I've been sorting some of Sprite 2's paperwork over the past couple of days.
A while back I did the necessary changes on the Ofcom website to my ships radio licence to include Sprite 2, luckily the paperwork that came with her included the previous owner's licence details so I had her callsign readily to hand. These days ship licences and also the Amateur Radio (Radio Ham) licence I hold are all administered online. The only provision is they have to be kept up to date and of course I have to renew the Short Range Certificate every 10 years (next one due 2017 in my case **).
Of course a ship keeps it's callsign, so it has to transfer with the ship and having paperwork saves time and bother trying to get the details.
I haven't yet registered her for an Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number under the Digital Selective Calling (DSC) scheme, even though my Short Range Certificate allows it. I used to have a VHF Radio with DSC on it on my old boat and kept the radio, but on that particular radio the MMSI number can't be changed easily. You need software to do it, which is difficult to get hold of. If I can get the software and I can change the number, then I'll make the change. Sprite 2's callsign pre-dates DSC and the radio fitted to it doesn't have the capability. But DSC is so handy especially when its linked to GPS: calling for help and giving position data is as easy as scrolling down a menu and pressing a button that at some point I'll sort my old Radio and fit it on Sprite 2.
But for now I have a VHF only Ships licence and also a VHF portable licence which allows me to use the freecycle handheld on any boat.
I also registered Sprite 2 on the MCA's CG66 database so that god forbid if anything bad happens, they will know who the owner is, the appropriate shore contact and all the physical details of the boat if they have to go looking for it. I must say that the web pages for the CG66 service are functional (just) but could do with a spruce-up.
I tried entering a photo of Sprite 2 onto the page and even though all the parameters were correct, it kept failing. I fired off a support request this morning and to their credit I got an email back from a lady at the Bridlington station asking for a copy of the photo so she could add it manually. I did and now all the details are correct.
I'm not sure adding Sprite 2 to the SSR is necessary, it depends on if I have £25 to spare!
On of the next thing I need to do is register with the Sea Wych owner's Association which might prove to be useful. Looking at the web pages registration seems to be locked in the pre-PayPal dark ages but once I have the cash I'll give them a call and get things sorted.
So there's been plenty happening even if its been tippling down for the past month and a half!
** I did my SRC on 20th May 2007. How do I know? Well, I first met the current Mrs Phillips the day before. I had been chatting to her on the internet after having been introduced over the 'net by a friend. I arranged to meet her the day I came down to the South coast the day before the course in Southampton.
Obviously things worked out. :-)