SailNet Community

SailNet Community (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/)
-   Electronics (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/electronics/)
-   -   PLB vs EPIRB what and why? (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/electronics/95916-plb-vs-epirb-what-why.html)

Rasputin 01-20-2013 01:01 PM

PLB vs EPIRB what and why?
 
Greetings,

Question - What are some thoughts on PLBs? vs. EPRIB. Looking at keeping it simple with a McMurdo FastFind or ACR 406 but I hear a lot of positives about the DeLorme inReach and marginal comments on the Spot. I'm not really all that thrilled with annual subscriptions but some of the DeLorme and Spot communication features sound neat. But are they really useful or necessary for familiar coastal cruising? I do have a Verizon Aircard and Droid which works fine just about everywhere I go. And then if the used price is right based on battery replacement costs, is used okay or go with new? And finally, does one skip PLBs and go big with an EPIRB? And why?

I'm a fair weather and fair seas guy with the family. Now that we have an 11 month year old daughter, I'm looking to not take chances, even on familiar water. (she's already been to Catalina 4 times!) With good crew, that's another story. Anyhow, it's time to step up and add a PLB or EPRIB to the list of safety gear.

Sailing out of San Pedro to our Catalina mooring, yacht club cruises and our personal runs to coastal spots from San Diego to Channel Islands and Ventura as well as the occasional run to Ensenada. No runs to Australia planned. ;-)

Huge thanks for your thoughts.

~Scott

jackdale 01-20-2013 01:17 PM

Re: PLB vs EPIRB what and why?
 
In my mind a PLB is fine for coastal and near-coastal sailing.

A PLB battery is good for about 24 hours, an EPRB is good for 48. There are other differences, but the PLB should be fine,.

I use one for near-coastal (100 miles offshore from Vancouver Island) and I teach on different boats.

Offshore its an EPIRB.

I will not rely on a cell phone. The VHF radio is a good choice for my Vancouver Island trips as the CG has good reception and the area has lots of traffic. There is no cell service for most of the outside of the Island.

Rasputin 01-20-2013 02:01 PM

Re: PLB vs EPIRB what and why?
 
Thanks for your reply and confirming my suspicions. So what are your thoughts on brands and features needed on PLBs?

jackdale 01-20-2013 02:57 PM

Re: PLB vs EPIRB what and why?
 
I have an ACR AquaLink. I have not used any other.

This does permit me to use the 406link web site to let folks at home know I am OK. Last summer we had a Yellowbrick that did the same thing more effortlessly and automatically.

Vic Maui 2012 Return - Powered by Yellowbrick Tracking

( I was on board Turicum)

Stumble 01-20-2013 03:00 PM

Re: PLB vs EPIRB what and why?
 
Frankly the one problem I have with the PLB's is all the features they try to cram on them. To me they are a piece of life saving gear and all I want them to do is sound the alarm for the SAR guys. Everything else is just stuff that will drain the non-replaceable, and non-rechargeable battery.

jackdale 01-20-2013 03:04 PM

Re: PLB vs EPIRB what and why?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stumble (Post 978474)
Frankly the one problem I have with the PLB's is all the features they try to cram on them. To me they are a piece of life saving gear and all I want them to do is sound the alarm for the SAR guys. Everything else is just stuff that will drain the non-replaceable, and non-rechargeable battery.

The batteries are not user replaceable, but they are factory/dealer replaceable.

The only extra feature associated with mine is the 406link, which I rarely use.

Stumble 01-20-2013 03:23 PM

Re: PLB vs EPIRB what and why?
 
Fair enough correction jack. My point was simply that they aren't replaceable underway, so ever text sent reduces the duration of the emergency functions.

jackdale 01-20-2013 03:30 PM

Re: PLB vs EPIRB what and why?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Stumble (Post 978494)
Fair enough correction jack. My point was simply that they aren't replaceable underway, so ever text sent reduces the duration of the emergency functions.

Mine recommends 12 over the length of the battery. I have used it mid ocean and that is about it, other than testing the test function.

The text that is sent and the recipients have to be chosen in advance.

blowinstink 01-20-2013 04:46 PM

Re: PLB vs EPIRB what and why?
 
The real important point to keep in mind here is that the Spot and the Delorme are NOT emergency beacons and you should not buy one for that purpose.

Spot and Delorme are neither EPIRB's nor PLB's. Instead they are satelite messenger services intended for convenience not emergency use. Unlike the satelite messengers, the emergency beacons communicate directly with rescue services, have established and predictable battery life, water resistance, etc; and, in addition to initial burst information (ID, GPS coordinates), have additional localized beacons to direct emergency responders when they reach the area. The messenger services provided none of these features.

You can go to the ACR website (or McMurdo or one of the other major players) and read concise descriptions of the differences between EPIRB and PLB - Jack hit the major points.

Here is an article from Soundings:

PLB vs. EPIRB - which is right for you?

and another from Landfall Navigation:

PLB or EPIRB?

Good luck. There is a ton of info on this if you google it. If I were you, I would want to read the source materials in addition to forum opinions.

-M

Minnewaska 01-20-2013 05:52 PM

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.


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:54 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012