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Is a PLB sufficient?

Old 04-08-2020, 07:43 PM
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Default Is a PLB sufficient?

Is a PLB sufficient for running 15-20 miles offshore in the gulf? I was getting ready to order an Epirb today but then I got to thinking a PLB may be a better option since it can be used on multiple vessels. Do both units send the same signal with the Epirb just having longer run time when activated? Thanks
Old 04-08-2020, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Shane3203 View Post
Is a PLB sufficient for running 15-20 miles offshore in the gulf? Do both units send the same signal with the Epirb just having longer run time when activated? Thanks
Yes, you,only need the PLB

EPIRB = 48 Hours minimum run time
PLB = 24 Hours minimum run time

If you’re only running 15-20 miles offshore, you will only need a few hours so 24 is more than enough. I carry both an EPIRB and PLB because on one trip, I may use the EPIRB on the boat and take the PLB when paddle boarding.
Old 04-08-2020, 08:14 PM
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Thanks,I thought it would probably work. Sometimes we ride jet skis out to the barrier islands of the Mississippi coast and I figured if I got a PLB I could use it for that too.
Old 04-08-2020, 08:27 PM
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A PLB can go with you on other boats. Friends, etc. It’s registered to you, while an epirb is registered to a boat.
Old 04-08-2020, 10:30 PM
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I think you're fine with a plb only.
Old 04-08-2020, 11:04 PM
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I carry both and I don’t even get near that far. Heck I’m always in sight of land. I take a PLB with me duck hunting in the marsh but I can not see another hunter all day or just see a sport fisher top going by so I may need to rely on it some day.
epirb and plb when on my 18’CC
Old 04-09-2020, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Bos Chris View Post
A PLB can go with you on other boats. Friends, etc. It’s registered to you, while an epirb is registered to a boat.
I recently sold my boat but kept my EPIRB. Contacted NOAA and they allowed me to change the registration to "any vessel" status.
Old 04-09-2020, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by JeffinCT View Post
I recently sold my boat but kept my EPIRB. Contacted NOAA and they allowed me to change the registration to "any vessel" status.
I didn't know you could do that, is it registered to you just like a PLB now?
Old 04-09-2020, 05:23 AM
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I picked up a PLB last season since I go offshore a similar distance to the OP. However, at the same time I purchased a good handheld radio. That way if I have a problem with my electrical system in my boat, I still have a way to communicate. Also make sure your radio has DCS capabilities.
Old 04-09-2020, 05:39 AM
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Carry both an EPRIB and a Garmin Inreach
Old 04-09-2020, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Shane3203 View Post
I didn't know you could do that, is it registered to you just like a PLB now?
whats happens if you have a epirb on a boat that it’s not registered to and you activate it? You really think they won’t come save you lol

they Probaly will call the numbers listed on the registration, and once your wife confirms your on your buddy’s boat, I’d assume they’d be on the way

Also, I have a epirb and a out dated plb (getting new one soon)
Old 04-09-2020, 06:51 AM
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I am running out 40 miles in the gulf. I carry a PLB, inReach,hand held VHF and hard wired VHF linked to Garmin. I keep tossing the epbirb idea of getting one but I really only need one helicopter loookng for me. I really like the inReach. If shit hits the fan, I can contact my family immediately with my exact location. If you just need a tow you can reach someone as well.
Old 04-09-2020, 07:57 AM
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me

plb, spot trace, DSC on VHF
Old 04-09-2020, 08:22 AM
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I carry EPIRB, PLB, InReach, hand held VHF with DSC and two fixed mount VHF with DSC on the boat. I also have a 6 person life raft.

Last edited by FusionZ06; 04-09-2020 at 10:44 AM.
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Old 04-09-2020, 08:30 AM
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Fishing boat is VHF, PLB, handheld VHF. Life raft...
Duck boat is VHF, PLB if weather suggests.

I've needed to use the VHF a time or several. Really wish we had a PLB/EPIRB when we capsized offshore.
Old 04-09-2020, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Shane3203 View Post
Is a PLB sufficient for running 15-20 miles offshore in the gulf? I was getting ready to order an Epirb today but then I got to thinking a PLB may be a better option since it can be used on multiple vessels. Do both units send the same signal with the Epirb just having longer run time when activated? Thanks
This has been discussed ad nauseam

My take, if I am going off-shore, here is what I'd have:
- Float plan = critical
- EPIRB = critical
- PLB = nice-to-have IN ADDITION TO EPIRB
- Offshore liferaft = critical
- Handheld VHF with DSC clipped to at least the captain, crew = critical
- Self-inflating Mustang or comparable to be worn at ALL times by ALL = critical
- Waterproof/floating kit of handheld flares, gun flares, mirror, whistle, etc = critical
- Food/water in case stranded = critical
- Hefty first aid it for basic first aid, trauma, etc = critical
- Basic meds / Rx = critical
- AED = critical
- CPR face masks with one-way valves (sizes for adults and children) AND CPR training = critical
- Fixed mount VHF with DSC, tested = critical
- Sat phone w/ external antenna that can be suction cupped with clear LoS to sky = critical (can call for mechanical advice, medical advice, etc)
- Tow membership = critical (and confirmation from the franchise owner they will respond to you)
- AIS = nice-to-have
- insurance with correct coverage for waters transiting = critical
- medvac insurance = nice-to-have
- self-defense firearm = nice-to-have
- survival/exposure suit/gear = critical if in waters that will yield hypothermia quickly

Last edited by mystery; 04-09-2020 at 09:54 AM.
Old 04-09-2020, 09:21 AM
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One reason I have multiple devices such as an EPIRB, PLB, Garmin inReach, VHF with DSC, handheld VHF with DSC, sat phone, liferaft, etc. it’s true create a safer feeling for my wife and other passengers.

The other reason for having an EPIRB and PLB Is basic human nature. If you are the Coast Guard crew getting ready to takeoff in the helicopter for a search and you have EPIRB and PLB activations from the same owner, how much more focused and urgent would you be than if only one unverified advice is activated?
Old 04-09-2020, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
This has been discussed ad nauseam

My take, if I am going off-shore, here is what I'd have:
- Float plan = critical
- EPIRB = critical
- PLB = nice-to-have
- Offshore liferaft = critical
- Handheld VHF with DSC clipped to at least the captain, crew = critical
- Self-inflating Mustang or comparable to be worn at ALL times by ALL = critical
- Waterproof/floating kit of handheld flares, gun flares, mirror, whistle, etc = critical
- Food/water in case stranded = critical
- Hefty first aid it for basic first aid, trauma, etc = critical
- Basic meds / Rx = critical
- AED = critical
- CPR face masks with one-way valves (sizes for adults and children) AND CPR training = critical
- Fixed mount VHF with DSC, tested = critical
- Sat phone w/ external antenna that can be suction cupped with clear LoS to sky = critical (can call for mechanical advice, medical advice, etc)
- Tow membership = critical (and confirmation from the franchise owner they will respond to you)
- AIS = nice-to-have
- insurance with correct coverage for waters transiting = critical
- medvac insurance = nice-to-have
- self-defense firearm = nice-to-have
- survival/exposure suit/gear = critical if in waters that will yield hypothermia quickly

Second boat to carry all of this shit = critical
Old 04-09-2020, 09:36 AM
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A PLB is great to have but keep in mind that it is not designed to float - you have to unfold the antenna and then hold it for a PLB to transmit. An EPIRB will float and transmit unattended - flip the switch and it will work.

I carry an EPIRB on my vessel and a PLB attached to the webbing of my inflatable PFD. I take the PFD and PLB combo with me when I fish on other vessels.
Old 05-15-2020, 04:53 AM
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if you're a commercial vessel - at least in NC - an EPIRB is required for Coast Guard inspection/certification.

I'm looking at a PLB.

Good luck and stay safe

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