To legally operate a marine VHF radio you need a minimum of a Maritime VHF Radio Operator Certificate.  The only exception is in the case of an emergency.

Options for gaining this essential qualification include classroom, online, or home study.  Course costs, including assessment, range from approximately $120 - $185.

Visit for options and details.

Basic Radio Operation

  1. Before transmitting select the appropriate channel for your area.
  2. Ensure the volume control on your radio is turned up.
  3. Adjust the squelch control until the static noise stops.
  4. Listen to see if there is traffic on the channel.
  5. If the channel is clear, push your microphone button firmly and speak clearly and slowly, saying the name of the station you are calling, followed by the name of your own vessel.  Speak across your microphone rather than directly into it.
  6. Speak slowly, and be clear and concise when transmitting.