sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Expose on EPIRBS - what price safety?
Expose on EPIRBS - what price safety?


'Crystal Blues sailing - photo by Neil Langford (in Dinghy)'    .    Click Here to view large photo

Neil Langford, sailing with his wife Ley on Crystal Blues in Thailand, is considering crossing the Indian Ocean and reaching the Atlantic via Africa in a loose network of cruising sailors this year. While preparing, they have made some surprising discoveries about EPIRBs, which they share here:

Like many cruising sailors, in Asia we frequently look westward, hoping that the piracy problems will go away and allow us to continue our voyage towards Europe. Unfortunately the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden are still not safe, as confirmed in recent sailing advisories. There is a strong trend amongst cruising boats to travel westwards on a safer route, via Rodriguez, Mauritius, La Reunion, South Africa and the Cape of Good Hope. A loose but effective communication network has been established for those boats, supported with great energy by Richard & Susan Kidd on SV Sea Bunny, who are this year maintaining a list of vessels planning to head west, and sharing information on weather, anchorages, pilotage etc.

Here on Crystal Blues we're busy servicing and checking everything we need to cross oceans safely. As cruising sailors we absolutely depend on our primary safety tools - a sound vessel and responsible seamanship. However when things go really wrong we would turn to our secondary safety systems to help us out - life jackets, life rafts, radio communications and the Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, or 406 EPIRB.

406 Emergency Beacons:
Ten years ago we invested significantly in the latest and greatest EPIRB, a 406mhz device with built in GPS, designed to alert the rescue services and tell them (accurately) where we were. It cost over $2,000.00 ! This year, we wanted to replace the battery, as required, preparing the unit for further service.

Here Is What We Found .....

First of all, a 'certified' new battery installation for our beacon, installed by the nominated agents in nearby Singapore, will cost around US$750.00. However, a brand new McMurdo 406 GPS EPIRB, a later generation with improved specifications, will cost about $20.00 less ! Other brands have similar options. Understandably, many cruisers are opting to buy the new product, though we've now found there is an attractive option. Our research has also uncovered some interesting gaps in our understanding and some surprises regarding the performance of existing EPIRB products!

Technology Changes - A New Generation Arrives:
An Australian company is now offering a fully COSPAS / SARSAT approved 406 GPS EPIRB for US$412.00 - quite a saving. The model number is Safety Alert SA1G, manufactured by Kinetic Technology, who make a range of location beacons and rescue transponders used by marine safety authorities and the military. They now offer a 406 GPS EPIRB with unique features that we think sailors will appreciate.

. -  .. .  
First and foremost, the battery has a claimed life of ten (yes 10) years, and the EPIRB has a ten year warranty. Secondly, the lithium battery is a special type and size that can be transported by air. Third, the unit has a 66 channel GPS receiver, accurate to 1.8 meters, though we're told the search and rescue authorities work to a minimum of 120 meters accuracy. It will also localise it's position in less than a minute. Finally, it works both IN or OUT of the water.

This last feature may seem strange, but we understand that most 406 EPIRBs use the water as a ground plane for their radio transmissions, and must be floating free to work correctly. The KTi unit doesn't require this, and can work on deck, in the life raft or on land. It may look a little retro, but this product seems to hit all the right buttons.

We love the 10 year battery service life, and the fact that we can fly the thing to us from the point of purchase. Or anywhere else for that matter. KTi General manager Mark Knowles tells me the unit will transmit its first burst to the satellite in less than 60 seconds, though the accurate GPS position may not be sent until the second burst, approximately 5 minutes later. The KTi unit then transmits a position update every 5 minutes, the maximum frequency allowed by the COSPAS / SARSAT authorities. We understand that alternative products do no better than once every 20 minutes.

This is where it gets interesting - KTi tell me they believe that while most (non KTI) 406 beacons do send a position transmission every 20 minutes, there are some well known brands that do not update the GPS position - they keep transmitting the original location fix, with no position update for the set and drift caused by wind, tide and currents. Surprised is an understatement here !

Predictably, we like the advanced capabilities of this new product - even though we hope never to use it ! The manufacturer will custom encode the unit to suit your national safety authority requirements, upon receipt of vessel registration papers and your MMSI number. Air freight delivery to Asia is quoted at A$80.00 We're ordering one this week.

You can follow the cruising life of Crystal Blues by clicking here.

Did you like this article? Did you know that you can have all your non-competitive sailing news in one easy-read news magazine delivered direct to your inbox each week, simply by subscribing FREE to Sail-World Cruising? Stay up-to-date with what's happening on the water: everything from sailing adventures to new products, from rally news to new ideas and old tricks. Simply click here now!


by Neil and Ley Langford

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=106711

2:44 AM Tue 19 Feb 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

13 Feb 2013  One sailing incident and the lessons learned
13 Feb 2013  Lessons all boat owners can learn from Hurricane Sandy
05 Feb 2013  Calling UK Sailing Clubs: Attend RYA Club Clinics 2-3 March
01 Feb 2013  Look for These Hidden Monsters of the Seven Seas!
13 Jan 2013  Three thieves of boat engine's reliability - vital info for sailors
09 Jan 2013  Women Californian sailors meet for convention
07 Jan 2013  MOB - Learn the 'Elevator' Recovery Technique!
04 Jan 2013  Yacht restoration school - Open House in January
15 Dec 2012  Preparing for heavy sailing weather before it arrives!
14 Dec 2012  Ocean Cruising preparation - the London Boat Show
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World







































Soling North American Championship concludes on Lake Erie by Canadian International Soling Association,




























ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - USA finishes Top-10 in 4 classes
Outteridge and Jensen – What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott wins Gold
Santander Worlds - 49ers Burling and Tuke clear ahead
ISAF Sailing Worlds – Live broadcast - Medal races
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam day 5
WMRT Chicago Match Cup 2014 – GAC Pindar through to the semi-finals
Bart’s Bash 2014 at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Victoria Harbour
Bart's Bash: First event in at Wakatere in New Zealand
ISAF Sailing Worlds Santander 2014 - AUS Laser and 470 Medals + video
2014 Patriot Regatta - U.S. Coast Guard team wins
2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 9 highlights
2014 Etchells North American Championship – Day 2
Chicago Match Cup - Top four tour teams tackle tomorrow in semi-finals
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 49er and Nacra 17 world titles claimed
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Caleb Paine through to Finn medal race + video
ISAF Worlds - 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17 Rio 2016 spots taken
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Women's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Scott all set to lift Finn world title
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Men's medal race images by Thom Touw   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Aussies and Austrians claim 470 gold   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 470 awards images by Sail-World.com   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - 470 medal race images by Jesus Renedo   
Annapolis-to-Newport Race - 'What to Expect' Seminar to take place   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - No racing on penultimate day   
Belcher takes record fifth 470 World Championship   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 8 video highlights   
2014 Great Lakes Team Racing Championship about to set off   
2014 Etchells North American Championship - Day 1   
2014 U.S. Multihull Championship - Day 1   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Repechage top four determined in final flight   
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Santander medal race line-up confirmed   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sail-World.com   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing stumbles in coastal race   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans ready for 470 medal races   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Action ramps up with end zone in sight   
Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander - Double French RS:X gold   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT