This article is an excerpt from NauticEd’s Bareboat Charter Course, a comprehensive online course that equips you with all the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully charter a yacht. The Bareboat Charter course is part of the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of online courses, fully preparing you for near-coastal sailing and sailing charters.

You can learn to sail and improve your sailing with NauticEd, the international leader in sailing education.

Marine Radio Licensing

To operate a marine radio lawfully, you must comply with the laws of the country in which you are operating the radio. There can be significant fines if you don’t follow the laws. 

The laws cover responsible and proper operation such as:

  • maintaining a watch on channel 16 if a VHF is fitted to your vessel
  • only using channel 16 in an emergency 
  • using channel 16 to hail others and then to announce to switch channels
  • non-commercial traffic can only use designated non-commercial channels (varies by country)
  • able to maintain a log

Many countries you will visit on your sailing vacations require that you have a marine radio license to operate a marine radio issued in your home country. All the countries in the Mediterranean, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and the Seychelles are on the list. You should check with your yacht charter company or NauticEd sailing vacation agency if you are planning a sailing vacation as to the requirements.


If you plan to sail in a country listed above or in one that requires a license, at a minimum, you need at least a Restricted License (designation RR) which costs $70. This can be simply attained from the FCC without any examination.

Here are the requirements:

  • You must be able to speak and hear English
  • You must be able to take notes in a logbook
  • You must understand the general workings of a marine radio

That is not very much, but at least this module will help you better than the average person with bullet 3.

To gain a Restricted License:

  1. Obtain an FCC Registration Number (FRN)
    go to
    Save your FRN and password
  2. Login to the FCC with your FRN
    go to
  3. On the left side of the page, click the Apply for a New License link.
  4. Choose “RR – Restricted Operator” from the radio service drop-down list.
  5. Click the Continue button to navigate through the application.
  6. On the Summary page, review the application and click the Continue to Certify button.
  7. On the Certification page, sign your application by typing your name in the boxes provided and click the Submit Application button. (The Title field is optional.)
  8. ULS will calculate the fees. Fees for online filing MUST be received within 10 calendar days of the filing.
  9. Click the Continue For Payment Options button to choose the method of payment.
  10. Nothing much seems to happen after that except you’ll get an email announcing receipt of your payment
  11. Eventually, after a day or so, you will get a notification of your license which you can download

Download your license 

After your application has been granted, it will be mailed to you and you may also download an official copy of your license from the License Manager by following the steps below:

  • Go to and log in with your FCC Registration Number (FRN) and password.
  • Click the “Download Electronic Authorizations” link on the navigation bar on the left side of the License Manager home page.
  • In the My Authorizations box at the bottom of the page, select the call sign(s) you wish to download.
  • Add the call signs to the Authorizations to Download box by clicking the Add button.
  • Click the Download button in the lower right-hand corner of the page.
  • If you have any further questions or need additional information, please submit a help request at or call the FCC Licensing Support Center at (877) 480-3201.



    You will need to obtain a ROC-M license. Information about the ROC-M can be obtained here:


    Search your local Coast Guard or maritime agency on the rules to obtain a license.


    Once you obtain a license for Marina Radio from your country, upload it into your NauticEd Resume under “Other Licenses”

You can learn more in the Bareboat Charter Online Course....

The Bareboat Charter online sailing course is your go-to resource for planning an unforgettable sailing vacation. This comprehensive online course equips you with all the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully charter a yacht. Upgrade to the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of courses to fully prepare for near-coastal sailing and sailing charters.

Source: Bareboat Charter
Topic: Electronic Navigation and Communications
Authors: Ed Mapes, USCG Captain Master Mariner. Grant Headifen, NauticEd Global Director of Education
NauticEd is a fully recognized education and certification platform for sailing students combining online and on-the-water real instruction (and now VR). NauticEd offers +24 online courses, a free sailor's toolkit that includes 2 free courses, and six ranks of certification – all integrated into NauticEd’s proprietary platform. The USCG and NASBLA recognize NauticEd as having met the established American National Standards.