Program - Emergency Beacons

About the EPIRB Rental Program

The BoatUS Foundation has been providing affordable Boating Safety Equipment Since 1997 - Below we list everything you need to know about our EPIRB Rental Program.

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Reliable equipment. Shipped directly to you. No hassle peace of mind so you can have a great trip.

How does the Coast Guard know who sent the beacon signal?

This information is very important in case of emergency. As required by law, our beacons' unique identifier numbers (UIN) have been registered by us with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This means that each beacon's signal is unique to the vessel to which it is registered. NOAA registration asks for a description of your vessel, making it easier for search and rescue forces to locate you in an emergency.

How do I provide my vessel information?

When you rent a beacon, Foundation staff will ask you for the same information you would provide NOAA in their registration along with a trip itinerary and emergency contact information. We have provided NOAA and the Coast Guard with a toll-free number to our Emergency Dispatch Center that is staffed 24 hours/7 days a week by trained emergency response staff. In the rare event that you may need to activate your rental beacon, BoatU.S. Emergency Dispatch staff will forward your rental information to the Coast Guard or Air Force, and other search and rescue teams.

Note: The EPIRB is registered to BoatU.S. - you do not need to contact NOAA before your trip.

Reserve Your Equipment

Our ordering program can take reservations up to 6 months in advance of your trip. We ask that you place your order at least 5 business days prior to the date that you need the equipment. This allows for shipping and paperwork processing time. If you contact us less than 5 business days prior to your trip, non-standard or rush shipping charges may apply.

Click Here for a Rental Rates and Shipping Details

Peak rental season is from May to August. We have a limited supply of equipment, so if your trip is during this time, make your reservation early.

Legal Requirements

This expensive equipment is sent out to customers in good-faith that it will be returned. As such, we require a contract to be signed and credit to be charged before the equipment is shipped. When you place your order you will be sent an contract and are required to sign and return this paper contract before you are charged or your equipment is shipped.


While there is no guarantee that rented equipment will function as designed, the BoatU.S. Foundation adheres to the maintenance schedule as prescribed by the manufacturer. Since the program was started in 1997, we have never had equipment fail to work properly.

Beacon Rates and Shipping Details


McMurdo Cat II 406 MHz GPS-Enabled EPIRB (aka GPIRB)

McMurdo Cat II 406 MHz GPS-Enabled EPIRB (aka GPIRB)

GPIRB Rental Rates:
  • $65 Weekly Rental Rate
  • $35 3-Day FedEx Express Saver
  • $55 2nd Day FedEx
  • $65 Overnight FedEx
  • Orders completed by 2pm EST on standard business days will be processed the same day.

ACR ResQLink 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon

ACR ResQLink 406 MHz Personal Locator Beacon

PLB Rental Rates:
  • $45 Weekly Rental Rate
  • $25 3-Day FedEx Express Saver
  • $35 2nd Day FedEx
  • $45 Overnight FedEx
  • Orders completed by 2pm EST on standard business days will be processed the same day.

All EPIRBs and PLBs:

  • Must be shipped within the Continental U.S.
  • No International shipping
  • No shipping to/from U.S. Territories
  • No rural routes or PO Boxes
  • You will need to sign for the package when it is delivered
  • Pick up available only in Annapolis, MD office during regular business hours

Rush Orders

The BoatUS Foundation will make all attempts to meet the needs of customers taking unexpected offshore trips. The BoatUS Foundation has a limited supply of equipment for rent and units are loaned out on a first-come first-served basis. Please do not wait to make a reservation. Our peak season is May through August.

Return Policy

  • It is the renter’s responsibility to return the rental equipment to the BoatUS Foundation on time.
  • If your voyage is running longer than originally anticipated, please call to authorize an extension on your rental period. You will be charged the regular rate for each additional week.

  • Late returns:
    • Without prior authorization renters will automatically be charged $100 if the rental equipment is not received within 4 days of the originally scheduled return date.
    • If the unit is not received within two weeks of the original return date, the renter will be charged the full value of the rental unit.
  • Properly packaged equipment may be given to any FedEx driver or FedEx affiliated shipping store within your area. You may call 1-800-Go-FedEx or visit to find a location in your area. Please, do not rely on marina staff or any other intermediary to deliver your rental equipment to FedEx. Please pack the equipment in the cardboard box provided for return shipping.
  • The Foundation will not be responsible for any additional shipping charges, such as weekend or rush shipping, or home pick-up. Any additional shipping charges incurred will be the responsibility of the renter, unless prior arrangements are made with the Foundation.