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Old 11-04-2010, 13:31   #31
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Originally Posted by Bash View Post

I'd certainly prefer seeing more boaters have devices such as this one aboard rather than the current situation where so many people go to sea without EPIRBS because of how ridiculously expensive they are.

Bottom line is that a PLB doubles as an EPIRB a lot better than an EPIRB doubles as a PLB.
And I'd certainly prefer seeing more boaters understand there might be a reason why an EPIRB is required by some maritime authoties, not a PLB.

If one needs an EPIRB, the price is not 'ridiculously' (quoted) high - remember your life will be saved for free (read - cost paid by the tax-payer). If one does not like the ridiculous (?) price of an EPIRB, then I would suggest sailing without one and then volunteering to pay the rescue costs.

Bottom line is a PLB does not double as an EPIRB. PLBs are great but they should not be the way to go where an EPIRB is required. Well, whatever, two lines ;-)

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Old 11-04-2010, 13:56   #32
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I think the two terms are just about interchangeable.

Not all EPIRBS/PLBs float, have GPS, long battery life etc.
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Old 11-04-2010, 15:17   #33
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let's try some sober thinking here

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
And I'd certainly prefer seeing more boaters understand there might be a reason why an EPIRB is required by some maritime authoties, not a PLB.

If one needs an EPIRB, the price is not 'ridiculously' (quoted) high - remember your life will be saved for free (read - cost paid by the tax-payer). If one does not like the ridiculous (?) price of an EPIRB, then I would suggest sailing without one and then volunteering to pay the rescue costs.

Bottom line is a PLB does not double as an EPIRB. PLBs are great but they should not be the way to go where an EPIRB is required. Well, whatever, two lines ;-)

b.
First, very few maritime authorities require recreational vessels to carry an EPIRB. My understanding is that those who do legislate such requirements accept PLB systems as fulfilling the requirements. The regulations are satisfied once the user has registered a 406 MHz beacon.

Second, EPIRB systems are no longer all that high tech. It's a 5-watt transmitter, for goodness sake, powered by lithium batteries. Add a $20 GPS chip and they charge an additional $400. If such systems were being manufactured for anything other than marine/aviation use, they would cost about 25% as much. Ask yourself why the SPOT satellite tracking system--not intended for marine use--retails for $99 while the MSRP on top-end EPIRBs hovers around $1,500.

Third, the suggestion that those who sail without EPIRBs should volunteer to pay rescue costs is a bit disingenuous. Funding for both the satellite system and the rescue systems come from tax dollars, not from sales of EPIRB devices. Further, the argument assumes that it will cost more to rescue a vessel that launched a flare than a vessel that set off an EPIRB.
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Old 12-04-2010, 00:27   #34
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First, very few maritime authorities require recreational vessels to carry an EPIRB. My understanding is that those who do legislate such requirements accept PLB systems as fulfilling the requirements. The regulations are satisfied once the user has registered a 406 MHz beacon.
.....
Hmm.... I can think of seven right away that require the carriage of an EPRIB once you are 2nm offshore and where a PLB does not meet the requirement.

I concede there are plenty more than 7 maritime authorities around the world but if I know 7 then I am sure there are plenty of others that have similar requirements.
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:07   #35
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where a PLB does not meet the requirement.

.
I think the EPIRB/PLB difference is just battery time. EPIRBs must have at least 48 hours and PLBs at least 24 hours.
The new ACR's have "Typical performance: 35 Hours @ -4°F (-20°C) Longer in higher ambient temperatures"

Well, in 20 degree C waters thats gunna close in on the 48 hours.
ACR Products
I do understand that "Typical Performance" is not "rated" performance etc.

When we were inspected by some over zealous water policeman in Australia we showed him our unit and he said it was fine.

If it doesn't meet the letter of the law in some countries then it complies with my law as a resuce plane would get anywhere within 24 hours.

As we have only been inspected in one country in all the ones we have gone through (Australia) I feel that it would be unlikely to 'get into trouble' form a more over zealous official!

I want to buy another one so we have multiple GPS PLBs to eventually have one each (attached to us) and one for the boat.

And the thing to direction find the boat back to the MOB.



We each must spend our precious money in the best manner we see fit.. sometimes that does appear to others to go against ColRegs or a law in some territory. I would LOVE to have the money to fully set up this boat with safety equipment: Brand new Liferaft, multiple EPIRBS (with GPS), Integrated sat Phones with data, those buttons each member can wear that if they go overboard sends an alarm out/stops the boat etc. I would LOVE it all. But the bucks just aint there.


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Old 12-04-2010, 02:53   #36
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Quote:
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I think the EPIRB/PLB difference is just battery time. EPIRBs must have at least 48 hours and PLBs at least 24 hours.
There some other differences as mentioned previously on various CF threads; some obvious ones like requirement to float, have a lanyard etc and also some technical differences like antenna type and radiation pattern but you point is valid insofar as there are no BIG differences apart from battery time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
When we were inspected by some over zealous water policeman in Australia we showed him our unit and he said it was fine.

If it doesn't meet the letter of the law in some countries then it complies with my law as a resuce plane would get anywhere within 24 hours.

As we have only been inspected in one country in all the ones we have gone through (Australia) I feel that it would be unlikely to 'get into trouble' form a more over zealous official!
Guess you haven't meet up with our western water wallopers...a PLB won't cut the mustard with them here if a EPIRB is required.
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Old 12-04-2010, 03:58   #37
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Barnakiel...I'm with you
Why have it if it isn't going to the best job possible when your life is at risk...a few bucks compared to the possibility of a long time dead ?
like buying anchors...I always have the biggest I can handle/carry/stow
We've just had a safety inspection for Categopry 1 Offshore and the inspector seemed to have the imoression that I'd gone a bit overboard (sic) BUT from my point of view if X is specified as minimium , then I'd rather have 2X or 3X...there's no tow trucks out there !
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Old 12-04-2010, 06:58   #38
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Barnakiel...I'm with you
Why have it if it isn't going to the best job possible when your life is at risk...a few bucks compared to the possibility of a long time dead ...
Indeed!
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:34   #39
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These discussions are always funny to me. Rather than weighing the attributes of the two options, a number of people always rush to claim that using one in lieu of the other is irresponsible or downright wrong. Let's not forget that either option will greatly increase your probability of survival. Unless you are going very far offshore, even 24 hours of battery life for a device to broadcast a rather accurate position is going to be beneficial in the waters surrounding the US.

Some of you know that I'm a USCG helicopter pilot- My post here is SIMPLY A MATTER OF MY OWN OPINION- NOT ONE OF THE COAST GUARD! That being said- if you have a positive position being broadcast, and you are within 100 miles of the coast (which 99.9% of us are 99.9% of the time), we'll get to you pretty quickly. If you're farther than that, you might see a plane circling overhead for a while searching for you before the helicopter arrives. Remember- we fly A LOT faster than you sail, and we don't even need to tack!

Any equipment that helps save your life is worth having- You might be surprised to hear that I carry a 121.5 MHz transmitter every I fly, sail, or paddle.

Jeff
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Old 15-04-2010, 09:28   #40
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EPRIB and PLB technology may be converging but personally, I don't really care what the law requires. That's the absolute minimum. As far as I'm concerned the extra $600 or so spent on a decent EPIRB is well worth it, far more than any other boating item I can think of. Look folks, EPIRBS and PLB are just not the same thing RIGHT NOW (battery life, construction, reliability etc.) You can indeed get away with using a PLB instead of an EPIRB in near shore conditions, but if you're going offshore is that really the area you want to play thrifty? Sorry, not for me it ain't. Are EPIRBs expensive. Sure. Could they be cheaper? You betcha. Is it a pain in the ass to have to spend that money when you could be buying mojitos or rum punches instead? Absolutely. Will I spend the money anyway? Most certainly.

I'm going to annoy you some more and say that an offshore boat 30-40ft needs at a 6-person OFFSHORE rated liferaft, in addition to a backup mini life raft and ideally a backup epirb (or plb)

I once saw a boater deploy a light liferaft in the middle of a storm as his boat was going under...and I watched it simply blow away in the wind. The middle of the ocean can be a very, very loney place in those circumstances. If we weren't there, he would have tread water for about 15 minues before hypothermia kicked in. 20 tops. Any aircraft flying over head hours later would have found a cold, lifeless body bobbing around. Remember, those are the stakes we're talking about here. Need I spell it out? D-E-A-T-H. Now, how much is YOUR life worth?
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Old 15-04-2010, 10:09   #41
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you say tomato...

Take a look at ACR's "beacon comparison" product chart...

Untitled Document

When I bought my ACR, they called it an EPIRB. Then they called the same model a PLB.

What matters is features - floating or not, battery life etc. Buy what you want, but I wouldn't get hung up on the semantics
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Old 15-04-2010, 10:21   #42
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Need I spell it out? D-E-A-T-H. Now, how much is YOUR life worth?
You should be making viking deluxe liferaft ads really
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Old 15-04-2010, 11:01   #43
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this is precisely the sort of rhetoric...

Quote:
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Need I spell it out? D-E-A-T-H. Now, how much is YOUR life worth?
...that EPIRB manufacturers love to hear. Why does a 6-man liferaft cost so much more than a 9-man river raft? D-E-A-T-H! Why does a 5-watt EPIRB with GPS cost so much more than a 5-watt VHF with GPS? D-E-A-T-H!

A consumer has just published an opinion on this forum that despite the fact that EPIRBS are overpriced he'll gladly pay the price in order to avoid D-E-A-T-H. Great; that's gonna help bring the prices down.

Hmmmm. We've also heard, from none other than a USCG helicopter rescue pilot, that in 99.9% of rescue situations, a PLB would work fine.

Hmmmm.
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Old 15-04-2010, 18:22   #44
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Now imagine you have a limited budget. (yes, I know, hard to imagine;-). Say you can buy the plb/epirb OR a new set of turnbuckles. Say you go for the epirb (safety first!!!) then go on a passage and shake off the rig ...

I have seen too many boats with EPIRBs / liferafts / etcetera and poor condition standing rigging than one could ever wish for ... Some of them did not make it to the other side. Do not worry though - the crews have been rescued.

:-( ? :-) ?

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Old 15-04-2010, 18:38   #45
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Barnkiel,
That's a fair point. How does it go??? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

...And Cyrus, I agree with you about life raft. They aren't all equal and it is important to have the right one for your needs.

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