Personal strobes - new or old?
When I purchased my boat a couple of years ago, I found a pair of safety harnesses with strobes attached, specifically, ACR "Fireflys".
To my delight, they worked fine.
Upon examining the batteries, though, I find them with a "put in service" date of May, 1993 and a "replace" date of May, 1998!
These TWENTY year old batteries are still able to make a flash.
My question is, for how long? That is, if I end up in the water and flick the strobe on, will it flash for hours or for minutes?
This is clearly not something to be trifled with, so I thought to replace the batteries, only to discover that
1. they're discontinued, but still available, and
2. they sell for about $50.00 to $60.00, and I'll need two. Add in shipping and I'm at $125.00 plus.
Now, in the grand scheme of sailing costs, $125.00 is not exorbitant, but I am a 9 to 5 working guy that watches every penny.
So, back to the catalogs and I find that NEW ACR Fireflys WITH a battery sell for about $75.00 and a smaller obviously cheaper version (C Strobe) sells for $30.00.
The advantage of the cheaper version is that it takes conventional alkalines or conventional lithiums, easily added to my annual springtime maintenance.
So my dilemma; new batteries, new expensive Fireflys with 5 year batteries, new cheap strobes with yearly replacements?
Any opinions appreciated.