Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
Rep Power: 11
qc1111 is absolutely correct on all points, except perhaps the "frequently prosecuted". It's pretty infrequently prosecuted, but still illegal.
Nice to see someone giving excellent advice about SSB operation. Thanks qc1111, whoever you are :-))
Just one further point: it used to be that there were a number of commercial coast stations which could arrange phone patches from your marine SSB. Unfortunately, most of these are out of business. I believe the only one remaining in full operation is in New Orleans. These stations were essentially "public phone operators", so you could make a telephone call to anyone, anywhere. However, the cost was pretty high and, apparently, it wasn't very profitable for the coast stations, so most have closed down operations.
So, how to keep in touch with your ham friends? I'd suggest you study and get a ham license, or have a crew member aboard with a valid license. Failing that, and if you have the interest and the big bucks, you could buy a Pactor III modem ($700-1200), get a SailMail account ($200/year if I remember correctly), and exchange email via the Internet with anyone.
By the way, ham radio is for NON-BUSINESS purposes only...you can't call your office or your stock broker. It's OK to do business over marine SSB, including email via SailMail or another provider.
Another, perhaps less expensive way to go (if you use it judiciously) is with a satphone like Iridium (Globalstar does not cover Hawaii).
S/V Born Free