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PLB or EPIRB

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Who’s got one? I will eventually be purchasing a PLB. Looks like ACR is the manufacturer. They range from $370 to $470. EPIRBS are twice that.

I love when we make way past the breakwater at first light and head out, there's nothing better, the whole rest of the world just melts away for me.

(*edited - member formerly known as 'windknot')

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I’ve had a plb for years and still carry it whenever I go out in my boat. I used to  tunafish with a friend who kept his boat in West Falmouth Harbor. We would run down through Woods Hole and fish east of Chatham out near the sword. It was also 3 to 3 1/2 hour trip in the dark in order to be out there for daylight. I always wore a Mustang self inflating self righting life vest, and I always kept the plb inside of it. Also had a ditch bag with all the essentials within an arms reach at all times. I saw everything from entire trees, phone poles and stainless steel refrigerators floating around between woods hole and the sword. It only takes a matters of seconds to sink a boat when you hit something like that in the dark doing twenty knots. I also told my wife I had all that stuff so there would be a body to locate for the insurance 

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oooh the boogeyman comes out in the dark!  Why am I not surprised coming from you?

 

In any event, Doug, my stock answer would be 100% EPIRB.  But then, we can issue exceptions.

 

If you're not really running offshore, you have a cell and a vhf, plb would be more than enough.  But, if you're doing the middle grounds and out, even the mud hole regularly, I'd opt for the EPIRB.  Much bigger battery and batt life etc god forbid.

 

And, maybe besides the PLB look at the garmin in-reach.  Its 'the thing' nowadays as far as how people are communicating when out of cell range.  May very well act as a plb too, IDK.  But my buddy w the Cabo is constantly sending messages b/t other friends when we're out yonder

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Interesting….

 

 

IMG_1823.jpeg

I love when we make way past the breakwater at first light and head out, there's nothing better, the whole rest of the world just melts away for me.

(*edited - member formerly known as 'windknot')

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Vendor on tht dot com is liquiditimg Tons of brand new old stock at a very reduced rate .. They were pulled off the shelf because one year of the 7 plus years battery life had elapsed. Reduced rate and these are the newer style  one that you personal can swap the battery out without an inspection  station signing off.  

 

Extra battery available  to. 

Edited by 757saltwater
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On 6/5/2024 at 8:22 AM, John P said:

The older I get the less I am apt to go cruising at night.  Too many things can go wrong.  I don't fish for a living.so I go when I want.

I agree. 

My family was pushing me to move from 23’ to 25 or larger boat . Decided against that, even though I’m retired and spend more time on the water, few want to get up very early and I don’t even need to bother going out under adverse weather conditions.   Hoping my 2 year old grandson continues to  develop a quick interest in fishing!  

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12 hours ago, 757saltwater said:

Vendor on tht dot com is liquiditimg Tons of brand new old stock at a very reduced rate .. They were pulled off the shelf because one year of the 7 plus years battery life had elapsed. Reduced rate and these are the newer style  one that you personal can swap the battery out without an inspection  station signing off.  

 

Extra battery available  to. 

Can you give me a hint on how to find this deal on tht?

 

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The devices have different purposes.

 

If I go offshore, I want an EPIRB in a mount that allows it the self-deploy should the boat go down.  Things happen quickly when a boat starts going down.  You're deploying a liferaft, perhaps trying to grab a lifejacket, broadcasting a Mayday, etc., and particularly if you're in an inboard, that boat can start going down much more quickly than you might expect.  The self-deploying EPIRB is your first line of defense, notifying the SAR folks that there is a serious problem and that assets must be deployed.

 

The poersonal beacon is just that--personal.  You pin it onto your person and leave it there.  Maybe you go to the stern to relieve yourself and fall overboard, and nobody noticews right away.  Maybe the boat goes down and you get separated from the EPIRB.  Maybe you fall overboard in the dark and by the time they get the anchor up or the line off the pot, you drift out of the lights and they can't find you.  So you hopefully float around until the personal beacon brings someone to you.

 

Finally, there's the Inreach.  I leave it on all day with the tracking function on, so that it pings my position every 10 minutes, and my wife can just get on her computer and see what I'm doing.  It gives her some peace of mind if I'm coming in late and she can see that the boat is headed toward the inlet at speed, but is just a little farther out than usual.  I can send her a message and let her know that we hooked up late and won't be in for a while, to hold off on making dinner because I've got fresh dolphin or tuna on the way, etc.  And yes, you can communicate with other boats with it, although I don't.  And it, too, has an emergency function that can get help to you if you get into trouble.

 

So you have to think about what suits your needs.  For example, you don't need an EPIRB if you stay inshore.  An Inreach is nice everywhere, but is not a substitute for a self-deploying device.  I don't use a personal beacon, but probably should, particularly when offshore alone, where I could fall overboard and neither the EPRIB nor the Inreach would let anyone know.  

"I have always believed that outdoor writers who come out against fish and wildlife conservation are in the wrong business. To me, it makes as much sense golf writers coming out against grass.."  --  Ted Williams

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1 hour ago, CWitek said:

so that it pings my position every 10 minutes, and my wife can just get on her computer and see what I'm doing. 

 

A very wise man whom I fished with often once told me when I was young and naive:  'There is a reason guys will spend $1,000,000 on a boat they use a dozen times a year' lol

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When things go really bad really fast, the EPIRB self deploys, or at worst, needs to be grabbed and thrown.  Literally, just pull it from the mount and throw it into the water.

 

When it's dark, there's injuries, there's panic, maybe you're floating, or worse, treading water, finding the PLB that you hopefully have on you and getting it turned on and held upright, well, while better than nothing.................. that's a tall order.

 

The PLB goes on you, no matter whose boat you're on, the EPIRB stays on the boat that goes offshore, along with the liferaft.

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I would say that if  I were going off shore, I would have EPIRB and personnel locator. as well as a self inflating life raft.  I didn't do real offshore racing with my sail boat,but did a lot of racing far enough off shore to make a inflatable always on board.  Actually It was a rule in our racing association to have one.  Really a good investment for peace of mind. 

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epirb's that are mounted in a cradle with a hydro static release don't go off till the boat is aprox 15ft underwater and you better hope they don't get caught in something before coming to the surface. I had a PLB with a bungee cord attached to it that i could easily grab and sling around me before zipping up my survival suit. Best bet would be have both, its only your life.

The bad happens a thousand times faster than the good stuff out there, i've known 5 guys that died when their boats got flipped over in the breakers and watched another guy standing on his bow with the boat burning behind him luckily there were other boats close to him and he stepped off just as the boat sunk.

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On 6/8/2024 at 2:09 PM, alaskansteve said:

epirb's that are mounted in a cradle with a hydro static release don't go off till the boat is aprox 15ft underwater and you better hope they don't get caught in something before coming to the surface..........

 

Hence my comment about "just throw it."  Don't even wait for the hydro release to do it's job, just throw it on your own.

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7 hours ago, JoeyZac said:

 

Hence my comment about "just throw it."  Don't even wait for the hydro release to do it's job, just throw it on your own.

guess yours doesn't have a hydro release ? still have to turn it on manually, if you remember when the shite hits the fan.

Edited by alaskansteve
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