Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
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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...
I still think the major hole in this is that the boat is unable to see the PLB position of the MOB. instead of spending almost $1,000 per person, I would rather spend the $5,000 on a RDF that can track the PLB. This also means you can track any EPIRB near you.
Frankly I see this as the thing that manufacturers have really forgotten about. With many sailors carrying a PLB these days, the fact that there isn't a cost efficient way for their own boat to locate the mob is just silly.