Small pleasure craft that are not required to have a radio are licensed by rule and are considered “voluntary ships”
Who Needs a Ship Station License
You do not need a license to operate a marine VHF radio, radar, or EPIRBs aboard voluntary ships operating domestically. The term “voluntary ships” refers to ships that are not required by law to carry a radio. Generally, this term applies to recreation or pleasure craft. The term “voluntary ships” does not apply to the following:
- Cargo ships over 300 gross tons navigating in the open sea;
- Ships certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry more than 6 passengers for hire in the open sea or tidewaters of the U.S.;
- Power driven ships over 20 meters in length on navigable waterways;
- Ships of more than 100 gross tons certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry at least one passenger on navigable waterways;
- Tow boats of more than 7.8 meters in length on navigable waterways; and,
- Uninspected commercial fishing industry vessels required to carry a VHF radio.
- Ships required to carry an Automatic Identification System (AIS) transceiver by the U.S. Coast Guard regulations enacted pursuant to the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2000.
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.
Radio Equipment You May Use
You do not need a license to use marine VHF radios, any type of EPIRB, any type of radar, GPS or LORAN receivers, depth finders, CB radio, or amateur radio (an amateur license is required). Ships that use MF/HF single side-band radio, satellite communications, or telegraphy must continue to be licensed by the FCC.
Go to this fcc link above and tell them they’re wrong!
And here’s a good clarification of the shore use https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/80.115
Shore use is permitted as an associated unit of the ship on the water Which is licensed by rule , not individual license.