July 2013 Issue
Mailport: July 2013
True Cost of SafeLink
The Kannad Marine SafeLink R10 (PS, May 2013) is a personal MOB device that when activated, transmits a signal that is displayed on any chartplotter equipped to receive and display an AIS signal.
After reviewing the companyís website, including the video showing how easy it is to install in a Type V PFD, I purchased an R10. Boy did I get a surprise when I went to install it. There was no way would it would fit in my Blue Storm PFD. I tried it in a friendís Spinlock PFD, and it still would not fit. I visited West Marine, and there was no PFD in stock onto which the R10 could be installed.
I purchased West Marineís Offshore Automatic PFD anyway, and with a minor modification to the PFD, I was able to make the R10 fit. (Iím refraining from describing the modification because, though I am confident that the integrity of the PFD is not compromised by the change, I donít think it is right to advocate such a modification.)
So in my case, the real cost of the Kannad SafeLink R10 was the $300 purchase price, plus more than $200 for a new PFD.
Tradewinds Sailing Club,
Your experience is a great reminder: Before buying any MOB beacon like those we reviewed in the May 2013 report, contact the manufacturer to be sure it will fit your specific PFD model. The non-floating SafeLink comes with a 3-foot lanyard, a padded case equipped with a clip, and a back loop that can be threaded onto to a life jacketís strap. It can also be set up for automatic activation when fitted to certain life jackets, but that setup has to be carried out by the PFD manufacturer or an authorized service center.
According to Kannad parent company, Oriola, they had no problems fitting the R10 inside off-the-shelf inflatable PFDs (including the West Marine Offshore PFD and more than a dozen other American life jackets) during pre-production and sea trials. ďSome fit right-handed, some left-handed, depending on where the oral tube lay inside the outer casing,Ē Oriolaís Bill Eastwood explained.