Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-27-2017, 04:06 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
City: Washington
Country: US
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 467
Mmsi

I don't like the "Warning" threads but I thought it might be a good idea to post my recent experience:

I'm getting ready to order an AIS transceiver and in the USA, it's a requirement that they be programmed by the dealer before delivery. There's a form to fill out so instead of driving to the marina to get my MMSI number, I decided to just look it up on myboatus.com.

Well, I found the number alright but I noticed that in the database it was listed as "cancelled". That didn't seem right so I fired off a polite email stating that I hadn't cancelled my number and asking for them to reinstate it.

I got an email today indicating that they had made my number active but they also showed the history. It seems my MMSI number had been cancelled in 2009, just one year after I had applied for it. So for all these years I had a "dead" MMSI number in my VHF.

I'm apparently good to go now but I suggest checking from time to time to see if your number is valid.
__________________
Advertisement

aboatman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2017, 04:35 PM   #2
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,975
did you get yours through the FCC or BoatUS or Sea Tow.....?
__________________

psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2017, 05:16 PM   #3
Guru
 
Maerin's Avatar
 
City: East Coast
Country: USA
Vessel Name: M/V Maerin
Vessel Model: Solo 4303
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 825
For those reading who may not have been through MMSI discussions, there are two ways to obtain an MMSI, one is through the FCC with a ship station license, the other is via Boat/US or other service. If you plan to travel outside the US, be aware that it may be better to go the FCC route. Here's an explanation from the Boat/US site:

Quote:
BoatUS MMSI numbers are coded for recreational vessels cruising in U.S. waters only not otherwise required to be licensed; the registrations are downloaded into the U.S. Coast Guard Search & Rescue Database (MISLE) only. FCC-assigned MMSI numbers are coded for International Waters and go into the International Search & Rescue Database (ITU). In order to be accepted into the ITU database, any FCC assigned MMSI must end in zero. This is why the BoatUS MMSI number cannot be re-used when later applying for an FCC License for international cruising.
__________________
Steve Sipe
Selene 4303 Maerin
http://maerin.net
Maerin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2017, 06:15 PM   #4
Guru
 
kthoennes's Avatar
 
City: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Xanadu
Vessel Model: Mainship 37 Motor Yacht
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,038
We went the "official" FCC route when we got ours. A little complex but not too bad (our annual taxes are far more complicated and time consuming). Much more useful and worth the time in my opinion. Someday we expect to drop the boat into Lake Superior in Duluth and do Georgian Bay on our way to salt water and the outside world, so we wanted to be prepared for Canadian waters. I have seen conflicting information about whether the BoatUS-issued numbers work in Canada but I figured why take the chance. I do remember the FCC station license certificate and paperwork came in the mail at lightening speed, a week or two after filing, unlike the boat documentation from the Nat'l Vessel Doc Center which took 6-8 months at the time.
kthoennes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2017, 07:18 PM   #5
Newbie
 
City: Huntington
Country: USA
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 4
I was able to program my MMSI into the ICOM 500 I purchased last year. I did get the MMSI through BOATUS. I’ll regret that because I do plan on going foreign one day. I guess I’ll have to send it back to the factory to get it reprogrammed when I get a FCC license.
Surface Interval is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2017, 08:18 PM   #6
Guru
 
CaptTom's Avatar
 
City: Southern Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,833
I managed to get an MMSI number transferred from a deceased prior owner to a non-profit to which the boat was donated. I was fortunate it was through BoatUS and there's no chance of going outside US waters. They were very helpful.

That said, if it were my money I'd probably buy a new radio before sending one in for re-programming. I'd think the gain in functionality with a new unit would be worth the difference between the cost of new vs. shipping it back and forth.
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2017, 10:13 AM   #7
Guru
 
RCook's Avatar


 
City: Holladay, UT
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Dream Catcher
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37-065
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 617
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surface Interval View Post
I was able to program my MMSI into the ICOM 500 I purchased last year. I did get the MMSI through BOATUS. Iíll regret that because I do plan on going foreign one day. I guess Iíll have to send it back to the factory to get it reprogrammed when I get a FCC license.
Don't know if a 500 is the same, but I was able to change the MMSI programmed into my Icom 504.
__________________
Richard Cook
Dream Catcher (Nordic Tug 37-065)
"Cruising in a Big Way"
RCook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2017, 12:36 PM   #8
Guru
 
City: Boston
Country: US
Vessel Name: Adelante
Vessel Model: IG 30
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 638
ICOM allows 1 edit after initial input. Garmin allows zero.
DCS is a great idea but overly complex and poorly implemented.
I would not buy a radio that forced me to send it back to the mfr if I made an error inputting a 9 digit number. GPS device mfr's can't agree on wiring color codes so hooking up gps info to a vhf is a challenge.

I suspect day boaters will continue to use 16 and trawlers will continue to suffer through the process.
SoWhat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2017, 12:50 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
City: Washington
Country: US
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 467
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I managed to get an MMSI number transferred from a deceased prior owner to a non-profit to which the boat was donated. I was fortunate it was through BoatUS and there's no chance of going outside US waters. They were very helpful.

That said, if it were my money I'd probably buy a new radio before sending one in for re-programming. I'd think the gain in functionality with a new unit would be worth the difference between the cost of new vs. shipping it back and forth.
When I bought my boat, the PO had used up all the MMSI programing attempts. Standard Horizon told me to send it to them. They cleared the memory and sent it back pre-paid. My only cost was shipping it to them.

At that time it was about nine years old and there was no new functionality available.
aboatman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2017, 04:21 PM   #10
TF Site Team
 
Larry M's Avatar
 
City: JAX, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hobo
Vessel Model: Krogen 42-120
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 7,890
Quote:
Originally Posted by aboatman View Post
When I bought my boat, the PO had used up all the MMSI programing attempts. Standard Horizon told me to send it to them. They cleared the memory and sent it back pre-paid. My only cost was shipping it to them.

At that time it was about nine years old and there was no new functionality available.
That says a lot for Standard Horizon. I have no idea what the cost/protocol is with other manufacturers but that sounds reasonable. When we had the battery changed out on our EPIB, $270 about half the cost of a new unit. I could have bought the batteries locally for a lot cheaper and done it my self but what if? Still a rip off imho.
Larry M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2017, 06:00 PM   #11
Guru
 
kthoennes's Avatar
 
City: Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Xanadu
Vessel Model: Mainship 37 Motor Yacht
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,038
As annoying as it is, I can see why "the authorities" don't want people loading their own DSC or MMSI information into VHF radios or AIS units for that matter. Imagine the scamming or spoofing that could occur -- I could disguise my tiny little recreational boat as the Exxon Valdez, or if I'm a North Korean tanker captain I could reflag my boat as anything I wanted and obscure the global tracking.

Anyway, I know we're talking about VHF radios and not AIS units here, but as I recall they work in similar ways when it comes to initial programming restrictions. When we bought our AIS unit (an Em-Trak B100, used, on eBay) we contacted West Marine which was the designated servicer or original retailer on that unit. After I supplied all the required info, a support techie from West Marine emailed me a little subroutine or .exe or .bat file or whatever that magically flashed the new information into the AIS unit. Happily we didn't have to send the actual unit itself anywhere, just did it at home with my laptop and the unit's USB connection. Maybe some radios allow the same thing, if the vendor is willing to email the execution file to you.
kthoennes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2017, 07:03 PM   #12
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,975
you CAN load your own MMSI into a radio, at least my new radio of 2 years ago you could.

Some radios you could do it 2X before having to ship it back, others only once.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2017, 08:55 PM   #13
Guru
 
MYTraveler's Avatar
 
City: West Coast
Country: USA
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,079
Users are permitted to program VHFs (one or two times before a factory reset), but not AIS transmitters, which I understand the OP to have been referring.
MYTraveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 10:28 AM   #14
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Gloucester, MA
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,937
For Class B AIS devices sold in the US, the FCC requires that they be programmed by the dealer or manufacturer. This is to ensure complete and accurate info. I though it a nuisance until I spent more time in Canadian waters, and saw the plethora of Canadian vessels with missing, incomplete, an inaccurate AIS data. It made me appreciate the US regulation, though it's unfortunate it's needed.
__________________
www.MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 10:30 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
City: Washington
Country: US
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 467
Yes but my point is, it may be worth people's time to make sure their MMSI number is still active and to make any necessary updates like addresses or phone numbers.

I didn't have any incidents between 2009 and now but if I had and my number was listed as "cancelled", I wonder what would have happened (or not happened).
aboatman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 08:24 PM   #16
Guru
 
CaptTom's Avatar
 
City: Southern Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,833
Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
For Class B AIS devices sold in the US, the FCC requires that they be programmed by the dealer or manufacturer. This is to ensure complete and accurate info. I though it a nuisance until I spent more time in Canadian waters, and saw the plethora of Canadian vessels with missing, incomplete, an inaccurate AIS data. It made me appreciate the US regulation, though it's unfortunate it's needed.
Sadly, you are correct. I'm continually amazed at how many 35-40 meter boats I see on AIS, but when they pass me they look like 35-40 FOOT boats. Obviously not everyone bothers to read the manual. Or the screen.

But it's not just class B. I see lots of Class A signals from ships underway which are visibly tied up, and vice-versa. Sometimes the destination port is the port they just left, or the one they left days ago.

Not sure you can regulate away stupidity or laziness.
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-29-2017, 09:35 PM   #17
Guru
 
menzies's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville
Country: USA
Vessel Name: SONAS
Vessel Model: Grand Alaskan 53
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4,614
Since the AIS on Sonas was programmed when I bought her, but with an MMSI registered via Boat US, this only covers US Waters. Rather than sending it back, it I contacted the previous owners and had them transfer that MMSI to me. I then applied for a second MMSI from the FCC that I have programmed into my two radios, which still had an open capability to do so. This covers radio use when in foreign waters.

So I have two MMSIs. I did some research before deciding on this and there is absolutely nothing against using two MMSIs so long as the ownership and other boat information is accurate.
menzies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2017, 06:51 AM   #18
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Gloucester, MA
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,937
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
But it's not just class B. I see lots of Class A signals from ships underway which are visibly tied up, and vice-versa. Sometimes the destination port is the port they just left, or the one they left days ago.

Not sure you can regulate away stupidity or laziness.
That's the so-called "voyage data" for Class A, and something that doesn't exist for Class B. The voyage data needs to be manually updated every time your status changes. When you dock, anchor, weight anchor, etc. Not to mention the destination and ETA.

I always leave my destination as a blank. At least then it's not misleading. Same with ETA. And I confess to forgetting to update the underway/anchored/moored status from time to time. But I remember probably 90% of the time.
__________________
www.MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2017, 07:12 AM   #19
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 19,975
Quote:
Originally Posted by menzies View Post
Since the AIS on Sonas was programmed when I bought her, but with an MMSI registered via Boat US, this only covers US Waters. Rather than sending it back, it I contacted the previous owners and had them transfer that MMSI to me. I then applied for a second MMSI from the FCC that I have programmed into my two radios, which still had an open capability to do so. This covers radio use when in foreign waters.

So I have two MMSIs. I did some research before deciding on this and there is absolutely nothing against using two MMSIs so long as the ownership and other boat information is accurate.
Not sure how rescue info would be obtained if in the Bahamas and you hit only a radio that was programmed with a BoatUS MMSI.
psneeld is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2017, 07:19 AM   #20
Guru
 
menzies's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville
Country: USA
Vessel Name: SONAS
Vessel Model: Grand Alaskan 53
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 4,614
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Not sure how rescue info would be obtained if in the Bahamas and you hit only a radio that was programmed with a BoatUS MMSI.
BoatUS MMSI is in the AIS. The two radios have the FCC MMSI.
__________________

menzies is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:50 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012
×