Foundation Radio licence vs RYA VHF cert

Hi all,

Radio nerd question inbound.

I have my Foundation Radio Licence, a little while ago I did my RYA VHF training (but not the exam). I’m after an answer from someone in the know, if I wanted an appropriate qualification for marine radio use on a Powerboat, or for use sea kayaking or coasteering, would my Foundation Licence cover it, or should I just crack on and do my RYA VHF? I will be fully honest I did my Foundation Licence purely as a cadet thing some time ago, and don’t use it a great deal, so my understanding of it’s remit etc is fairly limited, that being said I don’t want to shell out for an RYA VHF exam if I don’t need one!

Thoughts appreciated.

While waiting for an expert, I’d suggest that the Ham qualification will not be suitable as it will not cover emergency elements of a marine VHF qualification. and the overall procedures will differ.

It certainly isn’t going to allow you to operate an aircraft VHF radio when solo, which is a reasonably equivalent situation.

Go do the RYA exam.

RYA VHF. In a marine environment the foundation license counts for nothing.

Having said that, until such time as you have a license, dont scared to use a marine VHF if you need to summon help in an emergency, you will not be fined etc, and there will be hundreds, if not thousands of people out there using marine VHF unlicensed.

Speak with experience here as hold a full GMDSS radio license and a bit of paper that lets me do things with very big ships…

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Had one for years for sea kayaking and never bothered with any exam or licence.

What you do to very big ships in your own time is your own business :joy:

You must have a licence for your marine VHF - these are free and can be obtained online from the Ofcom website.

In addition you require an operators certificate to permit you to use your radio for routine traffic. This is obtained by completing the RYA Short Range course and passing the exam.

If you intend to keep your VHF only for emergency use or you only use channels M or M2 then you do not need an operators certificate.

In the good old days one could just take the exam, however these days you are required to complete some “classroom time” on a course.
Depending on how long ago you did the training you might be able to get the organization that you did it with to put you in for the exam. Otherwise it’ll be another course I’m afraid.

Your Foundation license will only allow you to transmit on the Amateur frequencies within the power limits set out in your license. There are also limits on where you can transmit especially as a Foundation license holder as well. If you wish to use marine frequencies then you need a marine license and the appropriate qualification. Ofcom website will have the details.

Also remember that your Foundation licence conditions prohibit you from transmitting on tidal waters!

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