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Old 08-07-2011, 09:49   #1
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Soo many EPIRB Choices ... Please Advise

Looking for advice on an EPIRB. My head is swimming with so many choices. I barely understand the language. I see there are some with GPS...that seems pretty handy. We are new cruisers, hopefully leaving in a week as we finalize the boat. Sailing destinations are the East coast as we learn. We are on a 53 Gulfstar ketch. We will be leaving the C&D canal and heading north to Maine for awhile. Then back south. Please share your knowledge with an overwhelmed newbie...thanks.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:50   #2
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Re: Soo many EPIRB choices...please advise.

I'm interested as well, subscribed!
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:06   #3
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Re: Soo many EPIRB choices...please advise.

The really important thing is whether the EPIRB and bracket match the decor of the yacht, isn't it? <VBG>

Call a couple of the makers, ask them about the differences in their models. Take some notes. "What makes yours more durable? More reliable? More waterproof?" Can it send test messages, as many new ones can? What will battery replacement costs be? What's the warranty?

They'll all come fairly close to matching the same standard for transmission power and battery life/size, so when the other questions are asked, it will come down to costs, warranty, reputation, and of course, does it match the decor?
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:16   #4
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Re: Soo many EPIRB choices...please advise.

justdoit, You would be better served by getting the EPIRB with the GPS and the Coast Guard is encouraging boaters to upgrade. We posted the notice on our Beach House site, The Trawler Beach House: Coast Guard Urges EPIRB Owners To Upgrade . We also posted some good information on what happens when an EPIRB is activated, The Trawler Beach House: You activated your EPIRB... now what? , that might be helpful in making a decision. Stay with a well know manufacturer and an EPIRB designed for the marine environment. Chuck
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:36   #5
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Re: Soo many EPIRB choices...please advise.

Definitly go with a EPIRB with a GPS in it.
Then when it goes off the rescue authorities know exactly where you are.
And it up dates your exact postition as you float around.

If venturing further, a Sat Phone to order in Pizza while you wait.




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Old 08-07-2011, 12:57   #6
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Re: Soo many EPIRB choices...please advise.

EPIRB with GPS definitely -- it means a significantly faster response time. But don't confuse that with the new way overpriced EPIRBS that are ALSO a GPS (with a screen and all). Check out the McMurdo G5 (I see it for $600 on google shop now but got it for @450-500 last year).
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Old 08-07-2011, 13:25   #7
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Re: Soo many EPIRB choices...please advise.

When buying an EPIRB last year, my criteria were:
- a GPS receiver
- the possibility for the owner to change the batteries him/herself without returning the beacon to the factory.

I opted for the Kannad Safelink Manual. I didn't select the "hydrostatic release" option because of the price and the lack of a suitable location on deck. I saved more than 200€ by buying last year instead of waiting .

Since I already had a MMSI, I just had to send a copy of my license to the supplier for him to encode the MMSI in the beacon. Then, I just sent an email with the beacon serial number to the French authority in charge of radio licenses, and I got a new one in the mail after a few days .

Alain
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Old 08-07-2011, 14:29   #8
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Re: Soo many EPIRB choices...please advise.

I have an ARC EPIRB/GPS and would not buy another one. It was non-functional when tested and support/repair was unsatisfactory.

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Old 08-07-2011, 14:38   #9
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Re: Soo many EPIRB choices...please advise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viking Sailor View Post
I have an ARC EPIRB/GPS and would not buy another one. It was non-functional when tested and support/repair was unsatisfactory.

On the other hand I've had nothing but good luck with my ACR PLB. I lost one overboard in the gulf attached to a PFD with a dog tag that had my DL. After almost a month (long story) I got it back and the thing passed a full factory test. ACR does not support user repairs, so don't open it. If it breaks it has to go to them.

As other have stated get the GPS model. Be sure to register it and update you float plan as SAR does look at that if there is an activation.

Bill
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Old 08-07-2011, 15:21   #10
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Re: Soo many EPIRB choices...please advise.

This site has some really good information on EPIRBs/PLBs. I doubt they review all available brands, but their reviews are very thorough.

http://www.equipped.org

They also have a fair amount of other Marine specific information that is interesting:

http://www.equipped.org/marinetoc.htm
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Old 08-07-2011, 15:49   #11
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Re: Soo many EPIRB choices...please advise.

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Originally Posted by Snore View Post
On the other hand I've had nothing but good luck with my ACR PLB. I lost one overboard in the gulf attached to a PFD with a dog tag that had my DL. After almost a month (long story) I got it back and the thing passed a full factory test. ACR does not support user repairs, so don't open it. If it breaks it has to go to them.

As other have stated get the GPS model. Be sure to register it and update you float plan as SAR does look at that if there is an activation.

Bill
No user repairs. Returned to ACR unopened for repair. I hope yours works when you need it.

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