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Old 30 January 2017, 19:14   #21
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Country: UK - England
Town: Newcastle
Boat name: Merlin
Make: RB4 Gemini 550
Length: 4m +
Engine: Tohatsu 90C
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,048
lots of good advice here
I think the ergonomics of the PLB are quite important.
being able to hold it - when your hands may be very cold,
is something to consider. Small may not always be better.
The Orolia group is heavily invested into the new MEOSAR technology,
and I feel leading the way in the return link capabilities.
Having handled several beacons, I liked the feel of the ACR unit,
but my personal preference is for the slightly larger units that McMurdo make
rather than the 220 - purely based on holding something
substantial in your hand. I think the "floating" capability may not be so important
in a PLB, as everyone points out, it should be secured to you or your lifejacket,
and if you need to deploy it, you will want to have it in your hand,
with the antenna having the best view of the sky as possible.
Great that the questions are being asked and if anyone on the forum
doesn't own a PLB yet I really recommend they get one.
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Old 31 January 2017, 15:47   #22
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I use a pair of 220s, one in my lifejacket pocket tethered to it, and another I keep in my cabin when working away just in case my LJ isn't available, belt and braces approach. I've not had to use them in anger but they feel well made.

On one of the lifeboats I crew we have ACR PLBs and I did their monthly checks the other day, was quite impressed, in particular the antenna seemed very sturdy.

Finally I've a McMurdo Safelink AIS beacon wired to my personal LJ to auto activate. It'll depend where you do most of your boating if that's any use for small boat crew, if you're somewhere busy like the Solent lots of people would potentially see you, on the west coast of Scotland there are plenty of places where no one would see you. For me working on bigger bots and ships it is more peace of mind that my own vessel could find me should I go over the side.
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