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  #1  
Old 02-17-2007
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EPIRB choices

There are a number of EPIRB manufacturers out there and I'm having trouble deciding which manufacturer or model to go for, the distinguishing characteristics are a bit vague to me.

I would like a Category II (manual release) 406MHz w/integral GPS, there are a lot of models (the full list of approved 406 devices can be found here) but it seems that the most widespread models are:
GlobalFix™ 406 Cat II
McMurdo Smartfind Plus G5 406 GPS MHz EPIRB
Pains-Wessex Precision 406 MHz GPS EPIRB
Jotron 40 GPS EPIRB

Are there significant differences? It seems that ACR is the most predominant one in the markeplace but that might just be due to a good web presence.

Would anyone either recommend a manufacturer/model or wish to dissuade me from purchasing some other
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Old 02-17-2007
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Zan...no experience with the others but when I was shopping I found ACR to be the best priced and bought one. 6 years later...the battery is still working so I would buy from them again.
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Old 02-17-2007
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Zan McMurdo and Paine Wessex are the same. Either the ACR or the McMurdo work fine according to independent tests. I own the McMurdo - tests fine but I have never used it ... FWIW the McMurdo is a fraction smaller in terms of space it takes up on the bulkhead.
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We have a ACR from 2000, still seems to work but the antenna has been broken (not the units fault). I've owned other ACR equipment over the years and it's all been good quality. Also, I've heard ACR is popular among offshore racers. But as said above, that could be due to good marketing and sponsorship more than good quality.
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Old 02-18-2007
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Ok, the ACR unit it is then. I'm looking at the type II (manual release) unit, mainly because I can't think of a good location for the rather large mounting for the Type I - leaving the eyesore out of the way yet able to release and float to the surface in an emergency.
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Old 02-18-2007
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Newport41-

You might want to contact ACR. I know one of the older models of their EPIRB had a recall for an antenna related problem... your's might be one and qualify for a free-repair.

I like the ACR gear... hopefully will never have to use it..
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Old 02-20-2007
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Thanks for all the advice. I've gone ahead and ordered the ACR 2744 unit in the USA. Now I just have to find out with whom to register it - since the boat is in the BVI and won't be going north anytime soon, as I'm starting a circumnavigation next month...
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