Originally Posted by lightning
So I could buy a VHF radio, but as long as I never use it except in a genuine emergency (which will hopefully be never) I don't really need to do the course and get a licence?
As long as I read up on the correct procedure for making an emergency call (that I'll hopefully never have to do)
I won't get into trouble if I use it in this way?
It is not illegal to own one, or use on channel m & m2 - these are private channels.
Likewise you will not get in to trouble using channel 16 in a distress situation
Reason for doing course:
1) Allows you to use it legally, to call Coastguard, other water users - for weather and safety information logging.
2) you get to practice voice protocol and learn about the other kit that is used PLB, SART etc
3) telling you what channels are used for and when.
It also give you the practice of firming messages and speaking into an inanimated object. (some people find this hard to do)
I would recommend when you can afford the course do it! If do properly you will get a good information, and of I dare say fun.