Probably because they stick around Long Island Sound, are small pleasure vessels, and are excepted from the operator and ship station requirements. don't get hung up on the word "ship." The FCC considers everything that floats as a ship for their purposes. From the FCC: "Ships are considered as operating domestically when they do not travel to foreign ports or do not transmit radio communications to foreign stations. Sailing in international waters is permitted, so long as the previous conditions are met. If you travel to a foreign port (e.g., Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands), a license is required. Additionally, if you travel to a foreign port, you are required to have an operator permit."