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Thread: Interested in marine radio

  1. #1

    Default Interested in marine radio

    I joined the forum a few minutes ago because I knew nothing about amateur radio until a few days ago and am having trouble understanding what I've read so far.

    I have long thought that I'd like to look into it at some point, but my interest in sailing really prompted me to do some reading.

    I thought it would be really cool to listen and possibly talk to boats via marine HF SSB, or ham radio as I know some sailors do have licences for that too.

    I am land-based in New Zealand and understand (vaguely) that there are technical and governance issues between the two, but is it possible to do what I want to do with a ham radio licence and equipment?

    If the answer is yes then I'd be very keen and have a lot more questions for the appropriate place on the forum. I am interested in building the equipment, and would like to have a mobile setup for my own modest boat... but all in good time...

  2. #2


    Well - the main problem is simply getting the licence. HF radio shore stations are usually considered to be big concrete buildings with lots of people working there and having specific purposes - rescue, logistics, information relay etc - so your Government would need to give you a callsign, and probably charge you lots of money - you'd probably also need the operators to be commercially examined and licenced too. Without a legitimate licence, I doubt anyone would want to talk to you - those that like to chat usually have ham callsigns which is sensible. Ship operators talk to each other of course at sea, but it's rare to hear them chatting with somebody at home. A ham licence restricts you too communication with radio amateurs who hold a licence, using ONLY amateur bands.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Oulu, Finland


    If you want to use any maritime band, beit HF or VHF, then you will need the appropriate type approved equipment for the bands/frequencies used. You will also probably need a license. Your best bet is to contact either a local boat club or national organisation.

    If you want to use amateur radio on your boat, it is allowed, but first you will have to become a licensed radio amateur. Contact the national organisation for amateur radio in New Zealand. When you use amateur radio on a boat orship, you must stay in the amateur radio frequency allocations and suffix your callsign with /MM for maritime mobile.

    A friend of mine, who lives in NZ, is a qualified Merchant Navy Radio Officer. Up until about six months ago, she was single. But I guess you missed the boat on that one...

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