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Old 09-05-2012
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All's Flare!

I need 12 flares for a boat of the size of mine.

How the number of flares required is related to boat size is beyond me.

I had 11 valid flares (I did have 14, but 3 of them expired in August) and had to purchase a package of 4 in order to satisfy the legal requirement.

The 4 flares cost $50.00 approx. CDN.

It struck me that all of us have to maintain a supply of valid flares every four years. At approx. $12.00 a crack that's a pretty substantial amount of money being spent on something that is rarely if ever used.

I know, I know: 'it's like insurance - you have it but hope never to use it.'
Also, the expense of keeping an inventory of valid flares is negligible compared with other boat expenses. I mean I spend more on beer for a couple of weeks of sailing.

I've been sailing for six years, in an area that is very busy with boat traffic of all types. I have never seen, or heard of a flare being launched in an emergency.

I get that off-shore, where boat traffic is much lighter, and the chance of being seen is far less, then flares make absolute sense.

I'm curious to know who here has ever needed to fire off a flare, or any visual signalling device, in an emergency?
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Southern Georgian Bay

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