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Old 19-08-2018, 17:27   #1
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Mounting PLB on PFD

Many PFD's have pockets where one can fit a PLB, but I believe these do not hold the PLB in the correct position for when it is actually in use.

To function properly PLB's must be held with the antenna vertical, and as much as possible clear of the water to allow transmission of the distress signal and receipt of GPS signals. To do this would require a mounting that attaches the PLB somewhere on the front of the bladder, but I think most attachments are to the outer shell.


Can someone set me straight as to any PFD's that have such an attachment, or other means to achieve this? I really can't see me holding the darned thing up for hours, while I am sloshed around in waves and my body temperature drops. More likely it will be found floating around upside down on the lanyard around my deceased neck.

Cheers, Graeme
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Old 19-08-2018, 17:46   #2
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Re: Mounting PLB on PFD

Yep, that is a very good analysis of the issues of using a PLB when floating around the briny in a PFD.

No easy answers IMO. The only saving grace is (perhaps) that you probably only need to hold it upright and clear of water for say 5 minutes to get a chance that the transmission would be registered at your national RCC.
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Old 19-08-2018, 20:54   #3
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Mounting PLB on PFD

I have AIS sart beacons on our vests, if one of us falls overboard the other can navigate to them.
If the boat is going down, then itís EPIRB time, I like redundancy, so we each get one
What Iím saying is consider an EPIRB for calling the cavalry, but an AIS sart for self help, no PLB
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Old 19-08-2018, 21:09   #4
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Re: Mounting PLB on PFD

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I have AIS sart beacons on our vests, if one of us falls overboard the other can navigate to them.
If the boat is going down, then itís EPIRB time, I like redundancy, so we each get one
What Iím saying is consider an EPIRB for calling the cavalry, but an AIS sart for self help, no PLB

I have an EPIRB on the boat, but if I go over the side, it is no use.

A PLB is much more likely to be noticed than an AIS beacon, since its signal goes straight to the RCC. Both would be ideal, and I know that there are PFD's with auto-actuating lanyards for AIS beacons, but I asked about PLB's. One thing I'm not sure about is the range of an AIS beacon - since it's VHF at sea level, wouldn't it would be pretty short, and not detected if there were no boats nearby?
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Old 19-08-2018, 21:27   #5
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Re: Mounting PLB on PFD

Are you a single hander? If so the PLB is probably a better choice. If there is someone else on your boat then an AIS/DSC sart device is probably more likely to get you help sooner.
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Old 19-08-2018, 21:56   #6
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Re: Mounting PLB on PFD

See photos.
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Old 19-08-2018, 22:54   #7
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Re: Mounting PLB on PFD

Quote:
Originally Posted by lockie View Post
I have an EPIRB on the boat, but if I go over the side, it is no use.

A PLB is much more likely to be noticed than an AIS beacon, since its signal goes straight to the RCC. Both would be ideal, and I know that there are PFD's with auto-actuating lanyards for AIS beacons, but I asked about PLB's. One thing I'm not sure about is the range of an AIS beacon - since it's VHF at sea level, wouldn't it would be pretty short, and not detected if there were no boats nearby?
Yes, pretty short to be sure but depends also on the height of the receiving antenna so even only a 10' high AIS onboard antenna should get you say 3 miles. The other consideration is sea state and swell and these higher these are, the shorter the range.

Best to go over the side on a flat calm day .
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Old 20-08-2018, 00:22   #8
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Re: Mounting PLB on PFD

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Originally Posted by Steadman Uhlich View Post
See photos.
Lovely photo's, but a bit more info would help. What type of PFD? Is it a DIY attachment or does the PFD come equipped that way?
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Old 20-08-2018, 11:31   #9
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Re: Mounting PLB on PFD

I attach my PLB on the webbing of my West Marine offshore inflatable vest. It won't be easily accessible with the vest inflated unless I remove it from its holder mechanism (which is fairly easily done). The holder mechanism attaches to the webbing. And I have it tethered to my vest so it can't float away if I drop it.
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Old 20-08-2018, 11:32   #10
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Re: Mounting PLB on PFD

I have a Baltic 165N with a Ocean signal MOB1. It is an AIS only and is fitted onto the oral tube, with an Auto activate working on the inflation of the bladder. It is a DIY, just follow the instructions and test it before wearing.
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Old 20-08-2018, 12:04   #11
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Re: Mounting PLB on PFD

Bought a pouch from a police supply outfit for my PLB. Put it on the side strap for the spinlock vest. It's out of the way and secure thre. Using the PLB's clip was totally unsat as it constantly fell off the vest.
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Old 20-08-2018, 14:44   #12
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Mounting PLB on PFD

AIS sart range is in miles, not meters. However it is intended to be for the Boat You fell off of, if you need to signal other boats perhaps a DSC handheld is the ticket.
EPIRB and or PLB is of course to call the Cavalry, they are unlikely to be there in an hour or so, tomorrow in more probable.

My opinion is if you fall off of a Boat, the Boat You fell off of is your best chance of rescue, especially in a timely manner. To that end, I think a DSC handheld and an AIS sart beacon are good things to have in your vest.

If your single handing, then a PLB and a DSC handheld maybe, and of course attach with a dummy cord, everything on the vest ought to have its own dummy cord.
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Old 20-08-2018, 21:47   #13
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Re: Mounting PLB on PFD

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
AIS sart range is in miles, not meters. However it is intended to be for the Boat You fell off of, if you need to signal other boats perhaps a DSC handheld is the ticket.
EPIRB and or PLB is of course to call the Cavalry, they are unlikely to be there in an hour or so, tomorrow in more probable.

My opinion is if you fall off of a Boat, the Boat You fell off of is your best chance of rescue, especially in a timely manner. To that end, I think a DSC handheld and an AIS sart beacon are good things to have in your vest.

If your single handing, then a PLB and a DSC handheld maybe, and of course attach with a dummy cord, everything on the vest ought to have its own dummy cord.
Or better a SART with both AIS and DSC
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Old 31-08-2018, 20:07   #14
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Re: Mounting PLB on PFD

Lots of answers to questions I didn't ask, but almost nothing about how to actually have the PLB at your fingertips when the PFD inflates.

Am I the only person in the world who has thought this far ahead? I must tell the wife - she always says I'm the dumbest in the world!


So, I'll rephrase the question and ask again - have you considered this, and how do you think you will get your hands on the little sucker, then remember the instructions, then activate it, then make sure it's in a suitable position to transmit, while you are tumbled and splashed by waves in very cold water, in the dark, and quite possibly literally p**sing and s**ting yourself?

Or even better, did it happen to you? How did you go? Could you get it out of your jacket pocket or off the neck lanyard?

Cheers, Graeme
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Old 31-08-2018, 20:14   #15
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Re: Mounting PLB on PFD

^^ well yes, I have given it a lot of thought over the years and every time I have come up blank.

Let's hope there is some smarter people out there but so far they are not coming forward.
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