For America’s boat and yacht clubs and other groups organizing sailboat races this summer, the rules have all changed with COVID-19. Captains know that having success with COVID-19’s social distancing could mean having fewer (nonrelated) crew aboard this racing season.
However, fewer crew could also mean fewer hands aboard – and potentially fewer eyeballs to spot someone in the water – in the event of a crew-overboard situation. Racing sailors may be able to gain back some of that safety net by having each crew member wear a personal locator beacon (PLB).
However, starting at around $300 per unit, outfitting everyone may stretch the sailing budget. A less expensive option is renting PLB units from a variety of companies, including BoatUS, which have PLB units for sailors, power boaters, hikers, and anyone heading off the beaten path or on unfamiliar or wide open waters.