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Discussion Starter #1
I am planning a trip down the intercoastal from lake champlain to florida and then to the bahamas I think I should purchase an EPIRB what are the differances personal? a? b?why wide price diff? need some advice
 

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I'd rather be sailing
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I'm currently doing the trip from Champlain to FL, although it looks like we're getting off the ICW moving forward and taking offshore jumps. On Friday we head out from Beaufort NC to Charleston SC. I'd be more than happy to share anything about our trip with you if you'd like. We started at Willsboro Bay on Lake Champlain, and will be continuing on to FL, the Bahamas, and then I don't know where.

Are you wondering what the difference is between PLB's and EPIRB's? Check out this link for a description of EPIRB's and PLB's: EMERGENCY BEACONS
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thank you for the info. I guess a plb although less expense, especially after feb 2009, wont cut the mustard. I have also seen recently a gps locator wich reqires a yearly subscription any one know anything about these.I also check ed out your blog, I have run accross it before, great work! I will be heading out myself in the spring will be watching your progress where did you step your mast? where do you plan to spend hurricane season?
 

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moderate?
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Coljolys...the subscription thing is probably the SPOT locator which is really cool for family and friends to follow along...but nothing like a real EPIRB for safety.
I think you are smart to get an EPIRB for any offshore jumps and for the Bahamas.
Welcome aboard.
 

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Nearly an Old Salt
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In practice , Theres very little difference between small boat EPIRBs and PLB's The main difference become more noticable for SOLAS speced EPRIBs or big ship EPIRBS. in practice a non-float free EPIRB and a PLB are very similar. I have a ACR PLB and a ACR EPIRB, eitehr is a good investment.

I guess a plb although less expense, especially after feb 2009, wont cut the mustard
I'm not aware that any modern PLB use the 121Mhz freq, there all 406, in fact I dont think PLB's ever used it. The aircraft ones did but not PLBs. You comment is really valid in regards to modern PLB ( ie anything in th last couple of years)
 

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Grasshopper
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If you don't need an EPIRB all the time, you can rent one from BoatUS. I rented one for a trip from San Francisco to San Diego, and the cost was $125.00 for a month. BoatUS will ship the EPIRB to any address you want, and you ship it back to them in the same box...it comes with a BoatUS return address label. Shipping was fast and easy.
 

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There was an excellent thread here a couple of weeks ago discussing the relative merits of EPIRB vs SPOT from all angles. They are complementary, in my view. EPIRB is part of the official international GMDSS emergency system.
 

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Telstar 28
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Renting an EPIRB is a possible solution, but shipping it back from a foreign country can be an issue... A friend was trying to rent one for a delivery of a boat from Fairhaven to Halifax, and there was no reasonable way to ship it back to BoatUS from Canada due to customs and such. Also, the battery in an EPIRB is sometimes classified as hazardous materials.

The main differences between an EPIRB and a PLB are:

Run time: An EPIRB will generally run 48 hours, a PLB 24.

Registration
: An EPIRB is registered to a specific vessel and has a description of the vessel, including make, model, size, color, normal complement of crew, etc. A PLB is registered to an individual.

Operation
: An EPIRB will work even if in the water, and generally are designed to float. A PLB often has to be held out of the water for it to function properly.

Strobe: An EPIRB has a strobe built-into the unit, which can make being spotted at night much simpler. A PLB does not.

My recommendation is to get a GPIRB, which is an EPIRB with an integrated GPS. This is far superior to one that is connected to a GPS externally. The reason for this is that the GPIRB will update the GPS location information as it continues to broadcast, a regular EPIRB will not—it will generally just broadcast the last known GPS coordinates. If you had the boat's GPS off at the time of abandoning ship, the EPIRB may not have any location information to broadcast at all—where a GPIRB will generally get GPS information within a few minutes of being activated and transmit it as soon as it has it.
 

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Grasshopper
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Interesting, I didn't know that.

Renting an EPIRB is a possible solution, but shipping it back from a foreign country can be an issue... A friend was trying to rent one for a delivery of a boat from Fairhaven to Halifax, and there was no reasonable way to ship it back to BoatUS from Canada due to customs and such. Also, the battery in an EPIRB is sometimes classified as hazardous materials.

The main differences between an EPIRB and a PLB are:

Run time: An EPIRB will generally run 48 hours, a PLB 24.

Registration
: An EPIRB is registered to a specific vessel and has a description of the vessel, including make, model, size, color, normal complement of crew, etc. A PLB is registered to an individual.

Operation
: An EPIRB will work even if in the water, and generally are designed to float. A PLB often has to be held out of the water for it to function properly.

Strobe: An EPIRB has a strobe built-into the unit, which can make being spotted at night much simpler. A PLB does not.

My recommendation is to get a GPIRB, which is an EPIRB with an integrated GPS. This is far superior to one that is connected to a GPS externally. The reason for this is that the GPIRB will update the GPS location information as it continues to broadcast, a regular EPIRB will not—it will generally just broadcast the last known GPS coordinates. If you had the boat's GPS off at the time of abandoning ship, the EPIRB may not have any location information to broadcast at all—where a GPIRB will generally get GPS information within a few minutes of being activated and transmit it as soon as it has it.
 

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SD and the group...

correction - with the correct PLB and battery (And yes they are "hazardous"), they will go 48 hours and can have the strobe...

One other thing, most epirbs float and auto-activate...the PLBs need to be turned on to activate, thus suggested to attach to your PFD...

other wise go with the Epirb

PLB coastal and nearer, when someone on the contact list you provide when registered, knows you, your boat and your plans.

Epirb anywhere else you go and especially if you don't leave plans with anyone, for sure if you are offshore or extended cruise.

dave
 

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old guy :)
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Coljolys...the subscription thing is probably the SPOT locator which is really cool for family and friends to follow along...but nothing like a real EPIRB for safety.
I think you are smart to get an EPIRB for any offshore jumps and for the Bahamas.
Welcome aboard.
Hi all

Personal opinion only - not questioning anyone else's opinion.

Having personally talked with CG and SARs folks, for a run down the coast, I feel that for me a DSC VHF and a SPOT satellite messenger are by far our best option. ( SPOT SATELLITE MESSENGER :: HOME PAGE )

*** I am not in any way associated with the company ***

For the Bahamas for sure and "maybe" the Caribbean - it would still be my choice.

If we were crossing "the pond" I would want a boat twice our boat's size, sat phone, EPIRBs, sat internet, SSB and anything else I could find. Probably just cheaper to get a couple of first class tickets on United or some other carrier and go to the Med that way.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Cheers
 

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Telstar 28
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No, PLBs are like EPIRBs in that they're free to use, but can only be used in an emergency. The Spot Messenger uses a different set of satellites, the GlobalStar satellite phone satellites IIRC, and not the SARSAT/COPSAS satellite network and has less coverage because of that.
Are PLB & spot the same thing?
Do all PLB's require a subscription?
 

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Telstar 28
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Just curious, who makes a PLB that goes 48 hours and has a strobe???

SD and the group...

correction - with the correct PLB and battery (And yes they are "hazardous"), they will go 48 hours and can have the strobe...

One other thing, most epirbs float and auto-activate...the PLBs need to be turned on to activate, thus suggested to attach to your PFD...

other wise go with the Epirb

PLB coastal and nearer, when someone on the contact list you provide when registered, knows you, your boat and your plans.

Epirb anywhere else you go and especially if you don't leave plans with anyone, for sure if you are offshore or extended cruise.

dave
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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Renting an EPIRB is a possible solution, but shipping it back from a foreign country can be an issue... A friend was trying to rent one for a delivery of a boat from Fairhaven to Halifax, and there was no reasonable way to ship it back to BoatUS from Canada due to customs and such. Also, the battery in an EPIRB is sometimes classified as hazardous materials.
That may be the case. However, I took an EPIRB from Washington Dulles through Copenhagen to Goteberg in 2006 with no issues. The MaxProp I was carrying was a problem, but the EPIRB was not.

I'd check with the folks at Puget Sound Inflatables ( life-raft.com ) about shipping.
 
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