The current published information on the subject can be found at The Radiocommunications Agency
. From the Home page you can find the info by going to the A to Z listing and select "Ship Radio"
The two key areas which you have been considering seem to be covered by the two following extracts:
Article S18 of the international Radio Regulations requires that:
No transmitting station may be established or operated by a private person or any enterprise without a licence issued in an appropriate form and in conformity with the provisions of these Regulations by or on behalf of the government of the country to which the station in question is subject.
Article S47 of the international Radio Regulations further states that:
The service of every ship radiotelephone station, ship earth station and ship station shall be controlled by an operator holding a certificate issued or recognised by the government to which the station is subject. Provided the station is so controlled, other persons besides the holder of the certificate may use the equipment.
This means that maritime radio equipment available for use on board a vessel that is owned by a UK citizen or UK registered must be:
Covered by a valid ship radio licence or transportable marine radio licence issued in the United Kingdom by the Radiocommunications Agency;
Operated by or under the direct personal supervision of a holder of a valid Maritime radio operator's certificate;
Compliant with the requirements of either the Marine Equipment Directive (MED), the Radio & Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive or Nationally Type approved.
Having also made a cursory
inspection of the primary legislation and recent Stautory Instruments, there does not appear to be anything that supersedes the above info. But I stress that It was only a cursory look cos theres an awfull lot of it out there.
The law also provides that in a distress situation, the regulations should not be a hinderance to raising a distress call by any means available, so it would appear that an unlicensed operator on an unlicensed non type approved set would be OK......But only in an emegrency