Use of hand-held VHF when not on board
OK, here are a few questions I've not been able to find satisfactory answers to, which pertain to international regulations about maritime VHF radio licensing, identification, and usage.
I've asked the Finnish radio licensing authorities, but am still waiting on a reply, and while there may be some local Finnish twists to the answers, I'm interested in getting input from you folks...
(I know what common practice is in the US, and also since a license isn't mandatory in the US, the questions aren't relevant to US practices, so these questions are specifically for folks with experience/understanding of international use of maritime VHF)
1. Can a VHF hand-held radio which is licensed for a particular boat be used elsewhere than on the boat for which the license is issued?
E.g. can one crewmember use the hand-held while in a dinghy or from a dock or the shore, to communicate with another crewmember in the boat, e.g. when transiting to/from the boat, or when performing tasks such as setting a second anchor, etc. ?
Or can one use a VHF hand-held radio on the shore or dock to communicate with a vessel on the water?
The regulations, depending on how you read them, seem to limit use of a hand-held radio to the boat itself, relegating it to being nothing but a backup to the main radio (or serving as simply the primary radio) such that the benefits of its portabiliity are greatly reduced; yet one could also interpret them in a manner which allows one to use a hand-held VHF radio for any maritime related communication required, whether on the boat, or in other locations such as a dinghy, dock, shore, marina, etc.
If the answer to the above question is 'yes', then:
2. How does one identify oneself if/when using a licensed hand-held VHF radio elsewhere than on the boat for which the license is issued?
Is there any convention similar to that used by Amateur Radio operators where a qualifying term such as "mobile" (or "maritime mobile", though in this case the 'maritime' would be redundant) would be appended to the call sign or boat name when using the hand-held off of the boat in question?
E.g. if a crew member is calling their boat named "Marie" from the dinghy, would they say "Marie this is Marie mobile"? Clearly, it would not be very useful or clear to say "Marie this is Marie" or "OF1234 this is OF1234". But maybe that's what is expected, however ambiguous.
Likewise, if in an emergency situation, the crew is forced to abandon ship, and is using a hand-held from a life raft or dinghy, wouldn't it be useful to know that they are transmitting from a location other than the boat itself, based on their identification? I.e. "... this is OF1234 mobile" clearly communicates that the station operator is not aboard the vessel.
3. If one is a guest aboard another vessel A, different from the vessel B for which the hand-held radio is licensed, and one wishes to use one's own hand-held radio aboard vessel A, and one is not acting as captain or crew of the other vessel A nor does the communication concern the other vessel A, but is between crew of the vessel B and the licensed vessel B, does one identify themselves with the name/callsign of the vessel A they are a guest on, or with the name/callsign of the vessel B for which they hold the license?
(i.e. "Hey Bob, come over in the dinghy to pick me up"...)
Or are they disallowed from using their own hand-held radio at all on other vessels?
What if the vessel A has no ship's radio license?
Thanks for all input clarifying the above,
If a man speaks at sea where there is no woman to hear, is he still wrong?
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Cruising the Baltic in 'Merihiisi', a 1979 Westerly Berwick Ketch
Last edited by patrickstickler; 05-14-2009 at 04:51 AM.