Three Marine PLB Compared

Personal locator beacons are important for boating safety.

If you’re going to take an adventure, buy a personal locator beacon (PLB) and register it to make sure there’s a way to send for help should you need it. Here are three to consider carrying with you on the next journey.

McMurdo FastFind 220

McMurdo FastFind 220
Compact, waterproof, nicely priced.Courtesy McMurdo Group

The Signal: This palm-size unit combines a 406 MHz satellite beacon with a 121.5 MHz radio signal for faster response. It has 50 GPS channels and can run continuously for 24 hours. It's waterproof to 10 meters, has a six-year battery storage life, and is the least expensive of the trio.

The Drain: It does not float unless it's in the provided buoyancy pouch, and it has the fewest available GPS channels.

Price: $220; mcmurdogroup.com

Ocean Signal RescueMe PLB1
The smallest PLB has 66 GPS channels, and it’s waterproof.Courtesy Ocean Signal

The Signal: The smallest of the three, it is waterproof to 15 meters. Like the others, it combines a 406 MHz satellite beacon with a 121.5 MHz radio beacon for close-range targeting. It has 66 GPS channels and can run continuously for 24 hours. It has a seven-year battery shelf life.

The Drain: It doesn't float unless it's in the provided buoyancy pouch.

Price: $269; oceansignal.com

ACR ResQLink+ PLB

ACR ResQLink+ PLB
Has a 30-hour battery life, and it floats.Courtesy ACR Electronics

Signal: It has 66 GPS channels, as well as the 121.5 MHz radio beacon for faster close-range response. It can transmit continuously for 30 hours and features a built-in emergency strobe LED. It's waterproof to 5 meters and is the only one that is buoyant without a pouch.

The Drain: It has a five-year battery life (the shortest of the three featured here).

Price: $269; acrartex.com