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Old 04-12-2010
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SSB license question

We are currently looking for a catamaran to buy, and searching the internet for the right boat in the right location, etc etc. yadda yadda....you all been there.

Several of the boats I am considering have SSB xcvrs already installed. If I bought one of these, does anyone here know, offhand, what would be required for me to get licensed to operate it? My situation is that I am a U.S. Citizen, but live as a resident in another country. And the country I live in does not have a licensing authority, so I can't do it locally.

Is this something I could study for and take an online or mail-in test? Or would I have to return to the USA to take a test?

If it's too much hassle I will probably just use the SSB receiver only and hide the mike somewhere onboard, should we decide on one of the boats that already has the xcvr installed. But it would be much handier to be able to fully use the radio.
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Old 04-12-2010
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If you buy a boat with an ssb and you want to operate it you need two things

1. a ship station license. I believe the boat must be US flagged to get this from the US, but it is simply a matter of paying the money and having an address for them to send the license to. You need this as a new owner even if the old owner had it since it is not transferrable

2. A Restricted Radio Operator license. Again, all you need is $60 (as far as I remember) and an address. No exam needed.

If you want to operate the radio on the ham bands (other than just receiving) you will need to get a ham license. You need the second level (general) to be able to do the fun stuff for boaters. Yes there are exams but you can get prep books which will tell you all you need to know including the pool of test questions and all the answers. Contrary to what some old timers remember you do NOT need to know Morse code.

PS - In a real emergency you can operate any radio you have in any way that will get help regardless of whether you have a license or not. But if you havent practiced you are unlikely to be able to figure it out on the fly, especially the on the ham frequencies

Last edited by sck5; 04-12-2010 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 04-12-2010
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Thanks, I found some of that info searching, but it still is not totally clear. I don't plan to have a US registered boat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands doesn't have it's own licensing authority for radio....so this will be interesting. TCI recognized US FCC licenses, but I can't get a US FCC license for a boat that is registered in the TCI....

Sounds like I am being driven to criminal behaviour! again!!!
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Old 04-12-2010
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While you can't get a Ship's Station License for the boat, you can still get your RRO from the FCC... and since you're a US citizen, that would probably cover your usage of the SSB for yourself as an operator. You might still need to get a ship's station license of some sort.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Gringos View Post
Thanks, I found some of that info searching, but it still is not totally clear. I don't plan to have a US registered boat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands doesn't have it's own licensing authority for radio....so this will be interesting. TCI recognized US FCC licenses, but I can't get a US FCC license for a boat that is registered in the TCI....

Sounds like I am being driven to criminal behaviour! again!!!
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Old 04-12-2010
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interesting situation, for me at least. The FCC has no authority here. The locals here have absolutely no way to identify, triangulate, find, or prosecute anyone violating the non-existant rules here...Nobody here cares...

My concern is when we leave the TCI to cruise up to the Bahamas...or head on down to the touron islands...

I guess I should at least try to be legal. But what is legal, especially in these days when any twelve year old with access to a credit card can buy all the Icoms he wants...and nobody enforces the rules...
Hey, being the basically good doobie that I am , I will try.
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Old 04-12-2010
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Since your ship's flag country has no requirement for a station license you won't need one; but the ITU can require a license to use the SSB. While the LRC certificate is the internationally accepted minimum, it isn't all that easy to pass the examination so your easiest route, as a U.S. citizen, is to get your RRO from the FCC and that will cover you. Not that anyone will check...
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The Turks and Caicos has a telecommunications commision. The website lists fees for maritime radio use, so you might want to check with them:

FEE STRUCTURE*-*The Turks and Caicos Telecommuincations Commission
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Old 04-12-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windward54 View Post
The Turks and Caicos has a telecommunications commision. The website lists fees for maritime radio use, so you might want to check with them:

FEE STRUCTURE*-*The Turks and Caicos Telecommuincations Commission
I couldn't find a fee listed anywhere. I could not get a single PDF file to download. I could not get an answer at that telephone number. "Business Solutions" is an office supply store.....it is not a "complex". I don't know what that is, but it's not functional.

Looks good, though, doesn't it?
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Old 04-12-2010
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May I suggest you contact:
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
P.0. Box 203
Business Solutions complex
Leeward Highway, Providenciales
Tel: (649) 946-1900 Fax: (649) 946-1119
Email: info@tcitelecommission.tc
Website: WELCOME TO THE TCI TELCOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION*-*The Turks and Caicos Telecommuincations Commission

Best wishes
AdventuresI
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Old 04-12-2010
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Again, "Business Solutions" is an office supply store. I know it well. There is no "complex". Its a place to buy computer supplies, some groceries, a desk chair... sort of a mini-office depot.

If you guys would just try getting any info off that web site, you would see what I mean. There is nothing there. Try to read the "Minister's statement" for example. Or tell me what the fee schedule is. It's not there. It doesn't exist.

That appears to be a proposal of some kind. It never got off the ground.

Anyhow, it looks like SD's suggestion will work. I can have a SSB license mailed to a US address, in my name. It will be fraudulent, in that I don't live at that address, but who cares, right?
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Last edited by 2Gringos; 04-12-2010 at 06:10 PM.
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