Disposing of old flares - SF Bay area? - SailNet Community

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Old 05-17-2011
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Disposing of old flares - SF Bay area?

My boat has what amounts to a history of flares, going back to 1984. Even if I kept the least out-of-date dozen, I'd have another dozen at least!

Has anyone successfully disposed of flares recently, especially in the Oakland / Alameda area?
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Old 05-17-2011
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Be careful how you "dispose" of them. Some yahoos (I am assuming) fired off a couple a month or so ago. The Coast Guard searched for a couple of days for a boat in trouble. I'l be there's an investigation and a warrant out. Contact the Coast Guard. They'll probably just take them off your hands and dispose of them properly for you.
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Yes I want to dispose of them properly! I heard that there is a hazardous waster disposal facility in Oakland that takes them. Could try the coastguard I guess.
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Old 05-17-2011
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EYC occasionally has a “flare day” when we get USCG permission to shoot them off the race dock (not sure if it is open to non-club members however). The USCG will be at EYC during Summer Sailing Solstice and you can ask them where to drop them off for disposal. If you ever have the opportunity, I recommend doing a couple of non-emergency practice launches. I found that even 30+ year SOLAS flares to work. Older USCG approved ones sometime have a harder time lighting. The decomposing strikers being the biggest problem for me. They also get hot and spit out a fair amount of slag and I recommend wearing sailing gloves or better. The SOLAS are relatively slag free, but are almost 2X the price. The other thing was how dim (and low) the 12 ga aerial flares were. If you are going to rely on these, I’d keep between six and a dozen in the flare box.
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Old 05-17-2011
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Disposing Flares

  1. Fill bucket of water
  2. Place flares in bucket of water
  3. Allow to soak for a few hours
  4. Remove soaked flares
  5. Place in trash
  6. Dispose in landfill

Or you can take them to your local CG station. You also could call the FD in your area and ask them to take them off your hands. Sometimes they will dispose of them in their Fire Training Exercises.
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George, thanks for the info!

In particular I'd like to get rid of the larger gauge aerial flares, for which there's no gun! This is consistent with the rest of the safety equipment - about 10 fire extinguishers that have never been serviced, dating back to 1984. An automatic strobe that doesn't work. Nine ancient life jackets with one whistle between them. "We're sinking, quick, find the lifejacket with the whistle."
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25mm flares? How out of date? Are they the “long” (approx 6 inches) ones? If so, I know someone who can dispose of them for you. I don’t know why the 25mm guns are so hard to come by. After seeing how feeble the 12ga flares are, one would think there would be a ready market for the “grown-up” flares.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
25mm flares? How out of date? Are they the “long” (approx 6 inches) ones? If so, I know someone who can dispose of them for you. I don’t know why the 25mm guns are so hard to come by. After seeing how feeble the 12ga flares are, one would think there would be a ready market for the “grown-up” flares.
I believe you can thank the ever present nanny-state government. in the form of the Bad Attitude Towards Freedom group, AKA F troop or also AKA as the BATF)
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Technically, they are “flare launchers”, not “flare guns” and yes, they are legal, just hard to get. I can get 25mm flares anytime I want at my local West Marine, I was even able to get a sleeve converter, so I can launch 12ga flares. It’s just nigh impossible to buy just the launcher and not have to buy a complete distress signals kit. From a regulation stand-point you would think they would ban the 12ga ones. The best aerial parachute flare I’ve ever had the pleasure to launch were the SOLAS tube style parachute flares. Those ones will really bring in the cavalry! Unfortunately over $70 each.
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The best way to dispose of the flares is to take them to the Harbor Masters office. They do not want you to dispose of them in the wrong way and will take care to destroy them safely.
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