishing, fishing, water skiing) are not required to have radio stations installed but they may be so equipped by choice. These ships are known as "voluntary ships" because they are not required by treaty or statute to carry a radio but voluntarily fit some of the same equipment used by compulsory ships.


Does that mean we recreational boaters don't need an FCC-issued ship station license?
1978 Outrage V20 with 2004 Suzuki DF-115. 1992 23 Walkaround with two 2010 Yamaha F-150s.

jimh
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Re: Boats With Voluntary-equipped Radio

Postby jimh » Thu Jun 28, 2018 8:51 am

Your inference is incorrect. The material you appear to be quoting is only in reference to the voluntary nature of recreational boats having equipped with a VHF Marine Band radio. It does not speak about requirements for a station license.

If a recreational boater decides to equip his boat with a VHF Marine Band radio, they still have to comply with the FCC regulations for station licensing. However, the FCC provides a generous category for VHF Marine Band radios to be licensed-by-rule if certain conditions of the use of the boat are met, and many recreational boats do not have an FCC-issued ship station licensed because they fall under the category licensed-by-rule:

Federal regulations wrote:47 CFR 80.13 - Station license required
...(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 of 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 AIS, any type of EPIRB, and any type of radar installation....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 this part.

Cf.: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/80.13

If you read the above excerpt of the regulations, you see that licensed-by-rule ship station licenses are available only to ships who are voluntarily equipping with a radio, AND the ship does not visit foreign ports, AND the ship does not make international communications, AND the radio is a VHF Marine Band radio (or AIS transponder).

For a boater in the Great Lakes, visiting a foreign port may be a voyage of only a few hundred yards to Canada. In some areas, the Canadian authorities have considered anchoring in Canadian water the equivalent of entering the country, and have thus required formal customs and immigration processing for all aboard by visiting a port of entry and reporting. On that basis, if you just anchor in Canadian water you probably would need an FCC-issued ship station license to comply with 47 CFR 80.13 by virtue of visiting a foreign port.

Hoosier
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Re: Boats With Voluntary-equipped Radio

Postby Hoosier » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:07 am

I found this:

uncited wrote: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.

I guess I'd better go check my expiration dates.
1978 Outrage V20 with 2004 Suzuki DF-115. 1992 23 Walkaround with two 2010 Yamaha F-150s.

jimh
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Re: Boats With Voluntary-equipped Radio

Postby jimh » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:43 pm

I think you mean to check the expiration date of any FCC-issued ship station license. FCC-operator licenses are often now issued for life and don't expire.

As for your expiration date, I don't know where you can check that.

:-)

Hoosier
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Re: Boats With Voluntary-equipped Radio

Postby Hoosier » Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:51 pm

I may not have reached MY expiration date but my warranty has, for sure, expired...... :-)
1978 Outrage V20 with 2004 Suzuki DF-115. 1992 23 Walkaround with two 2010 Yamaha F-150s.

Jefecinco
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Re: Boats With Voluntary-equipped Radio

Postby Jefecinco » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:24 am

My operator's license, issued in 1959, has no expiration date indicated. I doubt I'll ever operate a boat or ship in foreign or international waters so I guess it doesn't matter. I seldom get the opportunity to show it but keep it in my wallet just in case. It is certainly well traveled and I did operate a boat and use the VHF radio in the Dominican Republic.
Butch