epirb vs plb

ErikKiekens

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My dear fellow sailormen,
on my brand-new second-hand dufour I was intending to install an EPIRB. But the yacht has a PLB McMurdo Fastfind (the one without GPS) on board.
When I took my SRC course, the instructor was quite negative about PLB's but, in my opinion, for the wrong reasons.
What is your opinion? Is the PLB OK? If yes, why do some people bother to buy an EPIRB?
looking forward, as always, to your comments
Erik the happysailormanforreasonsnotonlyconcerninghisboat
 

haydude

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The only technical difference between an EPIRB and a PLB is the duration of the battery after activation which is reduced on a PLB, I believe to 48 hours due to its smaller size.

Unless you are going on an ocean crossing, you would hope to be rescued within two days, and the advantage to carry the unit in a pocket is invaluable in case of MOB.

However I would go for a PLB with GPS, I am not sure how effective would be a unit without GPS.
 

V1701

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+ 1 for PLB with GPS. I see EPIRB as something you take with you when the boat's going to be lost and the decision has been made to take to the liferaft. PLB seems much more appropriate for singlehanded sailing, better in any MOB situation for that matter...
 

Xskipper

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The other consideration is automatic versus manual activation- EPIRB`s are quite often automatically activated when immersed in water where as PLB`s are manually activated by the user.

Although I would agree that for single handers the PLB is the weapon of choice... Especially considering you can get one with GPS for under £200..
 

r_h

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The biggest difference is that EPIRBs have a sea water activated switch, activate automatically when removed from the cradle, and are designed to transmit while floating free. PLBs are manually activated by a two-stage process, and the antenna must be held upright.
If your PLB is a non-floating type, then it's worth attaching it to your jacket with a lanyard.

GPS enables your position to be honed down to a 64 metre radius within about five minutes, whereas the non-GPS models need around 40 minutes to identify your position within a 26-mile square. Although they all have a homing signal transmitted on 121.5MHz, the small extra cost for the GPS version is well worthwhile in my opinion.
 

Xskipper

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EPIRBS have two types of position reporting accuracy, depending on whether they have a GPS receiver embedded inside. Any EPIRB can be relied on to report your position to rescuers to a search area of 2.3 nautical miles, or a 12 square nautical mile search area. However, one equipped with GPS can enhance the position reporting accuracy of your unit down to about 0.05 nautical mile (110 yards), or a 0.008 square mile area markedly reducing the search area and rescue time.
 
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snowleopard has the probable reason why your instructor was negative about plb. look at yours . if it is oine of the 121mc/s types keep it but add a modern 406 epirb or personal epirb
 

Bilgediver

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My dear fellow sailormen,
on my brand-new second-hand dufour I was intending to install an EPIRB. But the yacht has a PLB McMurdo Fastfind (the one without GPS) on board.
When I took my SRC course, the instructor was quite negative about PLB's but, in my opinion, for the wrong reasons.
What is your opinion? Is the PLB OK? If yes, why do some people bother to buy an EPIRB?
looking forward, as always, to your comments
Erik the happysailormanforreasonsnotonlyconcerninghisboat

You have of course registered the PLB with the authorities so that it is your relations are called when it is activated and not the relations of the previous owner :D:D

The McMurdo Fast find does not have the GPS so it takes a bit longer to identify the position of an alarm however it also transmits a 121MHZ signal that the choppers use to home in on.

The biggest problems with PLB s is that they are passed around like sweeties and so when one is triggered and especially if it is inland there is a possibility of delays whilst it is debated if it is a true or false alarm due to inaccurate registration details.


http://www.mcmurdo.co.uk/products/products.html?product_type=2&product_sector=1
 
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