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Old 13-06-2018, 18:21   #1
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EPIRB Choices,types,what to select?

Hi,in the process of outfitting and now have to decide on what type of EPIRB to install.
Please note the question,I decided to install it/them?and do not ask if is necessary etc.
On the EPIRB I was stunned when looking at all the choices available!!!
back in 1997 was very simple,went to WestMarine and picked a big orange contraption that placed on a bracket supplied by the companionway.
Now the variety is huge.
On satellite emergency beacons like to install a permanent one on the boat and also I believe having some device to wear.
What are the options most people are using now that makes sense,in addition to the Garmin InReach already purchased and the Liferaft on its way for delivery,(AIS) transponder awating to be purchased/
thanks
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Old 14-06-2018, 02:21   #2
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Re: EPIRB Choices,types,what to select?

I have an ACR by the companionway..... similar to this one ... with built in GPS... https://www.acrartex.com/products/ca...lobalfix-ipro/

Not interested in a 'float free' in the cockpit because it might just float free when I don't want it to....

Now I don't bother with PLBs as such...... however in the liferaft I have one similar to this https://www.acrartex.com/products/ca.../resqlinkplus/

You are buying a brand new liferaft so probably don't want to have it opened just to put an EPIRB in it so personal PLBs may be the way to go....

I've told this story before but here we go...

The reason for one in the liferaft?

Rising 15 or so years ago a fishing boat sank in shallow water maybe a mile offshore on the NW Tasmanian coast .... crew took to the life raft.... offshore breeze.... made a cell phone call and that was that.....

Wreck located with EPIRB still in the wheelhouse.....

Some considerable time later the liferaft was found on an island ( Prime Seal?) off NE Tasmania along with two bodies.... third never found..

Weather at the time etc etc suggests they spent their time in the raft within sight of land and were probably seeing ships not that far off....

That's why I have an EPIRB in the liferaft........

I think ACR makes quality kit.....
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Old 14-06-2018, 02:38   #3
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Re: EPIRB Choices,types,what to select?

yes
thank you very much
makes sense
seems the sky is the limit on choices however bank account is not and have to apply some logic
appreciate
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Old 14-06-2018, 05:05   #4
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Re: EPIRB Choices,types,what to select?

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
I have an ACR by the companionway..... similar to this one ... with built in GPS... https://www.acrartex.com/products/ca...lobalfix-ipro/
.......

I think ACR makes quality kit.....
Concur with above. I have the same, but my 2nd one is identical to the first one.

Basically, the choice is between the brands/quality first, then on features. GPS is a near must, in my opinion, as it provides instantly an exact location, where to rescuers will look.....

From experience as a sea rescue skipper/volunteer: We receive a call from AMSA/waterpolice, that a GPS has gone off, and we are put on standby, we go to the boat, engines are started, but not leaving yet (depending on the weather), or we are just standing off the coast until we get a more exact position, then full speed (if conditions allow) towards the approx target.
If the EPIRB goes off with GPS coordinates, we get on the boat with an exact location, no delay. Delay can be 5 to 40 minutes.
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Old 14-06-2018, 09:58   #5
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Re: EPIRB Choices,types,what to select?

Get an EPIRB with a user replaceable battery.
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Old 14-06-2018, 10:29   #6
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Re: EPIRB Choices,types,what to select?

User replacable battery - great advantage.
GPS integral - must.
I keep ours in a grab bag intended to be carried to the liferaft.
Remember to register the unit with NOAA (if USA) or COSPAS/SARSAT if Europe.
Pay attention to the flag country, USA needs different EPIRB type than Europe. You need to tell the vendor where you are going to register the unit.
They will provide you with an unit that conforms to registration requirements.
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Old 14-06-2018, 12:21   #7
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Re: EPIRB Choices,types,what to select?

We went through this exercise in early 2017 as our old EPIRBs had expiring batteries [and battery replacement was about 2/3rds the cost of a new unit...]

We ended up getting a Mcmurdo EPIRB1 beacon with a 10 year battery. It is half the size of the one it is replacing.

I figure I will be making this one a back-up unit once the EPIRBs with AIS beacons are released in the US.

I also investigated EPIRBS with user replacable batteries at the time, but they were not cost effective [Same 10 years- 5 per battery- for more money and hassle...] And if cruising, you would be up against lithium batteries shipping restrictions and likely couldn't receive them where and when needed anyway...

We also each have a PLB [with another sealed in with the life raft] waterproof DSC VHF radio, and AIS beacon attached to our PFDs [along with other items...] so they are always with us- in the dinghy and on shore excursions as well... [We play in remote places...]

Paranoid? No.
Experienced? Yes...

In case this is useful.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 14-06-2018, 12:44   #8
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Re: EPIRB Choices,types,what to select?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrothedd View Post
Get an EPIRB with a user replaceable battery.
Please tell us who sells one. I have asked for this at the boat shows for years and am always told some line like insurance or FCC or some other agency forbids it.

We have a GME which I purchased in Michigan before full time cruising. It can be serviced absolutely nowhere in the Caribbean. Until recently it had to go to New Zealand. Turn around on service with poor surface mail connections in third world locations may be many months or the device may just disappear.

It is critical you buy a unit that can be serviced where you cruise or you will throw it away at the end of its battery life. Alternatively, there are YouTube videos for DIY replacement.
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Old 14-06-2018, 14:09   #9
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Re: EPIRB Choices,types,what to select?

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Please tell us who sells [and EPIRB with replacable battery...] I have asked for this at the boat shows for years and am always told some line like insurance or FCC or some other agency forbids it.
...
I had forgotten to include the link to a detailed post I had previously written which contains info and links to some of the products we have been discussing, as well as other CF threads on this topic.

Specifically, the ACR Globalfix v4 Cat II EPIRB [with a 10 year user replaceable battery- a correction from my previously stated 5 year shelf life- or perhaps it was 5 years back in late 2016?...]

In case this is helpful.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 14-06-2018, 18:17   #10
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Re: EPIRB Choices,types,what to select?

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Please tell us who sells one. I have asked for this at the boat shows for years and am always told some line like insurance or FCC or some other agency forbids it.



We have a GME which I purchased in Michigan before full time cruising. It can be serviced absolutely nowhere in the Caribbean. Until recently it had to go to New Zealand. Turn around on service with poor surface mail connections in third world locations may be many months or the device may just disappear.



It is critical you buy a unit that can be serviced where you cruise or you will throw it away at the end of its battery life. Alternatively, there are YouTube videos for DIY replacement.


We just replaced our old one with a ACR global fix V4 and it has a user replaceable 10 battery. You can source them from defender, west marine etc

The cost of replacing the battery on our old ACR unit was almost as much as a the global fix V4.

Good luck with your choice

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Old 14-06-2018, 18:42   #11
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Re: EPIRB Choices,types,what to select?

Disclaimer— when I used to race kayaks in WaterTribe ACR was my gear sponsor.

That said, I have had “user replaceable” SPOT battery doors fail on me. I own an ACR PLB and an EPIRB. When the EPIRB battery needs replacement I will buy another non-replaceable battery EPIRB.

Think of it- you are not an EPIRB pro. So there is the chance you roll the seal and not have a watertight closure. You will get to test the watertight integrity on the worst day of your life.

Sorry, my butt is worth over $1,000 so disposing of my old EPIRB is just a cost of owning a boat.

Just a different perspective—— not saying it is the only one. Just the only decision I will make on something like this.
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