Industry expert Peter Forey reveals a few insider tips that could really save boaters some money when servicing their electronic safety equipment

“Every 5 years you will need to service your EPIRB. But don’t just call the number on the back of the unit and send it back to the manufacturer,” advises Peter Forey, Managing Director of Surrey-based Sartech, one of the world’s leading authorities on Search & Rescue electronics. “Shop around. You’ll be amazed at how much time and money you could save.”

Top 5 tips for getting the best value from your EPIRB service:

– Don’t assume that the unit’s manufacturer will give you the best service or the best price – shop around.

– Whoever you choose, make sure that they have the ability to carry out a detailed test of the equipment, and can supply you with an official test report. Not just insert a new battery and press the test button. A certified test station should be able to measure the radio transmission’s power, frequency, decoding and also do a leak test.

– Check the Sartech website and get a price for your make and model. Sartech makes the batteries and the test equipment for all the accredited test centres. If you can get servicing done cheaper elsewhere – ask yourself ‘why is it cheaper?’ – Probably because all they are doing is changing the battery.

– One of the easiest options is to go to your local chandlers. Most can take in EPIRBs and send them on to Sartech for a comprehensive service. The chandler will get a trade discount so it shouldn’t cost any more doing this than contacting Sartech direct.

– You can check service company credentials on the CIRM website by visiting and clicking on the Members link. CIRM (The Committee International Radio Maritime) is the world’s leading industry body dedicated to improving the safety of life at sea through the provision of better maritime electronic technology.