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Old 25-04-2012, 15:28   #1
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check your flares!

Solo sailor lost after his stricken yacht was hit by a violent storm is recovered after 78 days lost at sea | Mail Online
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Old 25-04-2012, 15:47   #2
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re: check your flares!

looks like 3 flares wasn't quite enough. glad he made it out ok.
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Old 25-04-2012, 15:51   #3
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Re: check your flares!

Actually I think he had just the right number. However, yes some more would have been useful, you wouldn't want a dud as your last one.

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Old 25-04-2012, 15:52   #4
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Re: check your flares!

He is one lucky man!!!
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Old 25-04-2012, 15:57   #5
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Re: check your flares!

Good reason to keep your out-of-date SOLAS flares in a separate airtight container from the in-date flares.
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Old 25-04-2012, 16:23   #6
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Re: check your flares!

I'm thinking an epirb or personal locator would have avoided a lot of suffering. Even a VHF handheld with GPS / DSC - if you can see the ship you're within range.

On the subject of flares, the SOLAS flares are totally worth the additional expense. I have tried lighting the el-cheapo variety in good weather on land after their expiration date and they are not always easy to get going. I've banned them from my boat. I expect my SOLAS flares will work well beyond the expiry date, and I will keep them as backups as suggested.
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Old 25-04-2012, 18:34   #7
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Re: check your flares!

ORC Cat 1 SOLAS flare kit: $529.99
ACR GlobalFix Pro 406 MHz EPIRB with GPS and 121.5 MHz homing capability: $639.99

Which is the better value?
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Old 25-04-2012, 18:46   #8
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Re: check your flares!

Long story short, in 1993 I fired off some SOLAS flares dated 1975 during a 4th of July fireworks display.
They had been stored on deck of a sailboat in a hard shell Avon liferaft.
Every one of them worked perfectly.
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Old 25-04-2012, 19:53   #9
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Re: check your flares!

Yeah I think carrying a few hand held VHF's as backup might be a better to have than additional flares. Some Vhf's are not that much more expensive than the flares these days. Maybe the same price if you buy a used one.
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Old 26-04-2012, 08:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico
Long story short, in 1993 I fired off some SOLAS flares dated 1975 during a 4th of July fireworks display.
They had been stored on deck of a sailboat in a hard shell Avon liferaft.
Every one of them worked perfectly.
Same here. Very old flares worked quite well almost 25 years later . Keep them dry.
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Old 26-04-2012, 09:06   #11
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Re: check your flares!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
ORC Cat 1 SOLAS flare kit: $529.99
ACR GlobalFix Pro 406 MHz EPIRB with GPS and 121.5 MHz homing capability: $639.99

Which is the better value?
Where I come from better value has nothing to do with it. The flares are required by Transport Canada for vessels the size of mine.
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Old 26-04-2012, 09:10   #12
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Re: check your flares!

Interesting. IMO, flares are very much the tool of last resort after SSB, VHF, EPRIB etc but as they say, when you are down to your last chance, it better be a good one. I will be replacing non SOLAS flares with SOLAS ones.
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Old 26-04-2012, 09:11   #13
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Re: check your flares!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrid View Post
Where I come from better value has nothing to do with it. The flares are required by Transport Canada for vessels the size of mine.
And here, both (flares & EPRIB) are required!
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Old 26-04-2012, 09:32   #14
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Re: check your flares!

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Long story short, in 1993 I fired off some SOLAS flares dated 1975 during a 4th of July fireworks display.
They had been stored on deck of a sailboat in a hard shell Avon liferaft.
Every one of them worked perfectly.
Yeah, I think it's a good idea to keep the old ones. Last 4th we shot off 8 flares dated in the 80's.. non SOlas.... they all worked!
If Solas flares are that much money I would opt for more quantity of non solas! I did buy a few Solas for one boat...
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Old 26-04-2012, 09:50   #15
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Re: check your flares!

I don't know if you can still get used ones like the following, but it's worth a shot.

In the early '90's, we got our Avon liferaft repacked before our Mexico trip.
The repacking depot gave us several options about new flares which prompted me to ask,
What do you do with the old SOLAS flares?"
They said they had to pay to take them to a hazardous waste dump at great expense!
They also said if kept dry, they'd last virtually forever.

I then asked if they could give me back my old flares.
They not only said yes, but asked if I wanted any more, so I took about a hundred and gave them to several other boating friends in my cruising club !
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