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I went through the same process/questions a bit over a year ago.

I was shocked by the cost of replacing batteries! AND, on top of that they would only do it ONCE on my EPIRB. So after the initial cost and 1 HIGH COST battery replacement I had a brick.

I regretted not purchasing one that was designed for self replacement batteries. They were for sale, but I didn't go that way.

I then looked into the PLBs. I could get a full new unit for less than the price of a battery!

I looked into my crystal ball and saw that we were not going to cross an ocean during the next couple of years and decided to deactivate (by form on-line) our unit.

This year we cruised the Gulf of Mexico coast (for almost 6 months) and were within sight of land and within VHF FM range, so went without.

Our next cruising plans may take us off shore (but not crossing an ocean) so, we will purchase 2 PLBs, one for each of us. They will attach to our PFDs and harnesses so will be better than a manual EPIRB on the boat which is NO HELP if one goes overboard.

Now days, with the SPOT and InReach and PLBs, the EPIRB may be a shrinking market.

I'm a big supporter of "the proper tool for the job" way of thinking. ;)

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