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Personal GPS


Every year we hear horror stories about boaters getting lost at sea, accidents, etc... and it got me and my family thinking as avid offshore boaters.

I have done a little research but are there any personal GPS locators better than others?

I have seen the SPOT gen3, looks good because you can send a quick "I am ok" message back. Waterproof, SOS, etc.. $150 for it plus $100/yr membership.

Others are more expensive but cant send messages back
Do you have to pay for memberships on all of them?

The message back is really not needed, just a simple water proof GPS personal tracker if something goes wrong.

Thanks for all the feedback in advance.

God Bless the search for those boys from Jupiter!



  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 21,246 AG
    Safety gear should not be scrimped on....your **** will hang in the balance.

    Get a REAL locator.... ACR makes the good stuff. If you can afford it...the auto deploys are about $800 and are registered to your boat.
    I have the personal...less than $300. It is fastened to a TYPE 1 OFFSHORE RATED PFD ....WITH STROBE My waterproof VHF is also attached....as is a 50 foot " clip line" to attach everyone together so we don't become separated. All of the offshore vests have dye packs and mirrors along with strobes attached. Overkill?.... I don't know....but I like to minimize the chance I will be a "sad story" .
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • beat to fitbeat to fit Posts: 2,088 Captain
    ok, good advise. Thanks for tips
  • seanfishseanfish Posts: 254 Deckhand

    You as a former first responder probably know better than most of us. Outside of a selfrighting liferaft, that is about the most complete list I have ever seen for aiding in someone finding you quickly, not necessarily for long term survival.

    I have been in some pretty nasty weather and realized how nearly impossible most typical places where many store their vests are to get to in certain conditions. I will add to make sure you know that your life saving safety equipment is easily accessible in about 10 seconds or less in ROUGH weather.
  • MSW_SatelliteBeachMSW_SatelliteBeach Posts: 212 Officer
    Another really good safety tip: Label your boat/kayak/canoe.

    Good article on the subject: http://www.canoekayak.com/touring-kayaks/message-from-the-coast-guard-put-a-sticker-on-it/#GXCZKHxP3FA1oTYB.97
  • beachsideandybeachsideandy Posts: 925 Officer
    My ACR PLB, handheld VHF, and everything else related are stored right in my floating ACR ditchbag. It's easily accessible normally, but you bet your a** it would be out with my lifejacket and ready to go if we were in rough weather. Of course unexpected things can happen outside of rough weather, so nothing I have stored is hard to get to.
  • southtxsouthtx Posts: 25 Greenhorn
    Just to add to the list, a sat phone is great to have. They were really expensive years ago, but you can get them relatively cheap now.
  • LostTackleLostTackle Posts: 17 Greenhorn
    I bought a InReach Se for our annual Marco Island trip and I can say it's worth it. The two way message feature is really awesome. It saved us from storms one day while we were out. We have a garmin with satellite weather but it tends to lock up on us. We saw the storms but thought we were fine because of the radar looked good, but it was an old loop. My friends wife sent us a message about the storms brewing and when we reset the garmin noticed a window to port that we took and kept us out of danger. We also have a log of every keeper put in the box and what the gps coords were for it. You get 3 free canned messages that you can set and send as many times as you want and aren't charged per message. We set up "keeper in the box", "heading for port", and "safe on the water". Our family would keep track of where we were throughout the day and really enjoyed the keeper in the box messages. It was a way for them to feel connected to us. This isn't a substitute for an Epirb(we have one of those on the boat too), but it is a nice addition.
  • hunterjwhunterjw Posts: 456 Deckhand
    I have an epirb but recently bought a delorme inreach. It is great. To name a few things:
    - it lets you know when a message delivers
    -2 way text
    -Plans are 10-20 a month
    -someone on land can tell you if storms are going across or building (when off ponce 40 miles this can be a lifesaver)

    cost is less than epirb.
    "He who hoots with the owls at night will not soar with the eagles at dawn"

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