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  #1  
Old 09-18-2008
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Safety gear questions

I have an ACR Cat. 1 Epirb with the hydrostatic release, both (battery and hydro) are out of date (came with the boat) and I haven't been able to find replacement parts (battery for epirb, new hydro). I'm not even sure the batteries are replaceable on the epirbs? There is also an old epirb that I don't recognize, a round cylinder about 16" with a whip antenna, no idea if it still works, how are you supposed to dispose of something like that. I suppose it could still transmit and I wouldn't want to cause a false alarm. I also have a large number of expired flares (I normally keep 3-4 expired ones, clearly labeled as back up, but I have about 12 of them now), what the heck do you do with those? Thanks for any info.

John
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Old 09-18-2008
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According to ACR's website, their authorized battery replacement center in Washington State is:

Puget Sound Inflatables
309 S. Cloverdale Ste 7A
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 762-3877

I suspect that they are a life-raft re-certification facility. In addition to servicing your ACR Epirb, they likely can advise you on disposal of your older epirb (which I suspect is a 127 MHz unit which would be illegal to use) as well as your outdated flares.
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Old 09-18-2008
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Hi John,

I have a bunch of expired hand flares (fuses) too, that I keep in sealed tupperware type bins. I can't bring myself to discard them. They're handy for starting campfires. I also keep some in the trunk of my car for road flares. This past Labor Day weekend, we invited some of the other boaters on the James Island float for an evening campfire. They had a couple of kids and with their parents permission, I showed them how to light the flares and gave them one each to help start the campfire. They all got a kick out of it. All I know is that if we ever needed to use flares for signaling, I would be really ticked if I didn't have any left because I discarded the expired ones.

P.S. The old flares look brand new.
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2008
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ERPS-

Keep the expired ones for use in an emergency, but get new ones to be in compliance. I HIGHLY recommend getting only SOLAS grade flares...they're an order of magnitude better than USCG flares.
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Old 09-18-2008
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Quote:
ERPS-

Keep the expired ones for use in an emergency, but get new ones to be in compliance. I HIGHLY recommend getting only SOLAS grade flares...they're an order of magnitude better than USCG flares.
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Yep, that's why I have so many expired ones, because I keep replacing them with current ones. While I don't carry the SOLAS flares in our local waters, I would certainly outfit my boat with them when I go offshore.
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Old 09-18-2008
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Given the difference in their visibility... I don't carry USCG flares on my boat. BTW, the USCG handheld flares tend to drop hot slag, which is a serious fire hazard. The SOLAS ones generally DON'T.
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Old 09-19-2008
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll give PS Inflatables a call, hopefully I can just replace the battery and hydro and be back in business. Good ideas for the flares Ray, I'm pretty cheap but a dozen is probably enough on the boat, and thanks for the recommendation on the Solas flares SD.

John
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