VHF (src) FAQs

Is it possible to test the RYA Online VHF Radio course before I decided to purchase the full online course?

Yes the RYA has produced a RYA Online VHF Radio taster course, this is similar to the full course and will let you see how the new online course works on your PC or MAC and soon iPads, to download the taster course Click Here  for PC or Click Here for MAC

Will I be able to take the RYA SRC exam with SAILTRAIN after taking the Online RYA VHF Radio course?

Yes you will, all you will need is your pre course knowledge certificate and your completed RYA short range application form including photograph. THE RYA will charge you an additional exam/licence issue fee of £60.

Is the RYA Changing the way they deliver the RYA VHF Radio course in 2014?

Due to European Regulations (Cept) the RYA will be changing the way the course is delivered in 2014. The new method, delivered by SAILTRAIN, is to take the New RYA Online VHF Radio course which you will be able to take on a PC or a MAC. Then bring along your online completion certificate, on the date we agreed at the time of booking, and take the short Practical/Theory exam.

Will I get a chance to familiarise myself with the actual Radio Equipment I will be using during my exam?

Yes, absolutely. Before the exam starts you will be given the ability to "play" with the radios you are going to use. You will be given sufficient time to become familiar with the menus and functions of the particular radios you will use. Also available will be the Radio manual and a quick start guide.

Is there a minimum age for the VHF Radio Course?

The minimum age for the VHF Radio Course is 16 years old. 

I have a pre-1999 restricted VHF radio certificate. Can I upgrade it to include Digital Selective Calling (DSC)?

Yes, you can upgrade the restricted Marine VHF radio licence, you can now book the new format SRC examination direct but its unlikely that you wil pass the new examination without taking some refresher training before attending the examination, i.e.: take the online course .

Will SAILTRAIN run a exam for a group, i.e. a dive club or sailing club etc?

Yes we will run a group examination to a maximum of 12 persons. Please contact us for a quote

If I pass the course, can I teach my crew on the boat how to use the VHF radio?

Yes, when you have passed the  vhf radio course you can ask a member of crew to use the radio under your guidance, but it would be a good idea for them to enrol on the course in the future.

I have purchased a second-hand radio with DSC. Can I fit it to my boat?

Any radio equipment must be Type Approved - beware second-hand equipment or radios bought from online auction sites or jumble-sales. In addition, equipment from the USA is completely different from European radio - it will not work properly, and is illegal for use in Europe. 

Every DSC radio has a unique MMSI number, issued to you by OfCom. This cannot be deleted manually once entered, and a qualified electronic-engineer (usually the Original Equipment Manufacturer) must erase the units memory. You must then apply to OfCom for a new Ships Radio Licence (different to the Operators Licence), with a Call-Sign and MMSI Number, which you can input manually into the radio. You can do this for online for FREE by (Clicking Here)

At current prices, it may be more cost-effective to buy new rather than buy second-hand and pay to have it sent back to the manufacturer for resetting.

I only have a hand held VHF radio, what type of licence do I need?

You will need a ship’s portable licence issued by Ofcom. The hand held vhf radio will be issued with an international callsign, which includes the letter T to denote that it is a transportable and licensed to an individual and not the vessel. But, you still need to have passed the exam to use it.

I’m going to use my radio in the European inland water ways. Do I need Automatic Transmitter Identification System ( ATIS) fitting to my radio?

Yes, you will need to upgrade your set to transmit ATIS. For more info go to: http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/radiocommunication-licences/ships-radio/faq/atis-faq

I have just purchased an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB ). Who do I register it with in the UK?

You register it on the EPIRB Registry with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) in Falmouth. To register online go to:


I am a Sea Kayaker and have been told that as well as a VHF hand held radio and mobile phone I can get a PLB. What type do you suggest?

We suggest a small Personal Location Beacon ( PLB), such as a FASTFIND 200 OR 210 made by McMurdo. It’s totally waterproof and has a GPS 50 channel receiver inside for better location in an emergency situation. Also this small PLB operates on a global 406 MHz system with a 121.5 MHz homing signal.

For more information Click here for the Fastfind website.

How long does it take for my licence to arrive?

Up to 21 Days, but usually this is much sooner - sometimes 7-10 days. There are Fast-Track Options Available, for an additional fee.

Please Contact Us for more information.