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Old 09-13-2016, 11:29 AM   #21
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From the FCC web site.

http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/index.htm?job=licensing&id=ship_stations#Who

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:
  1. Cargo ships over 300 gross tons navigating in the open sea;
  2. 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.;
  3. Power driven ships over 20 meters in length on navigable waterways;
  4. Ships of more than 100 gross tons certified by the U.S. Coast Guard to carry at least one passenger on navigable waterways;
  5. Tow boats of more than 7.8 meters in length on navigable waterways; and,
  6. Uninspected commercial fishing industry vessels required to carry a VHF radio.
  7. 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.
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:48 AM   #22
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This was about taking a boat into Canada. The last Paragraph is what I questioned. In almost 40 years of going into Canadian waters I have never been asked to see a ships station license... So here are the main questions... Who enforces the FCC requirement in Canada? and has anyone actually been asked for the SSL when in Canada.

The current cost for US boaters is 215 for the SSL and 60 for the operators permit... so it is almost a 300 dollar fee for something that in my mind hasn't ever been enforced and may be impossible to enforce.
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:28 PM   #23
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Seems to me the FCC is a US government thing proposing what you shoulg have outside of US waters, strange right? Of all the countries we've been to so far, not one of them care what the US thinks as far as safety, polution, or anything else. I have not been stopped by USCG abroad, but would be curious as to how much they could really do if I'm not in US waters. No one has life jackets or lights on there dingies since we left the US, eveyone pumps sewage overboard, on and on.

BTW, I do have both licenses, but I'm a sucker for following rules
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Old 09-13-2016, 12:31 PM   #24
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Who enforces the FCC requirement in Canada? and has anyone actually been asked for the SSL when in Canada.

The current cost for US boaters is 215 for the SSL and 60 for the operators permit... so it is almost a 300 dollar fee for something that in my mind hasn't ever been enforced and may be impossible to enforce.

What the Canadians enforce, what you personally decide to do, and what the US agreed to by Treaty (presumably SOLAS, but possibly others), are all different things.

Given that the US has agreed to licensing requirement by Treaty, FCC can't hardly publicly excuse US citizens or other boat operators in US waters from the requirement.

-Chris
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Old 09-13-2016, 02:22 PM   #25
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Given that the US has agreed to licensing requirement by Treaty, FCC can't hardly publicly excuse US citizens or other boat operators in US waters from the requirement.

-Chris
I agree totally except there is no requirement for US boaters in US waters to have an SSL.
My reading of the regs that state "you can not contact foreign stations without having an SSL" or something to the effect. Which I interpret that you can contact other US boaters in non domestic waters without the SSL... So the way I understand this whole thing is the US effectively has rules that only apply to US boaters in foreign waters where they (FCC) has no authority to enforce.

The only reason I brought this whole thing up, is my libertarian bent in which the government wants to tax you for what is effectively safety equipment... I don't believe there was a fee when I registered the EPIRB.
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Old 09-13-2016, 02:23 PM   #26
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BTW, I do have both licenses, but I'm a sucker for following rules
Wifey B: And if I'm going to protest a rule, I'm going to pick one a lot worse than this one. I normally follow government rules. Society's rules, not so much.
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Old 09-13-2016, 02:49 PM   #27
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I agree totally except there is no requirement for US boaters in US waters to have an SSL.
My reading of the regs that state "you can not contact foreign stations without having an SSL" or something to the effect. Which I interpret that you can contact other US boaters in non domestic waters without the SSL... So the way I understand this whole thing is the US effectively has rules that only apply to US boaters in foreign waters where they (FCC) has no authority to enforce.

The only reason I brought this whole thing up, is my libertarian bent in which the government wants to tax you for what is effectively safety equipment... I don't believe there was a fee when I registered the EPIRB.

Yeah, I didn't say that clearly. I meant the part about treaty agreements for US boaters in foreign waters... and presumably foreign boaters in US waters, although I've not ever seen an FCC boat out there attempting enforcement, and haven't ever heard USCG attempting to enforce.

I'd suspect it might only come up in case of some kind of event, where a (legally operated) radio might have been deemed to be useful.

What you see as a "tax" (and it might be a use tax, essentially) could also be considered part of the cost of FCC administration of a Treaty obligation, funded in this case by the specific user who caused the gummint to incur a portion of those costs. (I have no personal insight into the cost of those particular databases; software development, testing and maintenance; associated personnel costs... I just know from our own software development projects that it's not inexpensive, likely never completely paid for by the relatively measly number of marine VHF radio operators.)

I think mostly what I'm saying is that its maybe (likely) the Treaty that causes stuff like this, not FCC as the prime mover. They're probably further down the food chain...

-Chris
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:00 PM   #28
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The only reason I brought this whole thing up, is my libertarian bent in which the government wants to tax you for what is effectively safety equipment... I don't believe there was a fee when I registered the EPIRB.
Another example of a situation where we each need to make our own choices. I certainly understand questioning this requirement. I think it has more to do with complying with laws based around international agreements as was mentioned.

I tend to follow rules out of habit, so I don't mind doing it.

I think the best way to question and see about changing a rule that we don't like is to approach those that actually make the rules. In this case, your US House Rep would be the first place to start.

I think that refusing to follow a rule out of principle is perfectly fine, as long as the person is prepared to face whatever consequences there might be.

Finally, I think that refusing to follow a rule solely to save a few bucks and they don't think they will be caught is not a good plan.
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Old 09-13-2016, 03:12 PM   #29
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I believe the saying is: If you can handle the consequences, go for it!
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Old 09-13-2016, 04:05 PM   #30
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I think that refusing to follow a rule out of principle is perfectly fine, as long as the person is prepared to face whatever consequences there might be.

Finally, I think that refusing to follow a rule solely to save a few bucks and they don't think they will be caught is not a good plan.
I own a boat so saving a few bucks is a oxymoron.

I would suspect that most of the recreational boaters going into Canada don't know about the requirement for an SSL. I wouldn't have until I changed out a VHF and thought briefly about installing an AIS transmitter as a safety precaution, which needed an MMSI number. Which is where I discovered the SSL requirement. Which is where I assume most people become aware of this requirement...
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:05 AM   #31
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As an aside, I have wondered for some time whether anyone operating a VHF in BC or the PNW has ever taken the course! I have never herd anyone, whether boater or Coastguard traffic operator, say the words "Over", or "Out". I hear lots of "ten-four", "see you later", and so on. Channel 16 is frequently used for fishing reports and arranging sun-downers. I guess it's a West Coast thing :-)
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:10 AM   #32
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As an aside, I have wondered for some time whether anyone operating a VHF in BC or the PNW has ever taken the course! I have never herd anyone, whether boater or Coastguard traffic operator, say the words "Over", or "Out". I hear lots of "ten-four", "see you later", and so on. Channel 16 is frequently used for fishing reports and arranging sun-downers. I guess it's a West Coast thing :-)
I have my ROC-M.

The Canadian Coast Guard does a pretty good job of keeping chatter off of 16. Or at least the Comox station used to. But it's closed now.
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Old 09-14-2016, 10:47 AM   #33
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As an aside, I have wondered for some time whether anyone operating a VHF in BC or the PNW has ever taken the course! I have never herd anyone, whether boater or Coastguard traffic operator, say the words "Over", or "Out". I hear lots of "ten-four", "see you later", and so on. Channel 16 is frequently used for fishing reports and arranging sun-downers. I guess it's a West Coast thing :-)

You don't boat where I do. I hear proper useage of channel 16 most of the time. Yes there are the occasional CB types that clearly don't have their ROC-M, but they are the very tiny minority. As soon as someone transmits a bit of chatter that doesn't belong on 16, the Victoria CG operators are right on them to "move to a working channel" and a note that "channel 16 is for emergency and hailing only"

I got my ROC-M 25 or 30 yrs ago, when the course was offered within my yacht club. My wife has one too. Over the years we have taken to pointing out to each other when someone on the radio fails to use the proper language, so we are quite aware of the frequency of mis-use, at least while we are out on our boat.

Spy - Comox Radio has simply been absorbed into Victoria Radio, as part of making the whole system seamless. Coverage of the old "Comox area" by Victoria CG Radio is as good or better than it was.
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:11 AM   #34
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Agreed: the misuse of Ch16 is rare, and well-policed. But I'm still surprised that the correct protocols are so very rarely used, by Traffic operators, BC Ferry operators, and just about anyone else. But I guess everyone understands what they mean, so that's ok. Some of the protocol comes out when there is an emergency, but not all. I didn't mean to distract from the original topic, but my point was this: if the authorities insist on folk being licensed, and then don't lead by example on the correct use of protocol, then what benefit are they trying to engender, other than revenue generation?
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:26 AM   #35
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You don't boat where I do. I hear proper useage of channel 16 most of the time.
Agree.

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Spy - Comox Radio has simply been absorbed into Victoria Radio, as part of making the whole system seamless. Coverage of the old "Comox area" by Victoria CG Radio is as good or better than it was.
Oh, I know, I just miss the familiar voices. One got to "know" them after a while. They were very professional. Great listening during an emergency.

Hate the robot voice reading the weather too.
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Old 09-14-2016, 11:37 AM   #36
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Agree.

Hate the robot voice reading the weather too.
Since I started using an app on my phone for the ocean bouy reports, I rarely turn to the weather channels for anything. Not only the robot voice, but the endless wait while the tape cycles through all of the data you are not interested in, does it again in French (some would complaint that they have to wait through all the English just to get to the French), then, just when your attention has strayed to something more urgent, you miss the one little snippet you were waiting for.

I like SailFlow, though I know there are others that give the same information in a format you may prefer. It gices the most recent bouy reports, usually hourly, and a prediction over the next day or so. Much better information than the WX channels.
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:40 PM   #37
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Channel 16 is frequently used for fishing reports and arranging sun-downers. I guess it's a West Coast thing :-)
Must be as you'd get quickly rebuked in our area for doing anything more than hail, respond, alternate channel.
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Old 09-14-2016, 03:23 PM   #38
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I would suspect that most of the recreational boaters going into Canada don't know about the requirement for an SSL. I wouldn't have until I changed out a VHF and thought briefly about installing an AIS transmitter as a safety precaution, which needed an MMSI number. Which is where I discovered the SSL requirement. Which is where I assume most people become aware of this requirement...

I think information about it used to always be included with the documentation (manual, whatever) when one bought a new VHF radio.

That was way long before MMSI days, though...

That said, when we installed new radios in this boat, the ICOM manual does also include info about both the Ship's Station License and an Operator's License. Wording is "You may require..."

-Chris
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