ACR's new iPro GPS EPIRB earns its "next generation" marketing tag on three counts, the most obvious one being the reassuring and useful info shown on its one-inch digital display. When you self-test the unit, the screen delivers the results and even suggests servicing if needed. If you actually activate the rescue beacon, the screen displays your GPS coordinates—which could be very valuable if, say, you're also calling in the distress situation via satphone—and can also advise you on correct deployment. For instance, if the GPS signal is weak, as it truly was at an indoor boat show demo seen below, "POOR...SAT...SIGNAL...IMPROVE…SKY…VIEW" scrolls across the little display. The iPro's second major new feature is its ability to interface with a boat's own GPS so that it can send a position instantly rather than wait for its internal GPS to cold start. And, finally, its strobe unit is a new four-facet LED design that looks very bright yet conserves the non-hazardous battery's working life. The compact Category II iPro retails for $1,300, while the water-activated Category I is $1,540.
This article originally appeared in the December 2008 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.