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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:21 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 3087
Location: South Florida
SPOT devices communicate with private satellites to receive the signal and route it to private (SPOT) communication centers. From there, they are distributed accordingly. SPOT devices can communicate simple messages to relatives & friends (an "OK" message), as well as 2 kinds of help requests: (1) HELP--request for help for non-life-threatening situations, and (2) "911"--a request for emergency help in a life-threatening situation. Some newer SPOT devices have more advanced capabilities. Users pay an annual fee for this service. S&R costs may be incurred when HELP & "911" messages are sent out.

PLB and EPIRB units communicate with US government (& others?) satellites and are considered more reliable than SPOT. They are generally only used when a rescue is needed from a life-threatening situation. There are no annual fees for their rare use, but there may be S&R charges.

Many competitors on the WaterTribe Everglades Challenge (7 am, Saturday, Mar 1, to 7 am, Sunday, Mar 9, ) have complained about their SPOT not performing properly. SPOT units, of course, are used continuously or at least on an hourly basis during the EC by the competitors. Most competitor SPOT units are not protected from the elements. PLB and EPIRB units are required for each boat in the EC, but they are only used when imminent, life-threatening danger is present--a relatively rare occurrence during the EC.


2015 AI 2, 2014 Tandem

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein

PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:39 pm 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:24 pm
Posts: 71
Location: NJ
anything gps is definitely more reliable than vhf or cell(although cloud cover can cause problems) but i know like me some of you cant afford to have it pick since i could only really get one at the time was a dsc enabled VHF radio with gps.....has the ability to send continuous distress calls with updated gps locations to the coast guard or other dsc enabled devices at 6W (STANDARD HORIZON HX851).....this is decently powerful at 6W and if your in an area with other boaters the call can be forwarded....

i think a lot of people discount the use of a cell phone as a backup comm device.....I have done trips with other Islands up to 10 miles offshore and still received cell service!....especially waterproof models or the iphone which it seems like everyone has in a lifeproof case....great for videos and saving lives :mrgreen:

honestly though everyone has to remember SELF RESCUE is the best kind of rescue!!!!! be prepared to get yourself out of trouble because obviously this is your best bet!


PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:04 pm 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2424
Location: Maui, Hawaii
I think everyone posting here is in agreement, You need to "BE PREPARED!" I think of it as four concentric circles.

First, what can we do to stop a problem from happening. This should include maintenance, hardening, and adding to our boats as well as keeping ourselves in shape and practicing and adding to our skills. Also I would put knowing our limits and staying out of Harms way like Keith (Chekika) did in canceling his last solo trip when conditions turned far worse than the forecast.

Second is self rescue as Jeff (Deepbluesilence) said. I carry most of the gear that I do, to recover from problems my self, rather than have to rely on others to come get me.

Third is sailing with others, preferably others with equal or greater skills as NOHUHU's commented. I would adventure further and longer with NOHUHU or other skilled friends (Ray, Scott, Jeff and others) far quicker than by myself or with. Of course many other do sail with me for the same reason and I have learn from almost everyone I have sailed with.

Lastly, I have my EPIRB and Marine radio (and cell phone, other signaling devices) to call for help when all other options have failed. I always carry them and have never had to use them in a disaster. But I do always carry them!

Be Prepared! Then enjoy!

Image - - - - - Hobie Island Sailing since 2006 - - - - - 2011 & 2015 Hobie AIs and a 2012 TI

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:59 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:58 am
Posts: 2703
Location: Forster, NSW, Australia
You nailed it Bob! You can imagine my concern when I heard of a guy who regularly goes offshore with only level one...

Tony Stott
2012 Tandem Island "SIC EM" with Hobie spinnaker!

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