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.
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.