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EPIRB or PLB

Old 06-01-2017, 03:39 PM
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Default EPIRB or PLB

Going to tow my boat to OIB for two weeks, normally fish Chesapeake bay. What would you suggest I should buy.
Old 06-01-2017, 04:44 PM
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Buy a good one and the EPIRB is better.

Let the race begin.
Old 06-01-2017, 04:54 PM
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Should you ever need it, the question is: which one are you going to have at hand?

People usually put their EPIRB in a compartment in their boat, or mount it on the boat, or in an emergency bag. This is fine for when you have time to react to the boat going down. It is not, however, fine in situations where the boat is swallowed by a wave or you are thrown off the boat. In those cases, having an EPIRB on the boat itself will be useless.

On the other hand, PLB transmits a weaker signal and will have to be held up to the sky to work. In situations where you are in the water but your arms are not free, or when the waves are so rough that you can't hold the device to the sky, a PLB will not work. An EPIRB which can float and transmit on its own will, however.

The best of both worlds is probably to carry an EPIRB on you all the time. But that affects comfort and many people find it annoying. It's also why many people don't wear life jackets.

I would suggest looking at each option and going with what works for you.
Old 06-01-2017, 08:28 PM
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On the other hand, PLB transmits a weaker signal and will have to be held up to the sky to work
The strength of signal in a PLB and EPIRB is the same. The PLB has a battery which is good for at least 24 hours, the EPRIB for at least 48 hours.

The PLB is registered to a person, the EPRIB to a boat, and should only be used on that boat. We own 3 PLB, one for each of us, and one in the ditch bag. We each also have a waterproof hand held VHF radio. Mine has GPS and DSC with my MMSI number programed in. We can use the PLB when hiking, kayaking, skiing, or in a vehicle. Much more versatile

When we were crossing oceans, we had two EPRIB--one by the companionway, the other in the life raft package. There you are offshore, and rescue may take days. For nearshore (less than a few hundred miles offshore)--you should have rescue within hours. The DSC is adequate for areas where there are going to be other boaters. But be sure that you have the MMSI number programed into your VHF--if you don't the DSC does not work.
Old 06-01-2017, 09:08 PM
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Get both. EPIRB is for the boat, PLB is for you personally.
Old 06-01-2017, 09:13 PM
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Garmin Inreach! With that you get a PLB and can text your family and friends how much you love them as the sharks are nibbling at your flesh; while waiting on NOAA to tell the Coast Guards where you are.
Old 06-01-2017, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by thataway View Post
The strength of signal in a PLB and EPIRB is the same. The PLB has a battery which is good for at least 24 hours, the EPRIB for at least 48 hours.

The PLB is registered to a person, the EPRIB to a boat, and should only be used on that boat. We own 3 PLB, one for each of us, and one in the ditch bag. We each also have a waterproof hand held VHF radio. Mine has GPS and DSC with my MMSI number programed in. We can use the PLB when hiking, kayaking, skiing, or in a vehicle. Much more versatile

When we were crossing oceans, we had two EPRIB--one by the companionway, the other in the life raft package. There you are offshore, and rescue may take days. For nearshore (less than a few hundred miles offshore)--you should have rescue within hours. The DSC is adequate for areas where there are going to be other boaters. But be sure that you have the MMSI number programed into your VHF--if you don't the DSC does not work.
Yep. Epirb stays on the boat in waterproof ditch box. Horn, whistle, flares, etc too.
PLB & handheld VHF is with me regardless of who's boat I'm on.

Within 35-100 miles offshore of where both "thataway" & I fish, help is usually nearby—quickly.
Have a raft also, but no epirb in it though.
Not familiar with area you're speaking off, so pls take that into consideration.
Old 06-02-2017, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by David31522 View Post
Garmin Inreach! With that you get a PLB ....
No, one should not confuse the term PLB with something like a Garmin Inreach, not the same deal
Old 06-02-2017, 05:21 AM
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Never understood when I see people use PLBs as their primary boat transponder. Weaker signal, less run time, and it has to be manually held toward the sky to talk to the satellites. If you ever need to send that emergency signal you would pay anything to not have to contend with those three limitations. PLB is a good choice to take when going on someone else's boat that may not have an EPIRB, but if the cost differential is not a major issue then by far the EPIRB is what you want for the boat.
Old 06-02-2017, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Auburn1 View Post
Never understood when I see people use PLBs as their primary boat transponder. Weaker signal, less run time, and it has to be manually held toward the sky to talk to the satellites. If you ever need to send that emergency signal you would pay anything to not have to contend with those three limitations. PLB is a good choice to take when going on someone else's boat that may not have an EPIRB, but if the cost differential is not a major issue then by far the EPIRB is what you want for the boat.
The above is simply no longer true. See below from ACR on the Resqlink PLB+

Pros: Five-watt transmission power, dual frequency SOS transmission, COSPAS/SARSAT’s reliability and long track record, no annual fees, easy one handed (even gloved) operation.

The PLB + floats, and does not have to be "Held towards the sky". Maybe true of the older non 406 units, but not now. The only differences now are the 24 hour run time for a PLB vs 48 hour run time for an EPIRB and the EPIRB is boat specific where the PLB is individual.

The resqlink PLB + (For $59 a year subscription) will also allow you to send an "I'm OK" Message to 5 phone numbers/emails. You can do this up to 240 times over the life of a battery BEFORE it drops to a 24 hour usable life....
Old 06-02-2017, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Auburn1 View Post
....it has to be manually held toward the sky to talk to the satellites.

....there's the issue.

Nice to tie off an EPIRB and just let it float around keeping your two hands free, fix things, doze off,,,,,,,whatever.
Old 06-02-2017, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by aquaholicnc View Post
The PLB + floats, and does not have to be "Held towards the sky".

Could be wrong, or old paperwork on their site but it says this...

GPS receiver orientation
When activated, it is critical that you do not cover the beacon with any body part, water, clothing, etc. The GPS receiver is located under the bottom portion of the case where it is outline with the text “GPS, Give Clear View To Sky.”

https://www.acrartex.com/products/ca....9kAVtqhL.dpbs
Old 06-02-2017, 12:54 PM
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I use a PLB as my main beacon as I got a deal on one and its less expensive than an epirb. I have a small boat and rarely go past 10 miles of land, usually 5 or less. It's an added level of safety that i thought i'd jump that may make me feel better when i go out in less than ideal conditions. Most boaters like me probably wouldn't buy one at all.
Old 06-02-2017, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by aquaholicnc View Post
The above is simply no longer true. See below from ACR on the Resqlink PLB+

Pros: Five-watt transmission power, dual frequency SOS transmission, COSPAS/SARSAT’s reliability and long track record, no annual fees, easy one handed (even gloved) operation.

The PLB + floats, and does not have to be "Held towards the sky". Maybe true of the older non 406 units, but not now. The only differences now are the 24 hour run time for a PLB vs 48 hour run time for an EPIRB and the EPIRB is boat specific where the PLB is individual.

The resqlink PLB + (For $59 a year subscription) will also allow you to send an "I'm OK" Message to 5 phone numbers/emails. You can do this up to 240 times over the life of a battery BEFORE it drops to a 24 hour usable life....
Just be careful of some of the PR blurb, direct from the TAC

The model PLB-375(ResQLink+) is identical to the base model PLB-375, but it has a higher volume case, slightly increased weight, changed center of gravity and added buoyancy. The model "PLB-375 (ResQLink+)" is approved for use while on ground or above ground, it has not been evaluated nor type approved for use while floating in water.
Old 06-02-2017, 05:00 PM
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I have both.

EPIRB is hard mounted to the boat and PLB is on me for crossings to the Bahamas or when I go on a friends boat. I never chance my safety on what they may or may not have on their boat. I am religious about my monthly battery checks and making sure my registration is up to date and accurate.
Old 06-02-2017, 06:03 PM
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A PLB broadcasts on the same network at the same frequency as an EPIRB.

The primary differences are as follows...

A PLB has to be manually activated, involving deploying an antenna. An EPIRB is self righting requires no antenna deployment.

EPIRBs usually have at least 48 hrs of active battery life where PLB's promise at least 24.

PLBs are registered to a person. are very compact and can be put in your pocket taken with ypu on any boat, hiking, plane etc, whereas an EPIRB is registered to a boat, are more bulky.

They both do the same thing.

In a perfect world have one of each, one on your person or in a Dutch bag (PLB) and one afixed to the boat in easy in reach.

Either one is better than none at all, they will both get you rescued.

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