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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My "comfortable" fishing range is 50 +/- miles. Trying to decide whether to go with a PLB (looking at ACR's buoyant 406 GPS ...) or was wondering if anyone has experience with DeLorme's "In Reach" 2-way satellite communicator w/GPS to pair w/my cell phone? Also (as a back up to my "hard-wired" VHF) looking at Standard Horizon's hand held floating VHF w/GPS. Things I need and hope I never have to use but would appreciate your advice, experience, thoughts, etc.
(before I get serious w/Santa Claus). Thanks. Oh, and my wife wants me to get a life raft too (I guess that's a good sign). Is there a "decent" life raft out there that doesn't feel like I'm buying another boat? Thanks again.
 

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For a life raft in your price range a "coastal" type would suffice. I personally use the offshore raft but they are more expensive and cost a bunch to have re-certified every 3 years.

A handheld VHF w/GPS and DSC is a must for an emergency.

I am not familiar with the locator's other than Spot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ocean Master. A few (maybe dumb) questions ...

Does a "coastal" life raft require a re-certification?
Does a DSC "connect" to my FF/GPS (Raymarine C80) or is it independent?
Do you know if Spot has a good reputation (the reviews seem mixed)?

Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving!
 

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I have a SPOT and like it. Didn't get the connect that allows you to type messages on your phone just the entry level one that has pre scripted messages. No issues. All that said, spot / locator etc., are not substitutes for a 406 EPRIB, it calls the CG, transmits your location and continues to transmit till it's turned off or the battery quits a few days later. It is unique to you and when you register it you include make, model and color of your boat. In my opinion after a VHF and fire extinguisher the best / most important piece of rescue equipment you can buy.
 

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I have the SPOT and very happy with it. Have not had to use it fortunately for emergency purposes. I use it for the footprints tracker and sending messges to my wife to let her know I am ok- I set two messages up online that will go to a predetermined list based on which buttom I hit. The emergency options to me seemed to be the best of both worlds- one option to call tow boat and send coordinates, another option for all bets are off get the coasties out here ASAP to rescue my dumb a$$.

Just my opinion. There are more expensive options and they are all much less than the cost of a funeral, but the SPOT was the best option for me as part of a multi-layer approach to offshore safety. I just ordered a standard horizon 1700 with the built in GPS option and have a shakespeare antenna plus a handheld Uniden VHF. If you stop seeing posts then disregard and my opinion was wrong..

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Pan
 

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Just to offer a desecenting opinion - the expience I have had with SPOT is mixed .. We used them on a sailboat regatta to track boat positions from Pensacola to Mexico .. Sometimes the spot did not get a good location when turned on and had to be turned on an of a few time before the spot gps found its position. And even after booting up and reported every 10 minutes, often the spot would lose position during the day, and we changed batteries every day. On most boats it worked fine ... some boat's spots never worked. Subjectively it was about an 80% success rate

A spot is not subsitute for a EPRIB ... I would rely on a SPOT for "I will be later for dinner" . I would fire up the EPIRB if, and only if, It was really serious.

And if you have to go in the water - you really want to take and EPIRB rather than a SPOT . Research the diference .. EPIRBs have better GPS recieption - position tranmitting capability, when you are swimining. and often run longer

I own both.
So in my opinion - A SPOT is a useful gadget and could help when you are in a jam, an EPRIB is a true safety at sea device.
 

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Thanks Ocean Master. A few (maybe dumb) questions ...

Does a "coastal" life raft require a re-certification?
Does a DSC "connect" to my FF/GPS (Raymarine C80) or is it independent?
Do you know if Spot has a good reputation (the reviews seem mixed)?

Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving!
Yes all life rafts need to be re-certified and repacked according to their instructions. The coastal life rafts are lesser in cost than a true "offshore" life raft. The coastal type will however save you life in an emergency just like any other. They are just not as well equipped as the offshore type.

The offshore type are rated for many days adrift at sea if needed.

Your ditch bag is really important to have loaded with all the lifesaving necessities such as the GPS, VHF, signal devices such as flares mirror's, die packs and on and on and a locator. I would definitely get an EPIRB and a SPOT for backup.

Does your fixed VHF have DSC..? If not get the handheld waterproof VHF with GPS and DSC built in. DSC isn't the best thing to have but when you add them all up you should be found in the least amount of time in a true emergency.

Save your signal devices until you receive communication from the USCG or another vessel.

I had my offshore life raft re-packed last year and it cost about $2,000.00. The coastal's will be much less.
 

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My "comfortable" fishing range is 50 +/- miles.
For your raft you can always get this if you have space up top. No repacking needed and for the gulf will be adequate in most cases.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wc...&subdeptNum=50509&classNum=50510#.ULTWm2dceZQ

A sea anchor should be required safety equipment on boats also. :thumbsup: They will keep you pointed into the sea in case of loss of power in heavy seas and keep you boat bailing.

Also a hose repair kit consisting of every size of double hose barbs with assorted hose clamps can save your day. You can normally put one together at Depot for about $25.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for your suggestions (and experience)!

We happened to get caught by the squall line (that came through on Tuesday morning) on our way back in. It was the scariest 30 minutes I've had on the water in years! As we sat (soaking wet and cold) eating an unscheduled "brunch" at Tacky Jacks (OB), I decided ...

There will be an EPIRB, a hand-held VHF w/GPS and DSC, a SPOT, a Life Raft, and a Bible under the Christmas Tree the year!

Thanks Again.
 
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