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Started by fishfinder, July 26, 2008, 18:25:46 CET

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Dear all MFF members,

I would like to inform you that who ever is interested in buying an EPIRB for his safety at sea, we've got a quotation from Caruana Marine Centre and the prices are very good compared even with some from EBAY.

The first option is RLB-32 CAT I with hydrostatic release ( this will release the epirb automatically when the boat sinks.  :'( hope it never happens) and it costs ?720

the Second option which I'm more interested is the same model but with manual release.
RLB-32 CAT II + Bracket and manual release at ?460.


I will post the pictures and who ever is interested please let me know so that we can deal a good price together.
Kaptan Leisure with Suzuki DF115 4 stroke


On american sites they are way cheaper...some of them close to half price and with the value of the american dollar compared to euro right now, it makes it more worthed to buy it online and ship it to Malta.


Charlot, I am intrerested but I am not sure aboiut one thing. Should an EPIRB be registered and carried only on a particular boat (like VHF with DSC & MMSI no) or is it not boat  specific and I can just carry out around on different boats with me just like I do with my portable VHF & GPS?
---- www.BoatLinkMalta.com ----
The Website For 2nd Hand Boats


Jonathan an EPIRB is registered to the boat and you SHOULD NOT take it along to other vessels. Personally for the type of use most of us are interested in I would go with a PLB instead and always make sure it has an Internal GPS or  you will be in the water for a while. Non GPS models rely on satellites to pass over more than once to narrow down your position using doppler shifts in the frequency.

The RLB-32 doesn't have that. You'd have to step up to the Globalfix RLB-35.

I personally think we're better off looking at a group buy scheme of a PLB, either the ACR Aquafix 2797.4 GPS or otherwise the McMurdo FastFind MaxG (48hrs transmit), or the FastFind Plus GPS (24 Hours Transmit)


thanks for the info skip. what would the approximate cost of these gadgets be?
---- www.BoatLinkMalta.com ----
The Website For 2nd Hand Boats


when the plb signal is sent who actually receives it nick


When a PLB or an EPIRB transmit they send their signal up to the COSPAS-SARSAT network of satellites that process the signal and provide a location which is then sent downstream to ground station local user terminal known as a GEOLUTs.

The main GEOSAR satellite for our area is MSG-2 which has GEOLUT terminals located in Algiers, Toulouse, Pentelli (Greece), Bari (Italy), Fauske (Norway), Spain, Ankara and Combe Martin (UK). The GEOSAR network only processes signals from devices with GPS information as they are Geostationary satellites and therefore don't use doppler shifts, whereas the low earth orbiting LEOSAR network processes 406MHz signals with no embedded GPS co-ordinates and rely on multiple satellites to pass over you to narrow down your position via doppler shifts.

The GEOLUT's then send the information to a Mission Control Center who in turn forward the distress to the nearest rescue co-ordination center (in our case RCC Malta), who come out and get you!

It's important to stress that one of the main advantages of an EPIRB over an PLB is that it gets it's optimum signal when floating, whereas a PLB needs to be held above the water with the aerial pointing skywards and nothing covering the GPS receiver area. If you're unconscious or something like that you'll get a reduced or no signal as the PLB can't be held, whereas if an EPIRB auto deployed it would be floating and transmitting in the clear so to speak.


MacMurdo Fast Find Max will set you back ?239 incl VAT and has a 121.5MHz homing signal beacon as well but no GPS.

MacMurdo Fast Find Max G +GPS will set you back around ?350 incl VAT and has a 121.5MHz homing signal beacon as well

MacMurdo Smartfind E5 EPIRB Manual (No GPS) - ?299 incl VAT
MacMurdo Smartfind E5 + GPS EPIRB Manual - ?449 incl VAT

ACR units are a bit more expensive but considered to be top-notch.


Guys what do you think of extending on Fishfinder's idea of a group buy which I had also been thinking about, and we write a letter from the Forum to the Times and the Independant informing people that we intend to do a group purchase of  EPIRBs and PLBs and anyone interested in joining in to get a better price is free to do so.

I would like to take it a step further and say something along the lines of 'Seeing as the government has no intention of providing an incentive such as waiving the VAT on emergency life saving devices, a group discount is one way of reducing costs for all those interested.'

We can certainly approach the local suppliers like Caruana for ACR and Medcomms for McMurdo and see what they are willing to offer before contacting suppliers based in Europe. Whilst the US is a little cheaper, unless the units have a CE stamp they will be stopped on import, and there's also duty to be paid on top of everything.


Kaptan Leisure with Suzuki DF115 4 stroke


Guys thought it might be time to refresh everyone on this as we're in the winter months and preparing our budget for next year! Maybe you got some money for Xmas.....and are pondering what piece of equipment you should spend it on...a new reel, rod.....what about a vital piece of safety equipment if you venture offshore.

With the strength of the Euro against the £ now is the time to buy from the UK as from the USA it's no longer worth it.

McMurdo Smart Find Plus (G5) 406 GPS EPIRB Manual Release 5yr battery life minimum 48hrs Transmit.  Free MMSI and  Foreign Flag programming.   €462 incl VAT

MacMurdo Fast Find Max G-GPS will set you back around €335 incl VAT and has a 121.5MHz homing signal beacon and 48HRS TRANSMIT. Free MMSI and  Foreign Flag programming.

MacMurdo Fast Find Plus-GPS will set you back around €283 incl VAT and has a 121.5MHz homing signal beacon and 24HRS TRANSMIT. Free MMSI and  Foreign Flag programming.

OR if you prefer ACR as a brand:

ACR Global Fix  406 Cat 2 Manual EPIRB Internal GPS for pinpoint location. Manual 5 year warranty & battery life. 406 and 121.5Mhz. Free Foreign Flag programming. €515

ACR Aqua Fix  406 PLB GPS  EPIRB with internal  GPS and link 5 year warranty & battery life. 406 and 121.5Mhz. Free Foreign Flag programming. €450

Whether you go for a PLB or EPIRB is up to you and what you think your intended use will be....both have their pro's and cons, but having at least one is very important, especially if you couple it with a modern Laser Rescue Flare €80:

Night time signalling device visible up to 20 miles (32 km) away, optimal conditions. Effective in daytime up to 3 miles.

Locate reflective material up to one mile (1.6 km)
Waterproof to 80 feet (24 m).
Runs 72 hours on two easily replaceable AA batteries, buy once and no need to service etc.
Carry in your survival gear or attach to a lifejacket.

Let's see what the interest is in purchasing some, so that we can look at a bulk discount/make the freight costs more reasonable.



Nick are those prices in euros or sterling. I am trying to see if I can contact someone to maybe waive the vat part, thats why i am taking so long. I am interested although at the moment its a bit pricy and things arent exactly rosy......



Just so everyone knows McMurdo have come up with a smaller, more cost effective PLB. Don't ignore your safety guys, it hopefully will never happen to you but if it does you want to have peace of mind that you have the right equipment to alert authorities to your exact position in the minimum amount of time.



I have spoken with Mark at Medcomms about a group purchase of a PLB for those who may be interested. He has offered the excellent McMurdo Fastfind 210 (with GPS). This personal locator beacon functions in the same way as an EPIRB that is equipped with GPS but is designed to be more versatile and portable and registered to an individual rather than a vessel. This has the added advantage of you being able to take it with you when you go on a friends boat, or any kind of outdoor activity where you want peace of mind.

1 – 5 Units - € 260.00 + Vat

5 – 10 Units - € 230.00 + Vat

10 – 15 Units - € 215.00 + Vat.

The 210PLB was recently voted Product of the Year at the Helsinki Boat show http://www.fastfindplb.com/en/news/latest_news.php?NID=54

It's fully waterproof,  has a built-in integral 50-channel GPS for additional pinpoint location in additional to a localised 121.5Mhz homing beacon and an SOS LED flashlight. The size of a mobile it is designed to be tethered to an individual and there are various optional accessories like carry cases, lanyards etc that can be purchased.

With the accidents that occured last year, safety should not be overlooked. If you're interested please post your interest here so that we can get an idea of numbers.