Marine Radio

Just Wondering how many of you guys talk or have ever talked on a marine radio? I’m licensed to talk on a marine radio. It just costed me about 20 bucks and the test was alot easier than any amateur radio exam I’ve ever taken. I’m never on the water but I have friends that work on the river and I shoot the bull with them sitting in my livingroom or in my vehicle. I have a marine radio at home and in my car. I’ve also assisted the coast guard a couple times in MAYDAY transmissions and disaster efforts. This is a fun and inexpensive hobbie of mine and I just thought Id’e share it with everyone in case your interested…:slight_smile:

Congratulations on your marine license. Which one did you get.

If you are interested in this area and live in the US, then you should check out your local US Coast Guard Auxiliary. They are more than just boats. I am heavily involved with their communications (VHF, HF and Marine) and work some in the same area that you mentioned.

Good luck.


Licensed, you need a license? I got a boat I go miles offshore in the ocean and so I have a radio, I don’t have a license Is it a special license for higher wattage or something?

Recreational boating doesn’t require a license. I’d have to look it up for specifics, but I believe a license is required to transmit on some HF frequencies and on boats over a certain size.

Marine radios do not require a license to operate on recreational and personal vessels in domestic waters, but do require one if operating commercial or cargo vessels or in international waters. In other words if you are on your boat and you stay within US waters, you don’t need a license. However, if you are sailing to other countries or around the world, a license is required.

Also, marine radios are for use on marine craft only. It is illegal to use marine frequencies on land.

For more information, Two Way Radio Show TWRS-16 - An Introduction to Marine Radios is a good source. This podcast may help answer some of your questions about marine radios and license requirements.

That’s what I thought, no license for boats on the water, but how is it technically stated? I joke around with people that they are legal if they step into the lake to talk.

Which brings up the lake, marine radios are legal on lakes too, right?

Yes they are legal on lakes - as long as it is a big lake.
A fishing pond does not count…

There are lot’s of people out there that trys to bend the rules.
I think owning a boat is also a requirement - being in your house, there is a limitation to the range away from the lake that you might be able to get away with using it, as long as you were on official buisness.

The Marine Band Radio is not designed to be used for Rag Chewing.

I know of cases of people who were caught in IOWA - on their tractor, talking on a Marine Band Radio. The funny thing was - they actually thought that just because it was only 40 - 50 watts and too far away from a large body of water - US Coast Guard - that they wouldn’t get caught.

Todays FCC uses sattelites along with fixed station locations to triangulate your position.

On October 25, 1996, the FCC released a Report and Order in WT Docket No. 96-82, 11 FCC Rcd 14849, FCC 96-421 (pdf), eliminating the individual licensing requirement for voluntary ships operating domestically which are not required by law to carry a radio.

All VHF radios must be narrow band - did you narrow band yours Radio Wizard?

You can’t get a license unless you own a ship?

Do you own a ship?

Something doesn’t sound right here…

Marine radios can be broadly divided into two categories, like “voice-only” and "digital selective calling (DSC). DSC, is a feature which allows us to alert other boats and ships in the area with a touch button. But the “voice-only” is the traditional one where calling relies on the human voice. It is crucial as well as mandatory for all vessels to operate a marine radio correctly.

DCS - Digitally Coded Squelch is an option where the squelch inside of the transceiver does not open unless the modulation includes the DCS tone.
It does not mean that the signal is not there, it just means that the radio does not acknowledge the signal.

When you have multiple radios, all operating on the same frequency, regardless of if it has a DCS or not, the signals will still heterodyne and you still won’t be able to discriminate between them.

Can anyone tell me how to stop my VHF radio ringing like a phone every now and again. Frustrating. Many thanks

Can anyone tell me how to stop my VHF radio ringing like a phone every now and again. Frustrating. Many thanks

I didn’t know the UK were different to the US on marine operation. everyone here needs a test - about 70UKP and it’s low power/short range. Once you have it you can communicate AT SEA (or in marinas) You cannot have one in your car or at home and chat to boats. Marine band here is strictly for marine users.

Hi can you please send me on the right frequency for the marine As I only a swl license for listen feom ei1758 -73 all the best

These are the ones that apply to Ireland.

If you are on the coast - then 16 is the best starting point. Regularly the coastguard will pop up and tell you shipping information is on ch X for your local area. Ship-to Ship and port frequencies are also busy, but like CB radio, they always tell you what channel they go to, so with that list you can follow.