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Old 21-08-2018, 11:29   #1
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Using Spot instead of Epirb

I have an "original" Spot purchased around 2008/9, never used and I think I will use instead of an Epirb (or its most recent iteration). So this Spot is one way only, no messages via email. When I worked with Army cadets in Whitehorse, Yukon, we used these and relied on them a great deal for tracking and sending emergency signals when the cadets were on the river canoeing, far outside the scope of VHF radios. Often the satellite phones worked but reception was poor.

Any thoughts on Spot versus Epirbs (article linked below):

SPOT or EPIRB - Adventure Rider Magazine
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Old 21-08-2018, 11:38   #2
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

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Originally Posted by rsn48 View Post
I have an "original" Spot purchased around 2008/9, never used and I think I will use instead of an Epirb (or its most recent iteration). So this Spot is one way only, no messages via email. When I worked with Army cadets in Whitehorse, Yukon, we used these and relied on them a great deal for tracking and sending emergency signals when the cadets were on the river canoeing, far outside the scope of VHF radios. Often the satellite phones worked but reception was poor.

Any thoughts on Spot versus Epirbs (article linked below):

SPOT or EPIRB - Adventure Rider Magazine
I'm curious, have you paid your subscription every year for the SPOT service?

I way prefer a no subscription service i.e. EPIRB / PLB
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Old 21-08-2018, 16:01   #3
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

Depends where you are planning to go for a start. Spot global coverage is "spotty".


Your link compare Spot to PLBs not EPIRBs and there is a big difference between the two as pointed out it the article. It certainly isn't a substitute for a proper EPIRB.



FWIW, I carry both an EPIRB and in InReach.
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Old 21-08-2018, 16:34   #4
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

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Depends where you are planning to go for a start. Spot global coverage is "spotty".


Your link compare Spot to PLBs not EPIRBs and there is a big difference between the two as pointed out it the article. It certainly isn't a substitute for a proper EPIRB.



FWIW, I carry both an EPIRB and in InReach.
Stu has it right
I crew all over the place and donít leave the dock unless the
boat has an EPIRB And I have my InReach with me
Perfect combination
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Old 21-08-2018, 16:46   #5
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Depends where you are planning to go for a start. Spot global coverage is "spotty".


Your link compare Spot to iz PLBs not EPIRBs and there is a big difference between the two as pointed out it the article. It certainly isn't a substitute for a proper EPIRB.



FWIW, I carry both an EPIRB and in InReach.
================================================
struggling with same questions,have purchased Garmin InReach,waiting for a deal on PLB that will be on me with the Garmin,debating if to buy a EPIRB unit for the boat and to be grab at last minute to put in in the bag.
I think redundancy is good but when enough is enough,lets see,abandon ship,have PLB,and Garmin unit on me,have a regular EPIRB also?
Like an opinion,the cost of adding the big EPIRB is not an issue, and also do not question the value of the unit itself,just how many can possible be carried and what is the value on having now three
thanks
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Old 21-08-2018, 22:09   #6
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

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struggling with same questions,have purchased Garmin InReach,waiting for a deal on PLB that will be on me with the Garmin,debating if to buy a EPIRB unit for the boat and to be grab at last minute to put in in the bag.

To me, there's too much overlap between the inReach and a PLB. However, the EPIRB has one advantage over either of those: it's designed to transmit whilst bobbing in the water.
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Old 22-08-2018, 03:34   #7
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

Perhaps the most important feature from my observation is battery charge
At the time of an event any epirb is fully charged where the inreach maybe because forgot to recharge or just used to text a lot or whatever, question remains is it worth to have a personal and a ship ?
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Old 22-08-2018, 04:33   #8
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

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Perhaps the most important feature from my observation is battery charge
At the time of an event any epirb is fully charged where the inreach maybe because forgot to recharge or just used to text a lot or whatever, question remains is it worth to have a personal and a ship ?
Good point about the battery.

EPIRB for the ship - yes
PLB? I don't really see the need for one, but the Inreach does far more than a PLB and I woudn't do a passage without it.
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Old 22-08-2018, 05:47   #9
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Depends where you are planning to go for a start. Spot global coverage is "spotty".


Your link compare Spot to PLBs not EPIRBs and there is a big difference between the two as pointed out it the article. It certainly isn't a substitute for a proper EPIRB.



FWIW, I carry both an EPIRB and in InReach.
Yes, Spot is very spotty because they use the GlobalStar network and are thus not truly sattlite based (its land antennas linked by sattelites). InReach uses Iridium...so is 100% sattelite com with full global coverage. Its also just way better with two way comm.

I also carry InReach and an EPIRB.

I use the InReaach for lots of other stuff too (hiking, kayaking, ...).
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Old 22-08-2018, 09:23   #10
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

InReach has become the go-to choice for adventure riders. Yes, there's a subscription cost, but it's minor (a buck a day) and you can start and stop it. The instrument is about $450 out the door and allows map tracking by anyone following your progress. On sailboats, EPIRB is the only way to go, IMHO, augmented by sat phone or other communication device that works in the area travelled.
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Old 22-08-2018, 09:30   #11
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Depends where you are planning to go for a start. Spot global coverage is "spotty".


Your link compare Spot to PLBs not EPIRBs and there is a big difference between the two as pointed out it the article. It certainly isn't a substitute for a proper EPIRB.



FWIW, I carry both an EPIRB and in InReach.
How does the coverage with thie InReach compared to Spot. I just got an InReach, Epirb and a PLB. I also have a GPS linked DSC. The PLB stays attached to my PFD.
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Old 22-08-2018, 09:48   #12
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

Had spot for some years. I bought it for use off the boat but also carry it onboard.
Advantages.

1, can leagally be used on land as well wher it has tha addition of call a breakdown service. I have used this twice and it worked! I live wher there is little cell coverage on the highways.
2. Enables messages describing the emergency. I.E. brocken leg, need medical assistance.
3 Enables you to report othe problems short of mayday such as delayed by weather and will not make ETA.
4 can send daily position toany group of email addresses.
5. You can change the batteries so has potentially far more transmission time.


While I agree its lower power is a disadvantage over an epirb iCost is about the same when you take into account replacing the unit or batteries in the plb. It is cheaper than an epirb.


Each has plus and minus and ideally I would have 2 units anyway but if going for only one I would go for spot as the most versatile. The gold standard for 'come and get me' at sea has to remain the epirb. There are times when neither spot or a plb will get through. I have seen it fail to send positions due to bad radio interference, so bad it blanked all radio signals.


InReach has the advantage of 2 way text so rescuers can give yoou a confirmation or ask for info which would be great. Disadvantage is that it it 2x cost size and weight.
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Old 22-08-2018, 09:57   #13
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

I have an InReach and new EPIRB... They are for different reasons. EPIRB is for a life-threatening Emergency. Although it has an SOS function, My InReach is to stay in contact via text with friends and family. I would not sail without an EPIRB in a place that I needed my InReach to communicate. My InReach contract is less than $20/mo.
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Old 22-08-2018, 10:09   #14
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

This question comes up 2-3 times a year.

I have completed 4 Everglades Challenges and 1 Ultimate Florida Challenge in a kayak. I had a reputation for being a tad hard on electronics.

During the time I raced, I have heard of several SPOT devices dying. I had one die on me at the top of the St. Mary's river during the race around Florida. All the SPOTs died because of water entering the device- usually through the battery door.

An EPIRB- notably an ACR EPIRB is a sealed device. The last thing you want as you watch your boat sink, or need emergency help- is to discover your emergency beacon doesn't work.

The rhetorical question I ask my students is, "So, is your life worth $800?". Clearly it is, so the prudent thing is to buy a real EPRIB. My favorite is the ACR line.
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Old 22-08-2018, 10:12   #15
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Re: Using Spot instead of Epirb

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Originally Posted by davenrino View Post
How does the coverage with thie InReach compared to Spot...
Way better...full global coverage...see previous post:

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/....php?p=2702262
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