Re: PLB vs EPIRB what and why?
Good explanation of the differences above.
If you're worrying about the safety of your crew (child), you should also think about how long you might be in the water and I believe its pretty cold water there. The response to an EPIRB or PLB will be 6 to 24 hours. They will not just launch at the signal. First they will attempt to confirm its authenticity, by dialing the phone numbers you register, checking with your marina to insure you're gone, issuing a securite call, etc. Then they will come look, if they believe its real.
You may also want a waterproof VHF radio with internal GPS receiver. In your cruising grounds, I suspect you will most always be within a mile or two of another boat and could hail them on ch16 and give them your coordinates. In fact, they could confirm the SARSAT signal to the USCG for you and then they would launch immediately.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.