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Old 12-02-2014, 13:28   #16
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

We have 2 ResQlink plbs. Same function as EPIRB but half the battery. We each wear one, so if either one goes over it starts SAR response. If we take to the life raft we would set off one and if needed then the other giving the same length of signal as an EPIRB. We sail Southern California and Mexico.

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Old 12-02-2014, 13:37   #17
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

DSC SARTS are not (yet) Satellite capable for an EPIRB function, although it seems logical that this is where they will go. DSC and SART is a VHF technology, very different to a PLB or EPIRB. Still, really interested if you can point me at one that is both?
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Old 12-02-2014, 13:59   #18
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

These PLB's are not limited to use by MOB's you can perfectly use them in a liferaft, dinghy, ashore on excursions etc.

I normally buy the McMurdo ones because they are first on the market.



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Old 12-02-2014, 14:44   #19
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

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Originally Posted by Neptune's Gear View Post
DSC SARTS are not (yet) Satellite capable for an EPIRB function, although it seems logical that this is where they will go. DSC and SART is a VHF technology, very different to a PLB or EPIRB. Still, really interested if you can point me at one that is both?
Matt
Yes but at sea the primary purpose of PLBs is for use as a personal safety aid not as a replacement for a vessels EPIRB. hence it's most likely used in MOB Situations. However it's in such a situation, that in fact, it's least useful , speed of response is key to retrieving a person in the water so the best rescue craft is the one you just fell off.

Hence DSC and AIS sarts are actually better in my view then PLBs, when it cones to mob.

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Old 12-02-2014, 15:17   #20
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

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Yes but at sea the primary purpose of PLBs is for use as a personal safety aid not as a replacement for a vessels EPIRB.
In a MOB situation a PLB is not the ideal technology and may be of little use in some circumstances. However, even ignoring the MOB situation I think that a couple of PLB's are superior to a vessels EPIRB.

I normally sail with my wife and myself. For a similar cost as an EPIRB we can each have a PLB attached to our lifejacket/harness. Importantly we are more likely to have this with us in an emergency situation. There are plenty of reports of rapid sinking, or collisions, where this advantage is important. We also have redundancy and the battery life of two PLB's is the same as single EPIRB.

Government regulations have unfortunately been very slow to move. Legislation means that sailors are not given a choice between these two alternatives, but in some countries, such as the UK, sailors are free to choose the most appropriate safety equipment. Multiple PLB's seems a superior option to a single EPIRB in my view.
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Old 12-02-2014, 16:37   #21
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

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The primary point of DSC and or AIS sart is that the boat you fall off will rescue you.
I would think in the US DSC would trigger the Rescue 21 system, which has pretty complete coverage near shore. Of course the coverage maps are made assuming the antenna is 2 meters off the ground.
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Old 12-02-2014, 16:47   #22
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

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The primary point of DSC and or AIS sart is that the boat you fall off will rescue you. You don't need lots of vessels.

PLBs are really useless at sea. You'll be dead from exposure first.

Dave
Dave, you quoted my post (#3) in your reply above so I am assuming your reply is (in part) a response to my post #3.

Given my post was a response to the OP and that your reply indicates the advantages of DSC / SART equipment over PLB's, I fail see to see how OP's vessel will be able to assist the OP should he go over the side with a DSC or AIS SART type equipment.

I sincerely suggest the OP is far better served by a PLB rather than DSC or AIS SART equipment unless he is operating solely in highly populated parts of the USA or Europe.

Additionally, the PLB is not restricted to MOB situations so it will remain a very effective as an alternative to a EPIRB. I accept that a 24 battery life is inferior to a 48 battery life yet if the PLB is GPS embedded (and is a unit that transmits the GPS position on-goingly), it is a better proposition than an EPIRB if the OP can only spring for one unit.
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Old 12-02-2014, 16:54   #23
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Yes but at sea the primary purpose of PLBs is for use as a personal safety aid not as a replacement for a vessels EPIRB. hence it's most likely used in MOB Situations. However it's in such a situation, that in fact, it's least useful , speed of response is key to retrieving a person in the water so the best rescue craft is the one you just fell off.

Hence DSC and AIS sarts are actually better in my view then PLBs, when it cones to mob.

Dave
I concur in general but not for the OP (IMHO)
Again, unless he /she is operating only in highly populated areas of the USA / Europe.
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Old 12-02-2014, 17:57   #24
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

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I would think in the US DSC would trigger the Rescue 21 system, which has pretty complete coverage near shore. Of course the coverage maps are made assuming the antenna is 2 meters off the ground.
The USA is the only developed country that does not have their DSC network fully operational yet. In Europe it has been fully operational for over a decade and I assume the same for AU.

I would not use a DSC sart. I would prefer an AIS sart or a 2-way device like the DeLorme InReach. The PLB is for replacing the EPIRB and to take ashore, dinghy expeditions etc.
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Old 12-02-2014, 18:03   #25
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

I don't think the PLB is a replacement for the EPIRB. At least not yet. A PLB in addition to an EPIRB is a good belt and suspenders approach. The PLB is good as a backup and for when you are away from the boat.

I don't get the point of the AIS SART except that it is smaller than a DSC handheld. Granted smaller size is nice but a DSC handheld can handle the MOB function and a lot more. Except for size, which to me isn't such a big deal, why would someone rather have AIS SART than a DSC handheld radio?
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Old 12-02-2014, 18:16   #26
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

Is anyone marketing a PLB with user serviceable battery? Seems every time I get interested it turns into just another donybrook like my EPIRB that has to get mailed to a service place while we wait for it to be returned - maybe.

I'd like to see one that resides on my batteries with an automated and/or manual self check including a battery load test. It should be able to tell you if it fails to operate and when the battery is junk and it is not rocket science to replace one. We (all of us) are sharp enough to navigate the entire planet, manage a complex vessel, engines, generators etc but are somehow to dumb to change a battery. (or stuff a rubber boat in a box).
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Old 12-02-2014, 18:20   #27
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

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I don't think the PLB is a replacement for the EPIRB. At least not yet. A PLB in addition to an EPIRB is a good belt and suspenders approach. The PLB is good as a backup and for when you are away from the boat.

I don't get the point of the AIS SART except that it is smaller than a DSC handheld. Granted smaller size is nice but a DSC handheld can handle the MOB function and a lot more. Except for size, which to me isn't such a big deal, why would someone rather have AIS SART than a DSC handheld radio?
Two reasons:

1. Not all rescue coast stations have DSC yet.
2. So many boats don't have DSC configured right and almost none have MOB signals turn up on their plotters. But they all have AIS receivers.

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Old 12-02-2014, 18:21   #28
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

I assume that you have your EPRIB on board.

A few years ago, I was in the same position as you thinking a PLB. I looked into getting newly marketed ARC PLB. I was disappointed that its battery needs to send back to manufacture to replace.

I ended up getting a SPOT II now I have SPOT III. Perfect for my use, send my track to my wife every hour. I have two pre-written custom messages and SOS to get help. Granted SPOT can't transmit if under water. I use freshly rechargeable battery, it lasts for 4 days tracking. IF you use lithium battery, it lasts even longer.

SPOT offers much more than ARC PLB. However, make sure you check the global SPOT coverage. Last year doing TransPac race, tracking was missing when we were close to Hawaii.
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Old 12-02-2014, 18:27   #29
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

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another donybrook like my EPIRB that has to get mailed to a service place while we wait for it to be returned -
EPIRB's technology is so old, it should be completely overhauled. If you read the book come out last year "A storm too soon". You will really question how screwed up EPIRB is. If not for the USCG's detective work, the men on board would be gone.
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Old 12-02-2014, 19:14   #30
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Re: PLB recommendations/experiences

My pilot office mate told me that most US activated EPIRBs are picked up by Russian satellites and data relayed to the CG.

IN REACH is on my list to look at. This changes so fast - every year there is totally new stuff.
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