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Old 05-04-2006, 12:47   #1
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Which Epirb?

I have been searching high and low for discussion on the subject of EPIRB's. Maybe I'm not using the right search words.
The general consciences is, GET ONE.
However with wide variety available, brands and capabilities. No one coment to saying which is better. Practical sailor hasn't made a mention since around 2001.
I'm buying one. But do I need a fully automatic Cat I or Manual Cat II.
Do I like Pains Wessex or ACR. Do I need The Built-in GPS.
I guess when in doubt buy the most expensive with all the options.
Anyone care to comment?
Reve
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Old 05-04-2006, 13:17   #2
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Buy the most expensive isn't the answer. Buying the options, providing they are practicle, is. No good buying the one with the icemaker as an option in other words.

The answers also lye within what sailing are you doing. Coastal within easy reach of help or more remote? Off shore where you are on your own.
The GPS units mean that a rescue centre gets your exact location. It makes for a very quick rescue. But the major advantage of 406 over the older freqs, is that the 406 system is going to be fairly accurate anyway. Here is an example. A rescue recently in NZ waters had a boat placed out int he pacific. A NZAF Orion search plane was sent out. The Plane new exactly where to look, but couldn't see the boat in the ruff sea below. It flew right over top and new it had gone right over top and turned around and flying back over again, found the boat. If it was the old freq, the Plane would have been in a general area and would have then taken up a search pattern. It can't really get close enough,(apart from Luck) to use the locator homing beacon to zero in on. So the boat had a good result. He was quickly found using the 406 freq. He could have been zeroed in on faster if he had the unit that had the GPS fix. But one or two passes in the plane still doesn't mean a rescue can take place any faster. The difference I think comes down to two points. Your own comfort in knowing that when you push that button, the rescue centre knows exactly where you are and two, when the plane goes over and seemingly doesn't see you, you know they will be back.
As for release. Well, I dunno about this. There are once again, good points. If boat goes down and you have no time to get to the EPIRB, then that part is taken care of for you. You can still activate it manually if you want and have time. The disadvantage is that if you go down fast and you only have time to get to your life raft, then the EPIRB can be floating free and maybe away from you.
Now at this point, maybe someone with more experiance in these EPIRBS can chime in. I don't have this type. So unfair for me to comment further on how the auto release set up works.
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Old 05-04-2006, 13:31   #3
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have a good look at the GME EPIRB - it is definitely value for money.
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Old 05-04-2006, 17:10   #4
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Thanks for the response. I've done my homework. I just can't decide. Our boat is based in the FL Keys. We are in Colorado. One More year and we'll hit the blue. One kid to go! We are doing short Jaunts now. So we are thinking ahead as well as the present. I figure I can't go wrong buying the Cat I with internal GPS. Just don't know how much over kill that is for a Beneteau 32 where your close to everything anyway.
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Old 14-04-2006, 16:20   #5
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I bought the ACR Globalfix cat II with internal gps.
I've got my Boat in Marathon. We'll be on it this next week for a week.
Live in Larkspur Colorado.
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Old 14-04-2006, 21:43   #6
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Amazing how many people we run into with similar situations...We live in Grand Junction, Co and have our boat in Gloucester, MA. We move aboard in the spring of 2007, and Hey, we need a new GPS too!

So let us know what you decide on. At the moment any EPIRB with internal GPS is on the watch for a 'good deal' list. However, the longer the battery life is after it is activated the better it sounds to me.

John
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Old 17-04-2006, 11:24   #7
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Like I said I bought ACR Globalfix cat II with internal gps.
I think if the boat is 13ft down I'm in big trouble already.

I posted this question on Sailnet and got a responce that maybe helpful to thoses looking.

==============
My belief is that at this point both the Pains-Wessex Precision and ACR GlobalFix are directly comparable. Both have built in GPS and 48 hour rated operating battery life. Pains-Wessex did have a GPS software issue a few years ago but that's been fixed. Built in GPS acts to dramatically decrease the size of the search and rescue area.

You will see EPIRBS rated either CATEGORY I or CATEGORY II. CAT I are automatically deployed in the event crew is unable to deply during a sinking or capsize and are required on many USCG inspected vessels. They are sold into the recreational market but are less popular than the CAT II. CAT II EPIRBS are manually deployed and again seem to be thought to be sufficient and / or preferred among recreational boaters.

For more info on SailNet please see:
http://shop.sailnet.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=ACR+globalfix+ OR+Pains+Precision&x=31&y=21

(note: there are a few EPIRBS other than the ACR GlobalFix and the Pains Wessex Precision at this link but just look for those recommended models if you want built in GPS & 48 battery life)

Hope this helps.
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Old 17-04-2006, 21:39   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockietopman
Like I said I bought ACR Globalfix cat II with internal gps.
I think if the boat is 13ft down I'm in big trouble already.

I posted this question on Sailnet and got a response that maybe helpful to those looking.

My belief is that at this point both the Pains-Wessex Precision and ACR GlobalFix are directly comparable. Both have built in GPS and 48 hour rated operating battery life. Pains-Wessex did have a GPS software issue a few years ago but that's been fixed. Built in GPS acts to dramatically decrease the size of the search and rescue area.

============================
That is correct - both are comparable.. We ended up with the Pain Wessex just for another data point. Now admittedly that was cause the ACR was not available when we bought ours. So I had a choice of one.
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Old 04-08-2007, 14:48   #9
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In your neck of the woods Salcom of Christchurch NZused to make a 125mhz epirb for less than $200 , one which let you replace your own batteries.
Do you know if they now make a 406 epirb, and at what price?
Brent
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Old 04-08-2007, 16:21   #10
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Don't think so. I remember the one you are talking about. It was a yellow cylinder and took D cells. Most people around here are buying the aussie GME 406 ones.
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Old 05-08-2007, 00:13   #11
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The GME one is for sale in NZ for $358 USD

Discount Marine - ships chandlers, boat supplies, inflatable boats, electronics, hardware and everything else
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Old 05-08-2007, 03:34   #12
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That is because there is no gst if you are outside NZ. We pay another 12.5% gst tax on that.
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Old 05-08-2007, 14:11   #13
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No even worse Darryl. We pay 12.5% tax on the NZ$ amount, which is $471.00 + GST which is $530.00 give or take the exchange fluctuation at the mo.
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Old 14-03-2008, 19:13   #14
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No even worse Darryl. We pay 12.5% tax on the NZ$ amount, which is $471.00 + GST which is $530.00 give or take the exchange fluctuation at the mo.
Hey Alan, it is the same regardless of if you add the gst to the USD price and convert it to NZ or convert the USD price to NZ and then add GST.

Not worse.

$358 USD is currently $447.50NZD + gst $55.94 = $503.44NZD

$358 USD + gst ($44.75USD) = $402.75USD converted to NZD is $503.44
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Old 15-03-2008, 02:11   #15
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It was supposed to be funny. You don't pay GST in US dollars. So I was trying to show we pay 55 instead of 44...never mind.
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