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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > EPIRB or PLB for coastal cruising
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Thread: EPIRB or PLB for coastal cruising Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-22-2013 02:59 PM
jackdale
Re: EPIRB or PLB for coastal cruising

Quote:
The differences between EPIRBs and PLBs
Personal Location Beacons work in exactly the same way as EPIRBs by sending a coded message on the 406 MHz distress frequency which is relayed via the Cospas-Sarsat global satellite system.

However, there are a number of differences between them. PLBs are designed to be carried on the person so they are much smaller, some such as the Fast find are not much larger than the size of a mobile phone. PLBs are designed to be used anywhere in the world, on the sea and also on land. Some don't float but may come with an additional floatational sleeve which they should be carried in.

PLBs, once activated, will transmit for a minimum of 24 hours; while the battery life on an EPIRB is at least double (a minimum of 48 hours). An EPIRB is registered to a vessel, whereas a PLB is registered to a person. This means that if you are crewing a yacht and you swicth to a new yacht the plb is still correctly registered; however, if you have an EPIRB and buy a new yacht you will need to re-register it when installing in your new boat.
Since I do not own a boat I carry an PLB (Aqualink). It floats and is waterproof. It also has a clip to attach to my pfd and a lanyard to prevent loss.

On ocean deliveries we have an EPIRB.
03-22-2013 02:36 PM
jameswilson29
Re: EPIRB or PLB for coastal cruising

I respectfully disagree. While battery life is one difference, the primary difference is whether the unit operates floating on its own, or whether it must be held above water/attached to a person.

By the way, older ACR ResQLink products have been COSPAS-SARSAT approved. This is a relatively new PLB model.
03-22-2013 02:30 PM
jackdale
Re: EPIRB or PLB for coastal cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
I believe you are misinterpreting the statement is not intended for operation IN water - that is the difference between an EPIRB and a PLB. Although it floats and it is waterproof, you cannot drop it in the water and expect to be saved. You have to wear it, with the antenna above water, just like every other PLB.

If it were designed to be operated IN water it would be an EPIRB. ON the water is different from IN the water.

It is designed for marine or terrestrial use.

As I have said several times on this listserv, I am not so gullible as to pay $100 extra because something has "Marine", "Aqua", or "Yacht" in the name.
The main difference between a PLB (24 hours) and and EPIRB (48 hours) is battery life. Some EPIRBS are manual, they have to be released and triggered.
Auto or Manual EPIRB?

But it is your choice.
03-22-2013 02:21 PM
jameswilson29
Re: EPIRB or PLB for coastal cruising

Anyone who is not convinced about the intended purpose of the ACR 2881 should go to the ACR website, Product Wizard finder, my intended usage provides both the ACR 2881 and the ACR 2882 as appropriate products:

Product Wizard | ACR ARTEX

Finally, in the media links, 2 different photo advertisements show a boater in the water, one obviously in the ocean: http://www.acrartex.com/products/cat...lus/#tab-media There are no photos of terrestrial use.
03-22-2013 02:13 PM
msmith10
Re: EPIRB or PLB for coastal cruising

I also bought the ACR 375 but I got the older, non-buoyant model. It's a little smaller, which means I'll wear it. Nonbuoyant so I have to be sure it's tethered to me. I put it in a case which attaches to my vest/harness. The only thing I don't like about the design is no integral attachment method to wear it. The firefly strobe has built in rings so you can attach it to your vest or body- the PLB doesn't, which I think is an oversight.
03-22-2013 02:11 PM
jameswilson29
Re: EPIRB or PLB for coastal cruising

I believe you are misinterpreting the statement is not intended for operation IN water - that is the difference between an EPIRB and a PLB. Although it floats and it is waterproof, you cannot drop it in the water and expect to be saved. You have to wear it, with the antenna above water, just like every other PLB.

If it were designed to be operated IN water it would be an EPIRB. ON the water is different from IN the water.

It is designed for marine or terrestrial use.

As I have said several times on this listserv, I am not so gullible as to pay $100 extra because something has "Marine", "Aqua", or "Yacht" in the name.
03-22-2013 01:54 PM
jackdale
Re: EPIRB or PLB for coastal cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post

"...Small and mighty, the ResQLink+ is a full-powered, GPS-enabled rescue beacon designed for boaters, pilots and water-borne sportsmen...[emphasis mine]"
As is the quote from my post

Quote:
The ResQLink+ is a buoyant PLB but is not intended for operation in water
Intended operational environments include on ground and above ground
including held in hand
Near the bottom of the specs.

The Aqualink is also COSPAS/SARSAT approved. The ResQLink+ is not. (They will still rescue you.)
03-22-2013 01:45 PM
jameswilson29
Re: EPIRB or PLB for coastal cruising

I bought the ACR 2881, you recommend the ACR 2882. I don't see any difference significant to my intended purpose, except the 2882 is more expensive. The only practical difference is the ability of the 2882 to send a text message saying I am o.k. Surely you don't believe the 2881 was not intended for marine purposes?

Neither of them are EPIRBs. Although they both float and are both waterproof, you have to wear them with the antenna out of the water.

Here is the product description from Defender/ACR:

"...Small and mighty, the ResQLink+ is a full-powered, GPS-enabled rescue beacon designed for boaters, pilots and water-borne sportsmen...[emphasis mine]"
03-22-2013 10:04 AM
jackdale
Re: EPIRB or PLB for coastal cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Well, I ended up choosing this ACR PLB from Defender for $261:

ACR ResQLink+ PLB

Should satisfy my coastal cruising needs...
Why not an Aqualink?

Res Qlink is not designed for water

Quote:
The ResQLink+ is a buoyant PLB but is not intended for operation in water
Intended operational environments include on ground and above ground including held in hand
03-22-2013 08:29 AM
jameswilson29
Re: EPIRB or PLB for coastal cruising

Well, I ended up choosing this ACR PLB from Defender for $261:

ACR ResQLink+ PLB

Should satisfy my coastal cruising needs...
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