Originally Posted by 9D280
...I thought that was only if involved with an event at a registered club (i.e the club has a licence for using M1/2 for safety etc)?
Otherwise M1/2 would becoe the CB channels of the sea!
Technically M1/M2 (or 37a, M, P1, P4..... (or whatever else you want to call them) are just private channels: they just happen to have been allocated by offcom for Marinas/Sailing Clubs/YCs and similar for the purposes of safety and race management etc.
to use them as general ship-ship channels would not be legal, as they're assigned for a specific purpose.
It would be somewhat akin to using channel 13 (Bridge-Bridge contact for matters of navigational safety) for general chit chat: Illegal (or at least highly discoureged), the channel has been allocated for a specific purpose.
As it is a private channel, an operator's license is not required, only in UK territorial waters: It is not part of the international channel numbering plan, or whatever it's called. Hence, you mustn't use it outside the UK (because they'll've allocated it for something else), but you also don't need a Short Range Certificate to use that channel.
The licensing you refer to is something different: in order to legally transmit or receive marine VHF ashore, you need a coastal station license. Sailing Clubs are eligable for a Coastal Radio Station (Marina), licence, which is either £50, or £80, and allows them to use ONLY Channels M, M2, and 80.
Crickey, I paid too much attention in my VHF course! :P