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Old 07-19-2017, 09:53 AM   #1
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Emergency equipment??

Im going crazy trying to decide on several different options for my emergency equipment. I'm in the process of buying a Camano 31.

These are the 2 items I need advice on. I have all the other emergency items covered from my previous boat.

1. Life raft

2. EPIRB or PLB


Im definitely gonna buy a life raft but Im not sure which one. I'll be doing mostly coastal cruising from Boston to New York. I would like the smallest one available since my boat is small and space will be at a premium. This will be in addition to my dinghy, thats why i want something small.

EPIRB vs PLB--- Im leaning towards the EPIRB because i like the fact that they will send a signal automatically if submerged. The PLBs are still a manual device right? What are most using??

This is the site that Im shopping from. They are local to me. I may go to factory actually.


https://www.lrse.com/collections/epirbs-plbs
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:05 AM   #2
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Survival is a preplanned process for a series of events that mau or may not happen.

Whete are ypur boating geographical limitations and are you one to take risks with weather? While easy to say no, some do and some dont, matters for survival equipment.

For fair weather, east coast US sailors with a readily available dingy or floating object, a life raft may be considered over kill.

A rescue platform would be more than enough.

Also 2 PLBs might be more usefull than an EPIRB.

Waterproof handhelds and good portable lights can be important too.

Its a plan more than a guess...but like they say, the plan goes to hell at the first unexpected issue. But a plan is where to start.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:09 AM   #3
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See previous blog post here (keep in mind written with non-boaters in mind as well).

Preparing for The Exumas – Part 2 | AtAnchor.com
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:13 AM   #4
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I agree, for coastal cruising...I would call a life raft "suspenders" if you have a dinghy (the belt)
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:19 AM   #5
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Certainly the lines of survival are blurred by marketing.

Even a trip to the Bahamas only involves being 30 or so miles "offshore".

On the East Coast of the US and western Bahamas, as long as you travel in decent weather, you generally are within just hours of rescue, not days or weeks.

Better to spread out dollars spent on survival gear that can be redundant than overkill on a few items that are suitable for crossing oceans.

Not to say all of the best equipment isnt great, but most of us budget boating and dollars should first be spent on a safe mothership, then apportioned for things that will work just fine for where you boat and are redundant.
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:28 AM   #6
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If you are fishing 100 miles offshore I would have a life raft. For ICW or near shore in my opinion it's overkill if you have a dinghy.
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:21 AM   #7
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Life rafts have to be regularly serviced/inspected as well, expensive. Plus, the smallest raft, if you ever have to use it, will be a floating torture chamber.
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:44 AM   #8
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Servicing is a good idea but its not as frequent for recreational cradt in the US, in fact servicing isnt even required on private vessels.

For coastal cruising, a single tube float is not as expensive and has more roon depending on model than an expensive offshore raft.

Get gear that is apooropriate, not necessarily top dollar or performance.
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:51 AM   #9
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Another option would be to rent a well-maintained life raft when you need one; like that trip 100 miles offshore hmason suggests above.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:10 PM   #10
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I would go with 2 PLBs each attached to your PFD.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:49 PM   #11
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If you are forced off your sinking boat and your EPIRB goes off and goes down with the boat. Now you have a rescue team looking for your sunken boat. Who cares if they find the boat. You want them to find you. If you keep a PLB in your ditch bag or attached to your PFD, now they can find you.
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:09 PM   #12
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Thanks for the quick replies guys.
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:24 PM   #13
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Perhaps a survival suit would be a compromise that increases your odds of survival if the boat does go down, but doesn't take up as much space as a liferaft ?
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by South of Heaven View Post
These are the 2 items I need advice on. I have all the other emergency items covered from my previous boat.

1. Life raft

2. EPIRB or PLB


Im definitely gonna buy a life raft but Im not sure which one.

EPIRB vs PLB--- Im leaning towards the EPIRB because i like the fact that they will send a signal automatically if submerged.
I also do a little coastal cruising (no more than 30 miles offshore.) and I agree with your choices. A dinghy is not a life boat and is no where as stable in an angry sea as a raft is! Whether you are 5 miles offshore or 50 miles, a life raft is safer. I also like the EPIRB if only one signaling device is purchased. It's working (When activated) and the rest of the signaling devices (flares, etc) should be in your abandon ship bag.

http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/landf...mander2015.pdf

Abandon Ship / Grab Bag Checklist
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:39 PM   #15
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Depending on water temp. A survival suit can be much better than a life raft for hypothwrmia protection.

Both is best, but you can freeze to death in a liferaft pretty quickly.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:18 AM   #16
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Plus, the smallest raft, if you ever have to use it, will be a floating torture chamber.
True enough, but then I think the operative word in that sentence is "floating."

Personally, for the kind of cruising the OP describes, I would not buy a life raft. I would go with good PFDs, with a PLB attached to each, and an EPIRB for the boat.

The EPIRB should be attached either where it can float free in case of a sinking, or at least where it can be very easily released by someone who is in the process of abandoning the boat.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:11 AM   #17
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I know from another thread you are planning to carry an inflated dinghy on your swim step. My opinion is that is adequate as an emergency raft for coastal cruising. Spend your money on electronics to call for help. An Epirb in a float free bracket and a PLB in a ditch bag with plenty of flares or one of the new electric flares, or both. I'd also have a hand held vhf in the bag and keep your cell phone in a waterproof case. A zip lock bag works well for this.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:17 AM   #18
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cruising in new england, I think psneed has it with a survival suit. that cold water is a killer. epirb/plb is great - you want them to find you. It's better if they find you alive. look up the hypothermia tables and compare them to your water temps, especially in the spring.
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Old 07-20-2017, 09:49 AM   #19
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I also carry a handheld aviation radio (similar to marine) with the thought that I may be able to talk with an airplane on the emergency channel (121.5) when I can't get another boat on a VHF while in a secluded, mountainous anchorage.
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Old 02-05-2018, 02:05 PM   #20
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Carrying an handheld aviation radio for transmitting on 121.5 is a great idea. There is essentially an airplane overhead everywhere in the world and they monitor 121.5.
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