For near coastal I think a PLB is a reasonable alternative at a much lower cost. A chartplotter/ais is nice, but only addresses one of many possible causes of being in an emergency. ...
I was talking about a VHS with DSC capability and AIS not a Chartplotter/AIS.
The DSC VHS will send to a coastal station and to all boats in range a Mayday signal with the identification of your boat and the GPS position. The main difference with an Epirb is that while this one works for satellite transmission and has an unlimited range the DSC range is limited to the range of your boat VHS and eventually to the possibility of relay Mayday.