We had a Kannad/McMurdo automatic one on board when we bought the boat. However battery
life was past its sell by date, although the test still showed some juice. To replace battery was outrageous, roughly the same as buying
a new one. We decided to plump for two new PLBs from Kannad ~250$ instead so we now have potentially 3 EPIRBS on board. The personal ones are only rated for 24 hours instead of the boat’s one which is 48 hours but operate globally in the same way. Registration was a breeze and we put in our sail plan in the notes section on the online registration site.
In addition to this we also bought two tiny Kannad personal AIS
(~250) which we carry on us for MOB
type situations. We did a live test of these when we were in the middle of the Caribbean
and are happy with the results. AIS
plotter alarmed although MOB
target icon used by Raymarine
looked like another boat.
We see the AIS stuff as localised MOB to get you back to the boat or a nearby boat and the EPERB as being catastrophic event that may take hours or days to be responded to. I guess if we had to abandon ship we would set all of them off so emergency
services would think less likely it was a false alarm
and then after a couple of hours leave only one on until battery died and then cycle onto the next one.
As to which is the best… I worry that the boat one may get tangled up with stuff and be separated from the people but then if you only have one probably better to have a centralised floating boat one. At 250$ though for the personal ones and 250 for the AIS I see this as within reach for everyone to carry both of them and also useful when you sail on other people’s boats.