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EPIRB and Handheld GPS?

Old 12-02-2002, 06:02 AM
  #1  
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Default EPIRB and Handheld GPS?

I'm going to bite the bullet and get an EPIRB and I also want a back up hand held GPS. Question is which epirb and which hand held. I was thinking if I'm going to get the hand held, why buy an epirb with a gps when I could hook them up. Will have to buy online, because all the epirbs are sold out in the stores around here, so I need to know what will hook up to what.
Why now? I'm starting to fish alone and with the colder weather my spots are getting to be very lonely, and I'm not sure if anyone would be in range of my handheld vhf if I lost all power 20-40 miles off shore. Plus the wife worries the whole time I'm out by myself and would give me a lot less grief if I had the epirb. (Thats what I get for tellin' her how funny Trouty's post are... Now she reads them and she didn't like his one on how do you justify going offshore without an epirb... Good news is she's willing to spend the money now that it's not just another grand of fishing toys....Which is where I spend most of our money....)
Any input would be appriciated,
HooKing'em
Scott
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Old 12-02-2002, 07:46 AM
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Default EPIRB and Handheld GPS?

I know exactly the sort of problem you are talking about. I have a Carry on bag I take when I go on any boat. (Even Mine). It has 3 pieces of gear that are absolutely essential to me.
1. A pair of Good Binoculars. I sprung for the best I could afford (Stiner Commanders) and I have never been unhappy.
2. A Garmin Mariner from West Marine. It is a back up GPS. Small, waterproof, with floation strap, and it has a backlight that is good enough to satisfy what I need to have.
3. Standard HR 460 Portable VHF radio. Yea, it is small but powerful and I admit to being a bit of a gaget freak.

For the boat I bought a Pains-Wessex EIPRB with internal GPS. I like that flashing strobe with this unit and also the built in GPS. It or the ACR with built in GPS are equal and within 100 dollars of each other. I did not get the Automatic but got the manual. My total cost was about $900 for the EIPRB. I don't know your boat, but I felt that I would have time for a manual deployable unit.

Your wife is smart. And you should thank her for caring. It is Lonely out there All of the time.

jjmcdonald@hotmail.com
jmcdnald@cisco.com
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Old 12-02-2002, 10:00 AM
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Default EPIRB and Handheld GPS?

ACR is supposed to have or shortly be on the market at epirb called the personal 406. It weighs 18 oz and will fit on a pfd . That is nice if you fish by yourself. The unit was not FCC approved as of August. I tried to order one from Canada $495 USD but it did not work out. Call ACR and get more info. The unit is on their website.
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Old 12-02-2002, 05:45 PM
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Default EPIRB and Handheld GPS?

kmacker69, I bought my EPIRB a couple of years ago (before they had them with integral GPS's). I have the ACR Rapidfix 406 and a Garmin Etrex handheld GPS that interfaces to the EPIRB. It is nice having the Etrex as a backup GPS, and although I haven't had any problems, if I had to buy a new setup I would go with the integral GPS. The main reason is that I don't trust the interconnecting wiring that much. The ACR unit I have uses a optical interface which I don't regard as a very robust connection. In addition, the wires themselves are small and might not take much abuse. Not to mention that while the EPIRB floats, the GPS doesn't...so there's that weight hanging down on the end of small wires...not the best setup when you need it, in my opinion.

So if I had to do it all over again I'd buy an EPIRB with integral GPS. Since there's no connection needed that frees you up to buy whatever handheld GPS you want. If I had to buy today I'd get the ACR GlobalFix 406 and a Etrex Mariner as backup (not main) GPS.

Look carefully at that personal EPIRB sansdefeat mentions...it is just a beacon unless you connect a GPS, so the same type of concern I mentioned, might or might not be a concern to you...

By the way...noticed your Parker 2501 in your signature...I'm seriously looking at them now, can you tell me a little more about your setup, likes/dislikes, performance, etc. Thanks.
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Old 12-02-2002, 05:59 PM
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Default EPIRB and Handheld GPS?

Preoccupation, Hope you don't mind me hopping in for some Parker info. Great boats. Very solid & stable. I have a 25 sport cabin. Full station on top of the cabin, Stainless Marine bracket w/Hydraulic Jack plate and a 225 merc. Auto pilot etc.

Easy to fish/dive 5 guys. No 'in deck' storage but plent of room for coolers. Get trim tabs. They make a real difference. I have been in some real slop and never been uncomfortable,
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Old 12-02-2002, 07:47 PM
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Default EPIRB and Handheld GPS?

Preoccupation,
I have a 2501 with twin 200 HPDI's, tee top with splash curtains and the spary wings. Its set up very well and rides etremely well untill it gets really snotty... It can take it and more, but I can't... This boat rides much bigger than a 25 footer... 9' 6" beam and the engine bracket make it seem much bigger. As for preformance... I curise around 4000 rpm (on good days) at about 38 mph, 3400 somewhat ruff at 28 mph, and wot is 5500 at 53-54 mph... Only dislike is the lid for the optional porta-potty isn't strapped down and bangs when you run in anything over 2 foot... (It is up front between the two casting platforms/storage compartments up front... Wouldn't want to use it in mixed company till I get a spray dodger and curtain.... Other than that absoultly no complaints... Not the best ride in chop out there, but still very stable on trool and drift, and doesn't get squirlly till I get her up near wot.....
Thanks for the input and feel free to ask and more specifics on my boat...(like most, I like to brag on my toys)
HooKing'em,
Scott
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Old 12-03-2002, 04:59 AM
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Default EPIRB and Handheld GPS?

My take on epirbs is that if I am fishing solo, running a bad inlet , in bad weather or struck by another boat or ship I want the unit on my person.If disaster strikes it is likely there will not be time or opportunity to grab the large units with or without integral GPS or even a "ditch'"bag.A ditch bag is not much good for the solo fisherman. If I go over I want the epirb to be attached to my inflatable pfd.
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Old 12-03-2002, 05:04 AM
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Default EPIRB and Handheld GPS?

One epirb company just had a recall on some of their epirbs for connector corrosion problems according to National Fisherman.You may want to check to see what brand and models it was.
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Old 12-04-2002, 09:06 PM
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Default EPIRB and Handheld GPS?

Thanks for the Parker info (snookwheeler also), I'll send you an email with some follow-up questions, if you don't mind. Sorry if I derailed your post...


sansdefeat, thanks for the tip. I did find out it was the ACR Satellite406 that had corrosion problems with the antena connector....
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