I figured the title would get some attention. I actually do have an EPIRB
(and a PLB) but they are now the backup. But after a year with my Delorme Inreach it is my primary offshore communications
system (I believe the Yellowbrick is very similiar).
When the EPIRB's batteries reach EOL I may just get a 2nd InReach instead of replacing the EPIRB
. I won't go offshore
without an Inreach -- even on someone else's boat.
As a distress
communication it beats the EPIRB hands down as it provides two way communication with a staffed 24/7 rescue
center or anyone with an email
address - like your family
. The EPIRB just blinks. Waterproof and 4 day battery
in a package the size of most PLBs can be clipped to the life jacket on the way to the liferaft
. And it worries me that my EPIRB can't really be tested until I'm in a liferaft
. I know the InReach works.
As a global offshore communicator, mine is always turned on (it works fine sitting on the chart table sending through the fiberglass
overhead). If someone sends me a message, it beeps until I read it. An end to checking for traffic. And an end to coordinating once a day Ham or SSB
schedules. While each email
can only be 160 characters long, anyone under age 30 will tell you that's plenty.
In my experience it is far more reliable than Ham, SSB
, or Sat phone
. So far, the InReach has always found an Iridium satellite
and sent the message within two minutes - regardless of weather
, time of day, traffic, etc - No propagation worries. No dropped calls. No "try again later".
The only thing I miss are GRIB files. But it's easy to have a shore side friend send you abbreviated weather
as needed in 160 character pieces - and Ocens will do it for $8 a month.
The Delorme costs $300 and the service
starts at $15 a month and $0.10 a message with no contract
. As I mentioned, I believe the Yellowbrick is very similiar.