EPIRB and PLB Registration


If you own an EPIRB or PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) you need to register the device. In the United States NOAA is the agency that keeps the registration database. After you have registered the beacon, NOAA will send you a Proof Of Registration like the one shown above and it should be affixed to your device.

The Proof Of Registration shows the registration expiry date, the Hexadecimal (HEX) ID of the beacon (the ADCD…. number) and in the case of an EPIRB the vessel name, PLB registrations show the owners name.

Why does the registration expire? NOAA wants to make sure that the data is current so they require you to update it every 2 years. The registration expiry IS NOT the same as the battery expiry. That information is printed on the beacon by the manufacturer and is not part of the NOAA registration process.

So how do you register your unit? There are 3 ways but the easiest (and since you are reading this I assume you like to do things online) is by going to the Beacon Registration web site, setting up an account and filling out a form. You can also fill out the form that should have come with your new unit and either FAX or mail it to NOAA. If you do this online there is absolutely no cost, by FAX just the cost of a fax call and by mail the cost of a first class stamp. There is no fee for registration with NOAA!

If you have an EPIRB and your vessel is registered in Canada, you need to have the unit programmed for Canada and you need to register it with Canadian authorities. Every country is required to maintain their own database, although a few have agreements with others to do the work for them. The internet will quickly lead you to your countries’ site.

What does registering the unit get you? Better response should you need to activate it. That alone is worth the time it takes to do the registration. For commercial vessels there is a USCG requirement that one must register their beacon, failure to do so would result in a trip back to the dock.

Cord Hangers

Cord Hanger
Cord Hanger

Summer is over and it’s time to clean up the mess from all of our projects. Several extension cords we on the floor just waiting to be tripped over so I grabbed a hose hanger strap and repurposed it to be a cord hanger. Now we can safely walk across the garage without being attacked.

This is just another example of the usefulness of straps around the house. If you have cords (or hoses) to hang, just give me a call at (800) 343-5826 and I can build something that will solve the problem.

The strap in the picture is made using 1″ black polypropylene webbing, a side release buckle and D-ring. Not shown but the end of the webbing is folded over and bar tacked so that it can not unthread from the buckle.

Tacoma mushroom hunters could have used a PLB

The Tacoma News Tribune just had an article about two men who got lost while hunting mushrooms.  Fortunately they had enough supplies to survive a night in the woods. Our days are getting shorter and the nights colder, pretty soon spending a night outdoors will be difficult without good gear.

Ocean Signal rescueME Personal Locator Beacon
Ocean Signal rescueME Personal Locator Beacon

If you are going out in the woods consider adding an Ocean Signal rescueME Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) to your kit. Weighing in a bit over 4 ounces it will not slow you down (or reduce the number of mushrooms you can harvest). It is a good piece of gear if you are backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, or even driving  during the winter.

There is no annual charge involved with the rescueME PLB. $249.00 (current price as of October 2014) and a seven year life it works out to $35.58 per year or about 10 cents per day. Truly an affordable piece of safety equipment.panduan android

PLB’s work using a satellite system, owned and operated by governments and provide world wide coverage. You don’t have to worry about cell coverage, as long as you can see the sky, it will work. If you want to get rescued, this is the piece of equipment you want in your hands.

Bad things can happen even close to home

USCG Photo

Last Friday (October 17th) the Lady A sunk in the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Talking with one of the owners who was not onboard, it appears that the hull failed due to extreme weather. The good news is that everyone is safe and no oil was lost.

As you can see in the photo, a small Inflatable Buoyant Apparatus (IBA) had been deployed. IBA’s are available in 4 to 100 person capacities and are an extremely economical piece of primary life saving equipment for those who do not travel offshore. They keep the victims out of the water and are extremely easy to see from the air.

USCG article on the sinking

Polyester Sail Ties

We are now offering polyester sail ties in black and white.  Polyester provides the best UV stability of any webbing so if you don’t cover your main with a sail cover, these are the sail ties for you.

DuPont calls polyester “Dacron” and that has been the standard for sail cloth and sheets for decades. Along with the UV stability it is extremely abrasion resistant. (Please note: our webbing is not made from DuPont’s material).

If you do not require the UV stability of polyester and want a wider range of colors we still offer sail ties made from polypropylene in standard lengths from 2 feet to 10 feet. Should you need something longer we can do that too, just give us a call at (253) 627-6000.

Joes Post #5


Today (8/8/14) CNN had an article about 20 stunning cliffside beaches. One of the beaches was in Etretat, France.

The black and white images at the top and bottom were taken by Joe during World War II, the color image was used in the CNN article. The both look at the same arch, just from opposite sides.


This is the beach at Etretat, rocks not sand. The boats are still there although a bit more modern. I doubt the fishermen still live in the town, it has become a bit of a tourist trap.


New webbing in stock

Sleepless 2017 film download

We have sold purple polypropylene webbing for years and it has made the University of Washington alumni happy. Finally we can satisfy the Washington State University fans with  1″ burgundy. This is our standard polypropylene webbing and we sell it by the foot with no minimum.

Also new  to our inventory is 1″ yellow heavyweight nylon.  Offering excellent abrasion resistance and great strength it should be popular with Louisiana State University fans or even Husky’s who are willing to change gold for a bright yellow. Again you can buy it by the foot with no minimum- well, I guess you have to buy a foot…

Where was the EPIRB?

Two fishermen spent the better part of a day in their life raft after their lobster boat sank. Lucky, you bet, but where was their EPIRB? Most commercial fishing vessels are required to carry an EPIRB but in the report from Maine’s Department of Natural Resources there is no mention of one being deployed. I am sure we will hear more but my guess is that the crew were not able to grab the beacon prior to abandoning the vessel. If the water was not deep enough the EPIRB would not have self-deployed.

This shows why it is important to have an EPIRB or PLB packed in your life raft. PLB’s make the most sense, they are small and will pack in any raft and costing less than $250.00, very affordable. Add one the next time you have your life raft serviced.