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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

For near coastal I think a PLB is a reasonable alternative at a much lower cost. A chartplotter/ais is nice, but only addresses one of many possible causes of being in an emergency. But the beacons can be used in other life saving situations, even when the boat isn't a loss. For instance if you happen to get rolled and loose your engine and rigging, a PLB is a good way to avoid the long slow drift across the Atlantic.

You also need to go over the maintenance list above, and install jacklines and harnesses. These and a emergency beacon do different but equally important jobs.
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  #12  
Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

Hello,

Personally, I would (and did) go with the SPOT tracker.
SPOT SPOT II GPS Satellite Messenger at West Marine

It's cheap to buy (about $100) and has been proven to be effective. If you pay for the yearly service you can send a message to Mum so she knows you are OK. She can also track your progress if you (and she) like.

No, it's not an EPIRB, but for coastal use *I* think it's an effective, cheaper, alternative.

Barry
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Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
For near coastal I think a PLB is a reasonable alternative at a much lower cost. A chartplotter/ais is nice, but only addresses one of many possible causes of being in an emergency. ...
I was talking about a VHS with DSC capability and AIS not a Chartplotter/AIS.


The DSC VHS will send to a coastal station and to all boats in range a Mayday signal with the identification of your boat and the GPS position. The main difference with an Epirb is that while this one works for satellite transmission and has an unlimited range the DSC range is limited to the range of your boat VHS and eventually to the possibility of relay Mayday.

Regards

Paulo
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Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

Lightening strike, fire, loss of your antennae, loss of your electrical system all would incapacitate your DSC VHF radio (the AIS part really doesn't matter for the purpose of this discussion - any DSC radio will offer the same benefit).

The beacons are self contained - they are not subject to whatever problems the boat might be suffering from. And, they can go into the dink, raft or drink with you.

PLB's serve important additional MOB functions.
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Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blowinstink View Post
Lightening strike, fire, loss of your antennae, loss of your electrical system all would incapacitate your DSC VHF radio (the AIS part really doesn't matter for the purpose of this discussion - any DSC radio will offer the same benefit).

The beacons are self contained - they are not subject to whatever problems the boat might be suffering from. And, they can go into the dink, raft or drink with you.

PLB's serve important additional MOB functions.
A PLB, if it has a GPS integrated, is just a smaller Epirb, not as expensive but expensive anyway (more than half the price) and the only inconvenient is a smaller time of signal emission. That can only be a problem if you sail far away from the coast and if takes a lot of time to get there.

I agree that it is better then a DSC but it is all a question of price. If price is not an objection just buy a Class one Epirb and have also a smaller PLB

A radio is needed on the boat anyway and if one wants to renew it's old radio than a DSC is better than nothing and a lot cheaper. I only talked about some having an AIS because then it is even cheaper, I mean regarding having to buy a separated AIS receiver.

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Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

I don't understand what good a PLB or SPOT is going to do, if you're floating in 50 degree water. Neither are going to get help to you very quickly. Help recover your body?
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Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

Thanks for all the replies.

I didn't think I could get an EPIRB for $400; that pretty much settles it.

It is her money, I wanted to be sure I'm not wasting it. A beacon will help her sleep at night and in a pinch it very well might make the difference between a good story and no more stories at all.
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Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

Far better value to get the AIS.

Mummy's little girl won't be squashed by a ship then

The proviso here is that you are staying WITHIN the Coast Guard VHF range, ie the USA coast to 20 nms. (Op also says its only a few times per year, mainly day sailing etc in sight of shore, some over night era, in sight of lights on shore)

The reason I say this is that all those Coast Guard AIS stations RECORD where you are all the time, of you have AIS.

So if things get bad and you need to call the Coast Guard on VHF they have you on AIS anyway (till you sink ) or by cell phone which appears to be the CGs preferred contact option!

EPIRB is fine. PLB is better for that coastal region on a cost benefit ratio (unlike what someone said they are registered to the boat, not a person. I know, I have one registered in the USA).

But if you only have one $700 present go the AIS, IMHO.

AIS can save your life EVERY time you go out. EPIRB can save your life on fewer occasions in fewer circumstances.

Also with IS if you are close to port Mom can see you on the Internet.
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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 11-25-2012 at 04:54 PM.
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Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarbonSink62 View Post
.....it very well might make the difference between a good story and no more stories at all.
Look up the average response time to a SARSAT ident.

Cold water immersion is a much bigger risk off the coast of Maine.

If you're only trying to send a note to Mom to let her know you are okay, but aren't trying to survive abandoning ship, a $150 SPOT is the way to go.
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Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Do I Need an EPIRB?

Quote:
You mean that DSC is not mandatory in the US for pleasure coastal boats? It is on Europe for several years
No its not and they serve a sperate purpose than an EPIRB.

DISC is when you stay with the vessel, and cannot be used once the veseel sinks or has been abdandoned. EPIRB can be used for both.

I would go for a personal EPIRB
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