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Old 05-11-2013, 02:58   #31
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Re: Flares no longer needed?

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Well in the states we let all of our flairs go on the 4th of July, they must be at least 2wice as old as the required. Anything younger we save as back-ups.

lloyd
Always a good time! Expired flares also work great as fire-starters when the rain has been coming down or your matches are soaked!
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:59   #32
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Re: Flares no longer needed?

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Well in the states we let all of our flairs go on the 4th of July, they must be at least 2wice as old as the required. Anything younger we save as back-ups.

lloyd
Lot's of people fire their flares on the 4th, but you're risking a visit by the Police. Chances are good you won't be caught. A few years ago the Harbor Patrol made a point of saying that they were looking for illegal firing of flares, and would ticket you. They were getting too many calls from people reporting flare sightings.

I feel sorry for the person that actually has an emergency on the 4th and sets off a flare, they're screwed on this day.

I've found some indication that the Power Squadron has an annual flare practice day. Give them a call to attend.

When they used to allow clubs to host these our club had one. Power Squadron official in charge, USCG posts it on LNM, informs whoever in FAA I guess as well. U.S. flares suck compared to SOLAS. Personal pocket flares had a high failure rate, even if they were not expired.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:55   #33
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Re: Flares no longer needed?

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
Lot's of people fire their flares on the 4th, but you're risking a visit by the Police. Chances are good you won't be caught. A few years ago the Harbor Patrol made a point of saying that they were looking for illegal firing of flares, and would ticket you. They were getting too many calls from people reporting flare sightings.

I feel sorry for the person that actually has an emergency on the 4th and sets off a flare, they're screwed on this day.

I've found some indication that the Power Squadron has an annual flare practice day. Give them a call to attend.

When they used to allow clubs to host these our club had one. Power Squadron official in charge, USCG posts it on LNM, informs whoever in FAA I guess as well. U.S. flares suck compared to SOLAS. Personal pocket flares had a high failure rate, even if they were not expired.
I think the key to responsible firing of expired flares is to do it far inland.


As to the cost: I am required (as a vessel greater than 13.7 meters LOA) to carry a full RORC flares pack, namely 4 rocket flares, 4 red hand flares, 4 white hand flares, and 2 orange smoke flares. This set of flares costs 230 pounds or nearly $400. They are in date for about three years. This is not a "miniscule" cost.

I'll be pleased if the requirement is eliminated, because that means that I can stretch the date a little which can save a lot of money. I have the full set of flares now, but they will expire at the end of this year. If the requirement is eliminated, then I will get another year out of these, and then in 2015 before any cross-channel sailing, I'll just buy a "coastal" flare pack for 100 pounds, which gives two each fresh rocket flares, red hand flares, and white hand flares. The theory is that this set of flares, backed up with a slightly out of date RORC flare pack, is quite as good if not better than a fresh RORC flare pack. That is the way most UK sailors do it, but if under 13.7 meters they are not subject to any requirement to carry any flares at all, so they can do what they like.

It is true, however, that you don't want to get caught with the expired ones in France, where they are less flexible.
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Old 05-11-2013, 06:14   #34
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Re: Flares no longer needed?

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Is it time to change the rules? The RYA certainly think so...



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It's about time people started thinking about these antiquated expensive piles of legal crap. They didn't work for the Titanic and don't work now.
A full set of flares costs the same as a PLB.
A laser pointer will do the same thing in alerting people and a strobe will show folks where to go.

Flares are only good for shooting at pirates.

Who here seriously thinks a smoke flare is gunna do bugger all?
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:05   #35
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Re: Flares no longer needed?

Yep. Why not leave it up to the sailors. There is the odeo, there are cell phones, AIS & DSC tickers, etc.

I like flares I think I will keep on carrying some no matter what the rules say about my obligations.

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Old 05-11-2013, 07:23   #36
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Soon flares will be outlawed in much of the world; too much gun-like, could be used against government etc. blah blah. Can be used to hurt or intimidate poor pirates blah blah, contain gun powder, and so on.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:25   #37
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Yeah the RYA can say whatever it wants but I'm going NOWHERE without flares. pete
The RYA are saying it should be down to you to make the decision, not that you shouldn't carry any.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:03   #38
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Re: Flares no longer needed?

"I think one of the factors driving this is that disposal of older flares is becoming a problem in the UK."
Just shoot them off on July 4th like we do in the US... Oh wait,... never mind.

Seriously, I agree with you. I once spent quite bit of time trying to figure out how to dispose of them legally and in my area there just is no legal way to do it.

"I think the key to responsible firing of expired flares is to do it far inland."

Really bad idea. It's still a distress signal and could cause an unnecessary search plus it's a major fire hazard.

I once shot an out of date SOLAS parachute rocket. The rocket part was weak but the flare part was fine. When the parachute reached the ground, the flare was still burning and continued to burn for what seemed like hours. I'm sure it was actually only about ten seconds but that was too long. I managed to prevent the fire from spreading but it was a really bad idea to fire that thing over land.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:22   #39
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Re: Flares no longer needed?

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"I think one of the factors driving this is that disposal of older flares is becoming a problem in the UK."
Just shoot them off on July 4th like we do in the US... Oh wait,... never mind.

Seriously, I agree with you. I once spent quite bit of time trying to figure out how to dispose of them legally and in my area there just is no legal way to do it.

"I think the key to responsible firing of expired flares is to do it far inland."

Really bad idea. It's still a distress signal and could cause an unnecessary search plus it's a major fire hazard.

I once shot an out of date SOLAS parachute rocket. The rocket part was weak but the flare part was fine. When the parachute reached the ground, the flare was still burning and continued to burn for what seemed like hours. I'm sure it was actually only about ten seconds but that was too long. I managed to prevent the fire from spreading but it was a really bad idea to fire that thing over land.
You can always shoot them into the water instead of upward. Not like it would right itself
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Old 05-11-2013, 16:07   #40
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Re: Flares no longer needed?

"You can always shoot them into the water instead of upward."

That is what an adult would do. Any adults here? I didn't think so.
Actually you're right, that would seem be the safest way to get rid of them.

If we shoot them into the water at a low angle, do you think they would skip like a stone?
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Old 05-11-2013, 16:46   #41
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Re: Flares no longer needed?

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"You can always shoot them into the water instead of upward."

That is what an adult would do. Any adults here? I didn't think so.
Actually you're right, that would seem be the safest way to get rid of them.

If we shoot them into the water at a low angle, do you think they would skip like a stone?
Yes I have seen one skip. One guy told the other to fire into the water, he fired just below horizontal and it bounced.

You can't soak them in water to dispose of them in the normal waste stream because of pollution, so the solution is to just fire them into the water to soak them and pollute the water you sail in instead.
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Old 05-11-2013, 22:42   #42
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Re: Flares no longer needed?

I would rate a PLB and /or a personal AIS distress beacon as much more useful than flares, especially for boat that spends a lot of time offshore sailing.

These devices are a similar cost to offshore flare pack. They have over double the life of the flare pack so two can be purchased for the same overall cost. For a sailing couple each person can have one attached directly to their life jacket/harness.

They are then readily available even in the event of disasters like a sudden sinking, or even a MOB situation. Even with PLBs I would still consider two personal AIS beacons to be more useful than a flare pack.

This is assuming there are no flares at all. Most boats will still have expired flares.

So for a crew of two sailing offshore I would not consider replacing flares until each crew member has a PLB and personal AIS beacon attached to their life jacket.

There are many more items that compete for our safety dollar such as HH DSC VHF that deserve consideration before replacing flares. Countries that have no laws mandating flares at least allow us to make these decisions.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:28   #43
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"I think one of the factors driving this is that disposal of older flares is becoming a problem in the UK."
Just shoot them off on July 4th like we do in the US... Oh wait,... never mind. ..

"I think the key to responsible firing of expired flares is to do it far inland."

Really bad idea. It's still a distress signal and could cause an unnecessary search plus it's a major fire hazard.
.
Not if it's done on the 4th of July (or in the case of the UK, the 7th of November, AND you notify local authorities in advance - which is what my friends here do.

True you have to mind the fire hazard - open field after the typical soaking rain this time of year is generally ok.
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Old 06-11-2013, 02:31   #44
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I would rate a PLB and /or a personal AIS distress beacon as much more useful than flares, especially for boat that spends a lot of time offshore sailing.

These devices are a similar cost to offshore flare pack. They have over double the life of the flare pack so two can be purchased for the same overall cost. For a sailing couple each person can have one attached directly to their life jacket/harness.

They are then readily available even in the event of disasters like a sudden sinking, or even a MOB situation. Even with PLBs I would still consider two personal AIS beacons to be more useful than a flare pack.

This is assuming there are no flares at all. Most boats will still have expired flares.

So for a crew of two sailing offshore I would not consider replacing flares until each crew member has a PLB and personal AIS beacon attached to their life jacket.

There are many more items that compete for our safety dollar such as HH DSC VHF that deserve consideration before replacing flares. Countries that have no laws mandating flares at least allow us to make these decisions.
I have a HH DSC VHF and consider buying another so one can be devoted to the grab bag. Oh how I wish they made a really tiny one which could be attached to one's life jacket!!!
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:27   #45
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Re: Flares no longer needed?

My vote is to ditch the flares. I have a phone, a hand held DSC radio. An EPIRB, a PLB, AIS beacons (on each life vest).

The only time flares might be needed is for medium range contact with a rescuing boat in daylight that has no radio and where you are beyond cellular range and is remote enough for the radio to be no use in contacting other boats. Not the most likely combination except in remote 3rd world places.

A super bright 1000 lumen LED torch works well even in daylight. Will do the job up to a mile in daylight and to the horizon at night. They even put out an SOS flash for you. The gap is from a mile to the horizon. A lazer pointer would do that or a more focused LED torch would too. I am assuming you won't use a flare unless you can see a potential rescuer so there is no need to be seen beyond 7/8 miles anyway.
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