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Old 11-03-2014, 15:19   #1
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EPIRB Registration Question

Hi Everyone,

I am now getting around to registering and servicing the EPIRB which was on the boat when I bought her a year and a half ago. I was told by the servicing people and from what I can tell online at NOAA, the previous owner has to do something in order for me to register the EPIRB. Is this true? If so, what are my options? I can contact the previous owner, and in fact, have left a message with him, but I"m not sure if he knows what he needs to do.

Thanks for your help. (I did search the posts on EPIRBs on this site and could not find my answer.)

Barry
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Old 11-03-2014, 15:27   #2
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Re: EPIRB Registration Question

May be a lot easier to toss the old EPIRB and get a new one. These can be had for not much more than the cost of replacing a battery in the old one, and for certain with a lot less hassle than trying to get the previous owner to "do something", then you "do something", etc.

Bill
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Old 11-03-2014, 16:58   #3
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Re: EPIRB Registration Question

I just did this. It's quite easy, in fact. Go online and start the online registration process at NOAA. When you enter the first page of data, you'll get a message that your EPIRB was previously registered, and they'll give you a number to call. Call that number, give the lady your info, and she'll track down the previous owner by phone and confirm. Then she'll call you back in a day or two with permission to complete the online registration. Easy peasy.
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Old 11-03-2014, 17:42   #4
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Re: EPIRB Registration Question

Bl-
I don't remember what I did, but I think Tia is on track. NOAA makes it easy to register, easy to update, easy to maintain. When in doubt call them, email them, ask them. Their basic concern is that when they get a signal, they want to know who to call, and what the EPIRB is attached to.

Damn nice folks to work with, and true professionals.

Batteries are easily replaced in most cases. Just remember, the last thing you want to do is worry about "is this thing leaking? working?" if you're in the water with it some day. Kinda like old food in a bachelor refrigerator: "When in doubt, throw it out." Otherwise? WTF, an old EPIRB still makes a good spare, because sometimes the new ones don't work either.
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Old 11-03-2014, 18:10   #5
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Re: EPIRB Registration Question

Yeah, that's the easy part. I agree, NOAA does a great job.

However, for most folks, replacing the battery isn't easy, unless you're willing to shell out the $300-350 service cost PLUS shipment.

Don't try to replace it yourself, unless your EPIRB was specifically designed for user battery replacement. Most weren't and if you've ever taken one apart you'll know why you don't want to try it.

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Old 11-03-2014, 18:10   #6
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Re: EPIRB Registration Question

Make sure you can service the unit. The EPIRB with our boat ACR was nwe from the PO and due for battery & service. ACR refused - said they had made it obsolete so I had to buy a new one. I was a bit pissed as this was only 5 years old.
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Old 11-03-2014, 19:12   #7
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Re: EPIRB Registration Question

Thanks, everyone.

I've checked, and the EPIRB is serviceable. The cost I was quoted is $280.00 and the shop is 15 minutes from my house so I don't have to ship it. When I get a chance, I'll probably try registering with NOAA and see what happens. (It looks like a new one on amazon is $432 for the same one)
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Old 11-03-2014, 19:25   #8
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Re: EPIRB Registration Question

I haven't gathered a market sample of old EPIRBs, just one. Four stainless steel screws came out, easily. The two halves of the case were joined only by that and one o-ring. The battery, once $150, was now available for $60 and comes with a plug, so it is a plug-in replacement.

The o-ring probably should be replaced, but this one was in good shape. With a wrap of butyl tape or similar over the case after assembly, I'd trust it 100%. A little digging on the web, or a Loctite custom o-ring kit, would easily replace it.

Oh, the mfr? Would have condemned it, because the brass insert for one of the screws was spalling out the plastic it was bedded it. An easy repair, and a shocking manufacturing defect that they would never admit was theirs.

At $300-350? No way. I'd buy a new model with real self-test features (not just the old bogus test light) and still spend the $60 on new batteries for the old one, making it into the spare. Or put the other $300 into the endless hole of "more safety".

Some folks join the AAA, some just buy a tire patch kit. Horses for courses.
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Old 11-03-2014, 20:11   #9
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Re: EPIRB Registration Question

Hello Sailor has a point about throwing money into "the endless hole of more safety". I'm gearing up for a trip to the Bahamas and looking at inspecting/upgrading my safety gear. A brief current inventory: two EPIRB's, a liferaft, a hardbottom dinghy, a satellite phone, three GPS's, four computers or tablets with complete electronic charts, Explorer chartbooks as paper backups, a zillion flares, spotlights, a radar reflector, an AIS receiver, an unlocked GSM cell phone...

When I was a teenager, my brother and I made the same trip with four paper charts, a handheld radio direction finder, a dinghy, and a VHF radio.

We had a bunch of fun and came back safely.
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Old 11-03-2014, 20:24   #10
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Re: EPIRB Registration Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tia Bu View Post

"the endless hole of more safety".

It sure can be a disease. I do think the EPIRB or some equiv is a good idea if you intend to venture far offshore. I did like hearing about the do-it-yourself battery replacement. One of my pet peeves is that we are somehow competent to campaign and outfit a vessel for circumnavigation but too dumb to change a battery or stuff a rubber boat in a box.
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