Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

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Treeman21
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Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

Post by Treeman21 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:56 pm

So assuming I've decided I need/want a VHF radio when i'm out at sea, how necessary is this certificate?

As far as I understand it, in an emergency its legal to use the radio, and as I only ever envisage that being the time I'd use it, do I need the cert?

Or are they quite complicated to use and the course would be worth it for that knowledge anyway?

Owen
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Re: Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

Post by Owen » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:24 pm

It's a legal requirement, and the course is also useful and interesting.

robhorton
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Re: Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

Post by robhorton » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:38 am

It's a legal requirement if you plan to do anything other than listening and transmitting in a distress situation, although the chances of anyone checking are extremely low. It's also a requirement for the 4/5* (sea leader/advanced sea leader) awards if that's relevant.

Most of the stuff is pretty straight forward but it's nice to be able to have a practice - particularly stuff like distress calls. Before they changed it a few years ago you basically spent a day messing around with the radios then did a simple test at the end. Nowadays it seems to be mostly an online course which seems rather less appealing to me. The certificate is valid for life though so probably worth doing at some point.

If you haven't already you should get a ships portable radio licence free from the ofcom website. It's not connected to the certificate.

DaveB
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Re: Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

Post by DaveB » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:56 am

Many people find using the radio very difficult at first, simple things like using call signs and waiting till the other party has finished transmitting to you before starting your reply need practice so that if you ever need to use the radio under pressure you just know how to do it right. Do the course and then get in practice/stay in practice by making routine transmissions to the coastguard when you go on the water telling them your group size and journey plan followed by a call when you are off the water. The coastguard will be happy to have the info.

Muzzy
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Re: Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

Post by Muzzy » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:31 pm

Definitely worth doing the course. As dave8 says, if you practise regularly with it, when the time comes that you have to use it in anger, you'll do a far better job and increase your chances of getting rescued efficiently. I did the online course and then took the classroom exam. Worth every penny. You can't skimp on safety!

garya
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Re: Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

Post by garya » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:04 pm

There are handy sticker you can get to fix to the back of the radio or on a plastic card . It will help you remember all the information in an emergency


http://www.icomuk.co.uk/News_Article/3508/19191/

The course is really good too I would recommend you do just to get used to how to use the radio, there are other things you will learn about channels and things as well.

Treeman21
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Re: Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

Post by Treeman21 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:38 pm

Thanks all.

I've booked in for the course this Sunday, and they do the exam straight after on the same day. Not so keen on the idea of being in classroom all day, but it sounds like you all think its worth it.

Currently learning the phonetic alphabet!

Maverick777
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Re: Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

Post by Maverick777 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:16 pm

Hi,

How do you go about applying for a licence please? Are there any cots attached?

Thanks

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MikeB
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Re: Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

Post by MikeB » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:32 pm

Maverick777 wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:16 pm
Hi,

How do you go about applying for a licence please? Are there any cots attached?

Thanks
Have a look here - http://www.ukseakayakguidebook.co.uk/almanac_vhf.htm - specifically the links under the heading "Licences / Operators Certificates for VHF radio", where you'll find how to apply for a licence for the set, and notes on courses.

Psamathe
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Re: Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

Post by Psamathe » Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:49 pm

Bit of as aside but does is a UK license also valid on European waters beyond costal ports (e.g. European rivers)? I seem to remember my old pre-DSC license used to be fine for sailing into French Channel Ports and my ICC would allow me to sail further inland but as I never sailed further inland I never looked into the VHF license geographical coverage.

Ian

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Re: Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

Post by Allan Olesen » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:58 pm

Psamathe wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:49 pm
Bit of as aside but does is a UK license also valid on European waters beyond costal ports (e.g. European rivers)? I seem to remember my old pre-DSC license used to be fine for sailing into French Channel Ports and my ICC would allow me to sail further inland but as I never sailed further inland I never looked into the VHF license geographical coverage.
Here in Denmark we don't have any special rules for VHF usage on inland water ways. (But it would be a case of megalomania to describe our inland water ways as "rivers" anyway.)

But in some other European countries, inland usage seems like a bit of a mine field according to what I have heard. Special operator certificate needed, coding of the handset with an ATIS identification number which is not an MMSI number, other channel schemes where channel 16 is a working channel, etc.

So I would never dare using my VHF on inland waterways in another European country without checking up on local regulations first.

(And even the definition of "inland" is fuzzy. Apparently, some of the German or Netherland areas of the Watten Sea are considered "inland" and have special VHF regulation. To me, the Watten Sea is sea, not inland, so that sounds pretty insane.)

Chris Bolton
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Re: Marine VHF Short Range Certificate

Post by Chris Bolton » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:00 am

Go to the Ofcom site here and click on the link "Can I use it on inland waters" That also explains that you can't use it (a DSC handheld that is) outside the UK.
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