Here in UK three levels same as in US-however you are only allowed to operate at sea on full licence.Just been reading up on this for whats called in UK intermediate licence.
According to Radio Society of Great Britain and ofcom our regulatory and radio licencing body International Regulations do not recognise either of the first two stages of licences and certainly in UK restrict both transmission power and frequency bands.
Is this not the same in US and Canada?
However if you have a Marine long range certificate or full Ham licence you can transmit either Ham or Marine frequencies.
Again in UK once you progress beyond your first stage Ham licence for your intermediate and full you have to know your electronics-basic circuitry etc.
If you take a Marine operators long range certificate training course all you need to know is how to operate radio and work in emergency situations.
However over here that can cost you £1000 UK!
Of course over here you can register your boat and be given a vessel call for free so long as a qualified operator works the radio.
As for the Nets watch out for Russell Radio Bay of Islands NZ-If you find yourselves chatting there is a nice bar/cafe right next door to look forward to when you arrive there after a transpacific trip.
No I cheated I flew from LA and drove from Auckland!
By the way my brother in law used to live in Missisauga(Barrisdale Drive/Road)-now lives in Severn,Orillia.Always remember the address as Barrisdale ,Loch Horn is about 40 miles away-nothing there only a name -it should have been Barrisdale Sydney Australia but the empty ex slaving immigrant ship wrecked itself over here so the poor residents of Barrisdale were "cleared" to the Maritimes instead of Australia!