It costs money for a manufacturer to get his radio FCC certified (its no longer called "type acceptance") for use on commercial frequencies. Even if the ham radio was capable of meeting the technical requirements a mfg may decide that it is not worth the cost to have it certified for commercial use. He would have to increase the price of the radio in order to cover the certification costs but the majority of hams don't need the certification and would not purchase the more expensive radio.
There may also be user limitations required for certification that are not easily compatible with ham radio use. Commercial users are often prevented from selecting or programming in frequencies that they are not authorized to use (this would include the ham bands). In some cases certification requires that users be prevented from connecting external antennas (also not compatible with typical ham radio operation).
So, its not a simple matter of slapping a certification sticker on a ham transceiver so that it can be used for both ham and commercial services.
Roger, I can see how that makes sense now.
Thanks for the info guys. I found this on a boating site....
Since this IS my field and I AM an expert on this.. I'll state that a "modified ham radio rig" is legal to use in ham bands only.
It it not legal for amateurs or anyone else to modify radios to operate in "out of band" operation.
That does not mean you can't purchase radios that can operate in all bands though. You can.
I have a radio that CAN operate in both marine bands (actually it can pretty much transmit in any band) but it is ONLY operated in Amateur bands as that is what it was designed to do.
There's a little thing called "FCC Type acceptance".
Amateur radio gear is NOT(necessarily) FCC type accepted. Nearly all other equipment is. (Again, some ham radios are type accepted).
What this means is they meet certain specifications to prevent interference to other radio services.
If I'm not mistaken, you can find a few radios from several large manufacturers that will cover, legally, both the amateur bands and the marine frequencies you require.
Personally, I'd do a bit more research on the radio gear.
Lastly - you need to decide what you need to use the radio for. If you are a ham, you need to have an Amateur Radio Operators license. If you are going to use Marine, you need a restricted operators license (no test, just a fee) and a ships radio station license (fee, no test). Ham radio requires you have at minimum a General class license (not a HARD test, but not EASY either).
If you have a radio that is capable of being used on Marine frequencies, it CAN be legally modified to work in HAM bands (if you're a ham radio operator).
Any radio can be legally modified by amateurs to work in the ham bands. But you can't modify a "ham only" to work in OTHER bands (legally).
(For the record I hold a RR license, and I hold an Amateur Extra license. I've held a First Class Radio Telephone Operators license in the past - no longer issued these days, and Second Class and a Third Class. Also for the record I've been involved in using, setting up and training radio systems for nearly forty years now.)