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Old 12 January 2015, 05:38   #1
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VHF License for handheld.

As there are a number of instructors on here, I wonder if if I could seek some advice.

At our sailing club we issue the safety boats with Hand Held VHF radios. These are fully functioning standard radios with all the normal channels. For club duties we operate on M1 and M2 only. Previously I have been advised that the Rib driver doesn't require a VHF license to operate a handheld as long as it is 6 watts or less and is being used on the private channels only and comes under the club VHF license. This weekend, I was advised that since it all reverted to Ofcom etc. that this has changed and that anyone operating a handheld on any channel now has to have a VHF license? I wonder whether anybody could shed any light on this?
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Old 12 January 2015, 06:00   #2
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See if this OFCOM FAQ entry helps...

Ofcom | What type of Maritime Licence do I need?
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Old 12 January 2015, 06:12   #3
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Hi

Not to sure on that one but,I have a prompt sheet with May Day call procedure on.I would rather get a bollocking for not having lisence than the alternative ,stranded or even dead.Also I would wonder what the coast guard rather you had or not.
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Old 12 January 2015, 06:20   #4
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You can operate a VHF without a licence if under the direct supervision of a licence holder. So on my PB2 courses I get the students using the VHF under my supervision. For a sailing club you would need a licence holder onsite monitoring the radio to make sure the unlicensed operators were using the radios correctly. Also the VHFs themselves would also need licences.
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Old 12 January 2015, 06:25   #5
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Lots of people have VHF's without licences and use them to listen, and would only transmit in an emergency. I personally don't see a problem with that, and I doubt that OFCOM or the coastguard would have a problem with that either.

What does annoy me is the people transmitting that obviously have no idea how to use the VHF properly.
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Old 12 January 2015, 07:00   #6
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VHF License for handheld.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris.moody View Post
You can operate a VHF without a licence if under the direct supervision of a licence holder. So on my PB2 courses I get the students using the VHF under my supervision. For a sailing club you would need a licence holder onsite monitoring the radio to make sure the unlicensed operators were using the radios correctly. Also the VHFs themselves would also need licences.

Sailing Clubs - Ch M & M2 is your friend - you don't need operators licence to use these two channels - these are private channels although found on UK bought radios

still need radio licence for radio ,

in emergency use only ch 16 - no need to worry about anything, although I a well put out mayday might get help to you quicker!

With the online courses - they really are no excuses not to do course !

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Old 12 January 2015, 07:23   #7
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Thankyou for your replies. This is pretty much what we have been advised previously, but had been told that things had changed recently since Ofcom got involved. The club has 14 or so safety boats plus committee boats etc and around 800 PBL2 qualified volunteers who could operate them to help with events. The radios are monitored by the main office and Marine Department in case of an emergency etc and on the bigger events we will also have the race box manned and dedicated to the event via radio as well.
We operate on M1 + 2.
I spoke to Ofcom this morning for advice and their initial reaction was that anyone operating the safety boat etc would automatically be covered by the clubs VHF licenses. They have suggested sending an e mail to them requesting a formal reply that will seal it.
The e mail address they have given me if it helps anyone else on here is spectrum.licensing@ofcom.org.uk

Chris, your point about : "You can operate a VHF without a licence if under the direct supervision of a licence holder". Does this imply the license holder needs to be on the boat supervising or that they simply be monitored by for example the club?

I agree with regards to getting people to at least do the online thing, but getting people to give up time for anything is difficult and if they don't have to, most wont bother.
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Old 12 January 2015, 07:34   #8
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It's a grey area but I would personally be happy monitoring my students use of the radio from the shore or another boat as long as I was in VHF range and scanning any channels they may be using.

I didn't know 37a (M1) was exempt, you learn something every day.
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Old 12 January 2015, 07:38   #9
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On a PB2 course I like to get the students familiar with using a VHF and get them used to identifying themselves on each transmission and the correct use of "over" and "out". If they say "over and out" they have to buy the coffees or tea at tea break time
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Old 12 January 2015, 07:42   #10
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direct supervision means standing beside the person on boat !


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