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Old 24-07-2014, 20:46   #31
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

Yes its 2 years for all hydrostatic releases. YMMV but i think they are expensive.

Have a look at Ocean Signal EPIRBs, user changeable battery and nicely engineered.
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Old 24-07-2014, 20:58   #32
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
My opinions are:
Cruising sailboats don't have many suitable locations for mounting of unit. They will open be caught by various lines and sheets etc.
They are subject to the elements, especially UV and may require replacement due to mechancial damage long before the battery storage life expires.
A sinking sailboat has many obstacles around the cockpit / decks that can trap a float free unit and take it to the bottom.
A capsizing sail boat would almost certainly activate a cat 1 unit even though the vessel is still seaworthy and able to make landfall unassisted but now the beacon is lost and activated.
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Old 24-07-2014, 22:13   #33
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

I am also in the 2 PLB's instead of 1 EPIRB camp because electronic equipment on boats doesn't always work - no matter the manufacturer's claims.

I am always surprised that the EPIRB boosters don't carry two EPIRBS. It shows a remarkable confidence that a complicated piece of electronic equipment will actually work when desperately needed (with I think one exception, there's no "radio check" for EPIRBS where you can confirm reception of a signal)
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Old 24-07-2014, 22:39   #34
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

To really stir the pot, I'd recommend purchasing a Delorme Inreach before a EPIRB or PLB (although as mentioned, I like redundancy so carry two PLB plus an Inreach)

The Inreach offers the features of an EPIRB such as waterproof, long battery life, worldwide coverage (Iridium), staffed emergency center, GPS coordinates transmitted with the message..

But adds:

Two way communications (160 character text messages) so that you can communicate the nature of the problem and receive instructions.

Improved chance of recovery since rescuers can be told how many people and ages, injuries, an accurate description of the vessel, sea conditions, estimated time afloat, etc

Visual confirmation that the message was received by the satellite (typically under 1 minute)

Non-emergency offshore communication to any email address or smartphone - and as anyone under 30 can demonstrate, all necessary human communication can best be accomplished in 160 character units.

Can be realistically tested (by sending a message to someone) as often as you want without starting a rescue effort or worrying family members.

Rescue personnel don't have to delay the rescue while confirming that it was not an accidental activation (since two way communication is possible)

The InReach only costs $300. There's a $15/month fee but it only needs to be paid in months when you plan to be offshore.
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Old 25-07-2014, 02:58   #35
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

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The box protects from UV, it activates I believe at 4' plus or minus. I think the activation part requires replacement pretty frequently, mine I think is two years, but it's not very expensive. I keep mine just under the stairs in the companionway as I've not found a good place to mount it for the same concerns you mention, so I'm not using it's Cat 1 capability.
On GG's motoryacht though with as many kids as there are aboard etc., I still think a Cat 1 is warrantied as she will have her hands full dealing with the kids etc. and it's one less thing to worry about. Just like in a big motoryacht I'd want an deck mounted liferaft too.
I've far more experience with powerboats than sailing boats
Yes, all good points - I concur
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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
I do note the smiley face

However let me add :
My quoted post was in response to A64pilot's direct question rather than the OP - classic thread drift I know

I never know what the sub-forum is for any post; I just check the new posts every day (or so) - I wonder if there is anyone else doing it this way

Am I the only sailing boat reader reading this thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
To really stir the pot, I'd recommend purchasing a Delorme Inreach before a EPIRB or PLB (although as mentioned, I like redundancy so carry two PLB plus an Inreach)

The Inreach offers the features of an EPIRB such as waterproof, long battery life, worldwide coverage (Iridium), staffed emergency center, GPS coordinates transmitted with the message..

But adds:

Two way communications (160 character text messages) so that you can communicate the nature of the problem and receive instructions.

Improved chance of recovery since rescuers can be told how many people and ages, injuries, an accurate description of the vessel, sea conditions, estimated time afloat, etc

Visual confirmation that the message was received by the satellite (typically under 1 minute)

Non-emergency offshore communication to any email address or smartphone - and as anyone under 30 can demonstrate, all necessary human communication can best be accomplished in 160 character units.

Can be realistically tested (by sending a message to someone) as often as you want without starting a rescue effort or worrying family members.

Rescue personnel don't have to delay the rescue while confirming that it was not an accidental activation (since two way communication is possible)

The InReach only costs $300. There's a $15/month fee but it only needs to be paid in months when you plan to be offshore.
I hear you!
In my head, the jury is still out when comparing this technology to the COSPAS SARSAT EPIRB technology!

I understand there is only one Inreach staffed emergency centre but there are many many staffed emergency centres for the COSPAS SARSAT system - each major country has it's own RCC complete with "local" knowledge and direct assess to local SAR assets.

Still, the Inreach system has a lot of plus points - at least on paper!
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Old 25-07-2014, 06:51   #36
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

None of the in reach, Spot type of products are emergency devices, yes they can be used as such just like a milk jug will float, but I'm not depending on a milk jug to be my PFD nor will I expect one of these things to save my life.

It's a little funny, I used to be quite the "back country pilot", I stop short of calling myself a bush pilot as those guys do it for a living and I did it for recreation, but the exact same arguments go in with them as we have here in sailing. PLB's vs ELT's and Spot / Inreach etc.

Stu,
I'm bad about thread drift, it's usually me that does it, but I'm easy to drag back on course, sorry about that.
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Old 25-07-2014, 09:30   #37
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

KTI's marketing makes me wonder. Double the battery shelf life would mean a new battery technology/chemistry. Or, a higher voltage pack (bigger) with the technology to extract it. Either way it is curious they make no mention of how they are doubling the shelf life.

Their waterproofing spec of "greater than 3 meters" is backwards. I don't want to know it can take more than 3 meters, I want to know when it fails. 3-1/2? 4? 5? In the US market, waterproofing claims have to say at what depth a product fails.

Then there's their GPS initial fix time, rated as zero. Zero? Not possible. All chipsets need some time when they've been off and traveling, typically at least one minute for the first cold start, and actually, about 17 minutes before they get a full data set from the satellites.

Sounds all great, nifty, and innovative, but it also sounds like marketing filters have been applied.

a64-
Speaking of filters, a deck mounted life raft canister needs to be filtered to the world of small craft. Every report or study I've seen, says that deck-mounted life rafts on small craft (including 50' sailboats) tend to get ripped off and washed overboard, making them unavailable to the crew when needed.

Best practice is apparently to mount them literally in a niche in the bridge deck, or under the helm seat, etc. where they are on deck but not above deck level. And if you've got no locker built in like that...then it is below deck. In GG's case she'd need a minimum 6-man raft, which is problematic for one adult to carry up from below. Custom locker time.
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Old 25-07-2014, 09:57   #38
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

Raft wise in her case I'd say either two six man or a single 12 man, because you not getting six people in a six man raft anymore than a camper that says it will sleep 12,can.
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Old 25-07-2014, 10:08   #39
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

A64

Internationally recognized/approved but outdated emergency signaling devices include a burning tar barrel, an upside down flag, and a gun fired at one minute intervals. The EPIRB technology is over 40 years old. While a huge step forward in 1982 it has serious weaknesses (one way communications, decentralized database/administration, and location only information).

It's just a matter of time (10 years? 20 years?) until the EPRIB takes it's place beside the burning tar barrel.

Do you still use a kapok filled PFD?
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Old 25-07-2014, 10:28   #40
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

For me, where I'm cruising, what kind of other safety gear I have on board, how many people, etc. may all affect what I feel I need or don't need in an EPIRB.

When cruising the Bahamas, having an inflatable, a gps, a cell phone, a hand held VHF, for me was adequate. I felt it very unlikely I would not be able hail someone in fairly short order.

When sailing solo through the Caribbean and back to the States, which I knew would be a one-time thing, I opted for a personal epirb. It was just as cheap as renting, and I can use it for backcountry trips as well.

If I was going to be crossing oceans a few times over the next few years, I'd have chosen something different.
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Old 25-07-2014, 10:30   #41
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

a64-
One adult plus five children will leave a 6-man raft under-ballasted and unstable in storm conditions. See the various online in-water reviews. While it might make very expensive sense to have more capability for more crew, it could be a very bad thing to put six people, even six adults, in a 12-man raft. Or even to split them between two sixes.
Among the many good reasons never to get into a raft, until the other boat has gone under.

Needing one 6man raft and buying two? Serious budget breaker.
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Old 25-07-2014, 13:26   #42
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Re: EPIRB thoughts?

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If you can change a flat tire or the battery in your watch (Grandpa, did you really need batteries in your watch?!) you can probably also replace the battery in an EPIRB for under $50-75, and if the seals are good and your work is good, there's no risk in that. Even if you decide to replace the whole thing with a more modern one, it can be worth changing the battery in the old one and keeping it aboard as a backup/spare.

Unless, of course, the manufacturer has literally welded the whole thing closed, which ensures better waterproofing but also makes it impossible to easily replace the battery.
I've rebuilt the battery pack on an ACR unit and it is more complex than either of these tasks.

You cannot buy the complete pack so must rebuild using tabbed lithium batteries by soldering into the pack with very tight tolerances. Must also attach/replace thermal fuses and blocking diodes by hand.
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Old 25-07-2014, 13:43   #43
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

belize-
Your mileage may vary, as they say.

On my ACR the entire pack unplugs, and a new pack (of 3 "D" size lithium cells) complete with the same connector can be bought for under $60. Plug, unplug.

Some vendors only sell cells, other will ship a complete pack. I'd expect the NiCad Lady or Bulldog Battery could and would both sell you a new pack, already made up, or replace the entire old one.

Blocking diodes and other complications, again will vary by the unit. Mine had no widgets hanging in free space, just a plug to unplug. Some folks know how to solder, others know how to trim sails. You tell me, which is harder? Dunno.
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Old 25-07-2014, 19:04   #44
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
KTI's marketing makes me wonder. Double the battery shelf life would mean a new battery technology/chemistry. Or, a higher voltage pack (bigger) with the technology to extract it. Either way it is curious they make no mention of how they are doubling the shelf life.

Their waterproofing spec of "greater than 3 meters" is backwards. I don't want to know it can take more than 3 meters, I want to know when it fails. 3-1/2? 4? 5? In the US market, waterproofing claims have to say at what depth a product fails.
...............
Battery Life - there is a third way
Halve the current draw and you get double the life

This is the modern way

Waterproofing - At least this tells us it will always be good up to 3 metres
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Old 25-07-2014, 21:34   #45
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Re: EPIRB Thoughts?

Further to the KTI battery life; it seems to my untrained eye that the physical size of the unit is similar to older style EPRIBs so perhaps they have opted for a larger but modern battery technology as well as having lower current drain.

Just an opinion!
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