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Thread: Do I Need an EPIRB? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-02-2013 01:13 AM
Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

I think you're assuming that you have a seven hundred dollar safety budget but the rich and paranoid girlfriends' moms I've had didn't think like that.

If they thought she hould have an epirb then that's what they got. We didn't really get the same amount of cash worth of goods we thought more appropriate.
01-25-2013 11:54 AM
Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

The ocean doesn't like me. It allows me passage at my own risk. I choose to wear a pfd that has a harness and have a PLB attached so that regardless of how a boat is equipped, I have some means of being rescued. I helped an owner move a boat who chose to buy interior accessories over basic safety and navigational equipment. Isn't it strange that smart people second guess their every move and idiots are full of confidence.
12-23-2012 01:00 PM
Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

While I would agree with many who have posted, that you could spend the same amount of money a little better, that's not what's on the table is it? Asking someone to get a few different safety items is a little too much like looking the gift horse in the mouth. If the concerned mother wants to buy you an EPIRB, let her. It'll make her feel better and it has very little downside to have aboard.

12-21-2012 10:00 AM
Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

and the AIS/VHF is an AIS receiver only.
12-21-2012 09:52 AM
Vhf, ais

Originally Posted by IslanderGuy View Post
This is one thing I just don't understand. You can get VHF with AIS, but needs a GPS attached, you can get VFH with GPS, but no AIS, but you can't get VFH with GPS AND AIS? I've looked all over, but haven't found one yet.
That's a great questions. Especially since once company, Standard Horizon, makes those combos.

DSC VHF radio with a GPS
Welcome to
That model doesn't have the AIS receiver.

The AIS version doesn't have integrated GPS. It's not really a big deal because connecting the two is pretty simple. And now there are VHF radios with NMEA 2000 interfaces so it's really just plug and play.

12-21-2012 08:20 AM
Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
You can have both PLB and VHF w dsc for 700 who says you have to chose.

Those of you who boat in colder waters than I do most of the time, do you all carry liferafts?

Question, when you cruise Maine do you all have liferafts? Do you have survival or imersion suits?
Do you have anything special in the raft to keep you warm?


The reality of most coastal Maine "cruising" is extended day sailing. It is also true that most boats enjoying our beautiful coast do not have life rafts. A typical day's sail can easily get far enough from shore to be out of sight of land. That and or darkness / fog / storm conditions coupled with frigid water temperatures put the small boats in a critical rescue time zone regardless of how far from land they are.

All of the safety gear being discussed here deserve careful consideration. Some are not optional. VHF radios, both fixed and hand held should be aboard any boat that leaves the dock. DSC should be a minimum for the fixed radio. One without it should be a "spare". PLBs are an amazing bit of technology. I am looking for a source of the Ocean Signal RescueMe PLB to add to Christmas stockings (mine and the Admiral's). Anyone know where I can buy a couple? We carry two immersion suits, hand held VHF's and individual PLBs. We tow an inflatable and the boat has radar etc. No AIS transmitter yet!

Immersion suits and PLBs should keep us alive long enough for the rescue and show them where to find us. If I had neither and had to make a decision that was within the OPs budget I would opt for the suits.

12-20-2012 02:47 PM
Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

I think the first question is easily answered; the VHF needs input from a GPS to do its job (range to this; bearing to that; etc). Since the radio lives below deck it will need a GPS antenna in addition to the GPS 'chip'. Since most boats already have the GPS data available, the manufacturers don't bother to include any GPS functionality with the radio. Most likely the extra circuitry would be wasted when the skipper hooks up his existing chartplotter (via NMEA 0183).

It's a guess, but I think it's a good one.

12-19-2012 06:44 PM
Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

This is one thing I just don't understand. You can get VHF with AIS, but needs a GPS attached, you can get VFH with GPS, but no AIS, but you can't get VFH with GPS AND AIS? I've looked all over, but haven't found one yet.

My phone has GPS, my Camera has GPS, but they can't stick a GPS chip in a VFH along side the AIS hardware... just seems silly.

While I'm ranting why does an AIS transmitter cost so much money? It's just a digital VHF signal, like DSC isn't it? You can receive and display AIS on a <$300 dallor device that can send digital VFH signals, and has your GPS position (fed in from another GPS cause it won't fit in the VHF with the AIS chip) but to send that GPS signal out over the digital VFH airwaves is going to cost you another $700 for a transponder? Seems like a crock to me. I guess it's all still new enough they need to recover the research costs, and as time goes on, they'll likely get more integrated, perhaps I'm just to impatient.

But seriously, if anyone knows why this is I'd be very interested in a technical answer.
12-19-2012 04:31 PM
Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

Yes. I will buy a Garmin 18x GPS and hardwire it to the VHF (I see now that this wasn't clear in my post). It should serve as a backup GPS if I program a waypoint for the harbor entrance and maybe my mooring. Even without that, it will deliver latt & long; I always have paper charts.

I worry about being over reliant on the netbook because, well, Windows.

The VHF will also give me SOG and COG; I'll have to put on my glasses to see it...
12-19-2012 02:35 PM
Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

Are you aware that the GPS, AIS, and DSC features on the GX2150 rely on a GPS being connected via NMEA 0183?

The VHF does not work as a backup GPS because it has no GPS. It uses position data from another device (like your Garmin)
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