vhf handhelds & federal reg's

Do you need some type of permit or license to use a VHF handheld to converse w/paddling partners? Anyone know where I can get some details?


probably no need for a license
I don’t think one needs a license. The manual for my ICOM radio wasn’t entirely clear, but I found a brochure on required and recommended safety gear that is distributed by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. It tells me that recreational boaters don’t need a license (with some technical definition of “recreational” that any canoe or kayak would certainly meet). I can’t remember the name of the brochure, but it was a thick document (maybe 30 pages, but small format) that was specific to recreational boaters.

– Mark

no license anymore
Here are some basics for VHF operation. Not really for conversing, (…and how’s Harry?), although it’s done all the time by the rec fleet (Where you catchin’, today, Joe?). Short and sweet is the best way. Good piece of gear to have. Interesting listening, also.


thanks for the link…so I’m supposed
to only use the channels available for “NONCOMMERCIAL - Working channels for voluntary boats” as indicated on the link provided?


yes, 60s, 70s
16 for emergency. Most radios have a scan that will over ride other channels to braodcast emergency transmissions.

There’s really no enforcement. You won’t believe some of the things you hear. Some people never grow up.

You should grab one, if you’re near a harbor. You can use an earpiece, too, so as not to disturb the P & Q.