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Re: hand held radio for man overboard
If you're more than 3 miles offshore, the cell phone (no matter how rugged) is useless. My vote would be to have a PLB (with GPS capability) + AIS MOB beacon attached to my personage at all times. The bigger thing would be to also have a pfd with crotch straps so that if you overboard, the pfd stays on you.
The PLB will alert SAR teams like USCG. The AIS beacon will alert boats in the vicinity. The two together will help you if you're in warm water. If you go MOB in cold water...well, with those two gizmos + a good pfd, at least they'll recover your body for the funeral.
So we're talking about $350 for a PLB w/GPS capability
$300 for an AIS MOB
$140 for a self inflating, hydrostatic activated pfd
$30 for retrofitting crotch straps.
In my opinion, worth *EVERY* penny if you do a lot of singlehanding or overnight watches...
Would not you want a cheap (available for under $100) hand held vhf so you could communicate with rescuers? Many times a rescue is delayed while the responders verify it is not a false alarm. If you could communicate you would be golden.