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Old 11-02-2019, 09:04 AM   #1
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Personal Locater Beacon

I will be helping my cousin move his Super Maramu from the Canary Islands to Barbados this December. Since I do not have a PLB I was wondering what the Gurus here would suggest. A search for PLB on the site returned nothing though I know I have seen discussions about them before.

Thanks,

Rob
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:38 AM   #2
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Good topic! I too am doing some research and planning to get a version before next spring cruising. My understanding is one difference between a PLB and an EPIRB is the latter is licensed to the boat itself. If I was doing an Atlantic crossing I believe I’d have an EPIRB, does your cousin have one?
ACR seems to be a dominant brand but still investigating. Anxious to hear if others here have comments....
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Old 11-02-2019, 11:47 AM   #3
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Rob: I’d get a PLB. It’s a good addition to the boats EPIRB. If you happen to go overboard, one will help the rescuers find you. That’s a long passage on an unfamiliar boat not to have one.

I don’t what the costs are but you can rent one.

I’m jealous! What a great trip

https://www.boatus.org/epirb/rentals/
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:04 PM   #4
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I think for any remote or offshore use, an AIS MOB beacon would be far more useful. This one is the one to get.

A PLB will alert international authorities after 10 - 15 minutes. They will then make phone calls to see if it is a false alarm (as 99% are), then attempt to alert local SAR organizations. Far from land or civilization, this could take hours or days. You may have sailed for 3 hours before you even know the guy is overboard. Perhaps they figure out how to get a message to you with the most recent position. Your MOB is in Davy Jones by then.

An AIS MOB beacon will begin transmitting an AIS emergency DSC signal, which will immediately alarm your VHF. The location will show up on your chart plotter with a continuous current position. All this happens immediately. You can return to the MOB following your chartplotter and pick them up. Even in near coastal waters this is better, since you or another nearby boat are in the best position to extract the MOB.

I've got all three on the sailboat, EPIRB, PLB, AIS MOB. In my opinion, EPRIB in case the boat sinks, AIS MOB carried by anyone on watch, especially at night or in weather. In the ocean, a PLB helps you find the body, that is all.
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:08 PM   #5
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Are the AIS MOB units certified?
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:11 PM   #6
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I can't imagine any situation where having a PLB on you would be worse than not having one on you.
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:27 PM   #7
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Are the AIS MOB units certified?
Certified to what? They are FCC approved if that is what you mean.
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:57 PM   #8
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We have ACR PLBs on our inflatable PFDs. The problem is that most inflatable s donít have attachment points for PLB or strobes. I was able to carefully sew some velcro attachment points on ours for the PLB and strobe.
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:39 PM   #9
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I think for any remote or offshore use, an AIS MOB beacon would be far more useful. This one is the one to get.

A PLB will alert international authorities after 10 - 15 minutes. They will then make phone calls to see if it is a false alarm (as 99% are), then attempt to alert local SAR organizations. Far from land or civilization, this could take hours or days. You may have sailed for 3 hours before you even know the guy is overboard. Perhaps they figure out how to get a message to you with the most recent position. Your MOB is in Davy Jones by then.

An AIS MOB beacon will begin transmitting an AIS emergency DSC signal, which will immediately alarm your VHF. The location will show up on your chart plotter with a continuous current position. All this happens immediately. You can return to the MOB following your chartplotter and pick them up. Even in near coastal waters this is better, since you or another nearby boat are in the best position to extract the MOB.

I've got all three on the sailboat, EPIRB, PLB, AIS MOB. In my opinion, EPRIB in case the boat sinks, AIS MOB carried by anyone on watch, especially at night or in weather. In the ocean, a PLB helps you find the body, that is all.


Good idea. Just a glance at the CP and u will find the missing helmsman. At least within the 1Watt line of site range of someone right at the waterline. A very good reason to now put the AIS antenna up high.
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:55 PM   #10
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Certified to what? They are FCC approved if that is what you mean.
Nope....something like USCG or SOLAS....
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:55 PM   #11
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We have ACR PLBs on our inflatable PFDs.
We too have ACR PLBs. We have attached them to our gumby suits (Cold Water immersion suits).

Our PLBs are not automatic and must be activated manually. We do practice putting them on and (pretend) to activate the PLBs. just in case.

Yes we also renew the subscriptions with NOAA annually.


https://www.acrartex.com/products/resqlink-plb
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Old 11-02-2019, 02:17 PM   #12
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Nope....something like USCG or SOLAS....


The back label shows US , canadian and euro wireless declarations. I suppose a question might be does SOLAS even have a category for this.
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Old 11-02-2019, 02:39 PM   #13
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Personal Locater Beacon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction View Post
We too have ACR PLBs. We have attached them to our gumby suits (Cold Water immersion suits).



Our PLBs are not automatic and must be activated manually. We do practice putting them on and (pretend) to activate the PLBs. just in case.



Yes we also renew the subscriptions with NOAA annually.





https://www.acrartex.com/products/resqlink-plb


What do you renew annually? My PLB is registered with NOAA and good for 2 years.
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:10 PM   #14
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What do you renew annually? My PLB is registered with NOAA and good for 2 years.
Ditto. Am I missing something?
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:35 PM   #15
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I have an ACR PLB, itís small and I just keep it strapped to the harness of my inflatable vest. $300 well spent. Thereís no subscription and only maintenance is registration and replacing the battery every 5 years. Major peace of mine!
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:36 PM   #16
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Nope....something like USCG or SOLAS....
Not sure there are an USCG or SOLAS standards for such a thing, and am completely in the dark as to what good that would do. These operate like a VHF radio with AIS and DSC. When you hit the water it sends an all ships DSC distress message and an AIS signal indicating your position. Your boat will get a screaming VHF alert and your position will automatically appear on the chart plotter. This should all happen within a minute of getting wet.

A PLB might have USCG or SOLAS approval, yet when you appear on deck to take your watch and discover that the helmsman is missing, the PLB he has will do no good at all. Maybe you can get on SSB and find an authority with some information about what they have received, if anything, and backtrack 2 hours to that location to see if they are still alive.

Perhaps you need to make a choice between a paper certification and what actually works?

The MOB1 is designed to clip onto the mouth inflation tube of your PFD inside the covering and automatically deploy when it inflates. If you are wearing your PFD you are wearing the MOB1. No action is required by anyone to get an alarm, a position, and a direction, and this happens within moments of the event.

Now if you happen to go over wearing a survival suit and the boat you came from sinks, then the PLB is no doubt better. But then the EPRIB should have gone off...
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:13 PM   #17
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This is my inflatable life vest.

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The strobe light is water activated. There is a whistle for attacking attention. The PLB is attached with a lanyard so I can't loose it but long enough to get it out in front of me so that I can see it to activate it.

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Old 11-02-2019, 09:28 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=Larry M;816712]Rob: I’d get a PLB. It’s a good addition to the boats EPIRB. If you happen to go overboard, one will help the rescuers find you. That’s a long passage on an unfamiliar boat not to have one.


Thanks Larry, I think I will buy one as we will be headed to the Bahamas next year. The boat has AIS so I will look into that option as well

We have an EPIRB and have tested it.

Thanks you everyone for the replies and suggestions. My wife and I went over to Niece, France in 2015 for the shakedown when Eamonn bought the boat. I have been back three time to sail with him. Diane and I spent six weeks helping them move the boat from Niece to Greece.

Time to do some research and make a decision.

Thanks again,

Rob
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:50 PM   #19
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Not sure there are an USCG or SOLAS standards for such a thing, and am completely in the dark as to what good that would do. These operate like a VHF radio with AIS and DSC. When you hit the water it sends an all ships DSC distress message and an AIS signal indicating your position. Your boat will get a screaming VHF alert and your position will automatically appear on the chart plotter. This should all happen within a minute of getting wet.

A PLB might have USCG or SOLAS approval, yet when you appear on deck to take your watch and discover that the helmsman is missing, the PLB he has will do no good at all. Maybe you can get on SSB and find an authority with some information about what they have received, if anything, and backtrack 2 hours to that location to see if they are still alive.

Perhaps you need to make a choice between a paper certification and what actually works?

The MOB1 is designed to clip onto the mouth inflation tube of your PFD inside the covering and automatically deploy when it inflates. If you are wearing your PFD you are wearing the MOB1. No action is required by anyone to get an alarm, a position, and a direction, and this happens within moments of the event.

Now if you happen to go over wearing a survival suit and the boat you came from sinks, then the PLB is no doubt better. But then the EPRIB should have gone off...
Those agencies certify things that HAVE to work in emergencies...

So yeah, they might do some good over a FCC frequency approval and a promise from a manufacturer.

If you think my years in the USCG and sSea Tow didn't teach me about paper versus what works....well .....your assumptions don't match mine.
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Old 11-03-2019, 09:34 AM   #20
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I see the AIS MOB device and the PLB as totally different use cases.

Doing solo night watches in an open cockpit, yeah, the AIS MOB is probably your best insurance for getting picked up by the off-watch helmsman.

But if the boat sinks, and you're clinging to a seat cushion, far from other vessels, I think it's the PLB you really want. And if other traffic is nearby, a simple strobe light can be at least as valuable as an AIS MOB.
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