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Old 13-07-2014, 05:43   #1
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Personal Locator Beacons

Since my wife passed away unexpectedly, I will be sailing single handed. Even though it will be near shore and coastal sailing, I am very close to purchasing a PLB. It just seems to be a prudent thing to do. I do realize I have to have it on my person to be effective. Any others carry a PLB? ACR has a $50 rebate, and Landfall Navigation sells one for $250, so a net cost of $200 seems like a reasonable investment.
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Old 13-07-2014, 05:55   #2
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Re: PLB's

I have one and consider it essential. Mine is strapped to my belt. If I go overboard and the boat slowly drifts into the sunset, I have some hope.
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Old 13-07-2014, 06:59   #3
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

You are a smart man!

It seems many single-handed sailors tend to go the other way and basically say, "If I go overboard it is between me and god".....

I would go with the ACR AquaLink™ View PLB...

I had a friend who lost her boat down in Mexico. She activated the EPIRB, but had no idea if it was working till the rescue aircraft arrived on scene three hours later. Yes, it is silly to think the EPIRB wouldn't work, but having the unit show you a display of lat/long and transmission bursts would be reassuring, if you happen to be floating around alone in a big ocean
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Old 13-07-2014, 10:05   #4
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

Another vote for ACR AquaLink.
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Old 13-07-2014, 10:24   #5
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

Sorry for your loss, sir. Fair winds.

Use the PLB. Please.
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Old 13-07-2014, 12:33   #6
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

Have an ACR that i bought a few years back. Belt clip was worthless so bought a pouch from a police equipment specialty store that securely clips onto my inflatable life vest/harness. Don't go on deck without it sailing solo. With the self steering, figure no one would know I'd gone overboard till the boat ran into China if I went overboard. Don't expect it would save me if I fell overboard in cold water but would make it easier on the wife if they find a body.
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Old 13-07-2014, 12:44   #7
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

I would not use a PLB if sailing real inshore. I would chose a waterproof mobile phone, a handheld DSC-able VHF, etc.

I am not 100% sure the fastest way to get me saved when well inshore is via the satellite.

Just my ideas, not hard facts.

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Old 13-07-2014, 14:07   #8
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I would not use a PLB if sailing real inshore. I would chose a waterproof mobile phone, a handheld DSC-able VHF, etc.

I am not 100% sure the fastest way to get me saved when well inshore is via the satellite.

Just my ideas, not hard facts.

b.
A water proof PHONE will definitely get you in touch with the world when inshore but it won't give your precise location like a GPS equipped PLB. But then I'm an Epirb believer, have two plus a spot in addition to the PLB.
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Old 13-07-2014, 14:23   #9
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

Just so's you all know, those PLB's antennas have to be clear of the water to work. You're gonna wind up holding it aloft if you want it to send its signal. It is not as effective a passive device as the advertising indicates.

Only good for about 12 hrs., iirc.

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Old 13-07-2014, 14:27   #10
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

Over in the "ditch bag" thread recently there were a few comments about how a good handheld DSC VHF might be better than a PLB for coastal cruising.

Of course, you have to attach it to yourself somehow for it to help in an overboard situation. . . .
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Old 13-07-2014, 17:32   #11
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
A water proof PHONE will definitely get you in touch with the world when inshore but it won't give your precise location like a GPS equipped PLB. But then I'm an Epirb believer, have two plus a spot in addition to the PLB.
Most smartphones gave GPS built in.

What is the turnaround time for a PLB generated rescue call?

Only arguments to ponder, not to fight over. I too see the other side of the coin with both a phone and a DSC VHF (as well as with an AIS sart beacon).

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Old 13-07-2014, 17:35   #12
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

There was quite a long discussion of PLBs in the Cheeki Rafiki thread, with some knowledgeable posts by ka4wja, for those who want to search on it.

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Old 13-07-2014, 17:41   #13
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

Be aware that for an emergency beacon to be effective it needs to be orientated appropriately to be able to 'see' enough satellites.

Most of the plbs also have a very weak signal, short battery life and a minimal antenna. There is little testing available to the public.

As an engineer I habitually do mental arithmetic on these things. The odds of a plb working well in the sea conditions you're likely to experience when you need it is not guaranteed.


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Old 13-07-2014, 19:05   #14
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

Quote:
Originally Posted by keepondancin View Post
Since my wife passed away unexpectedly, I will be sailing single handed. Even though it will be near shore and coastal sailing, I am very close to purchasing a PLB. It just seems to be a prudent thing to do. I do realize I have to have it on my person to be effective. Any others carry a PLB? ACR has a $50 rebate, and Landfall Navigation sells one for $250, so a net cost of $200 seems like a reasonable investment.
Going overboard is a rare but worst case scenario - stack the deck in your favor.

Get a PLB - no brainer.

Don't forget to clip in
Don't pee off the stern
Stay out of the line of sight of the boom
Wear at least an inflatable pfd at all times
Make sure you have a way to get back on the boat

I disabled the fuse on my pfd - I know if I get knocked out by the boom I'm toast but I balance that against how I used the pfd I don't want it firing if I am dinghy sailing and happen to get too wet.

I also have a Gill dinghy vest but in my climes as I am often shirtless it is very hot to wear - the inflatable I wear consistently when soloing (and racing)

There has been some discussions in the past about trailing a warp that one might try to grab if one went over.

Not sure what the peanut gallery decided on that one but I think it could be useful.

Many sympathies for your loss...

Quote:
Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
As an engineer I habitually do mental arithmetic on these things. The odds of a plb working well in the sea conditions you're likely to experience when you need it is not guaranteed.


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Sure but the odds of one working for you if you don't have one is approximately zero - I did the math
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Old 13-07-2014, 20:14   #15
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Re: Personal Locator Beacons

Quote:
Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
Be aware that for an emergency beacon to be effective it needs to be orientated appropriately to be able to 'see' enough satellites.

Most of the plbs also have a very weak signal, short battery life and a minimal antenna. There is little testing available to the public.

As an engineer I habitually do mental arithmetic on these things. The odds of a plb working well in the sea conditions you're likely to experience when you need it is not guaranteed.


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Where did you get that from? PLB's have the same satellite requirements as EPIRB's, have the same output power, the same antenna gain (same length antenna too, did you see it unrolled to it's active position?) and a battery life of minimum 12 hours in freezing weather conditions (meaning much longer in warm climates).

PLB's are key equipment.
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