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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
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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Old 09-05-2012
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Re: All's Flare!

Only at CG Aux events never in anger so to speak.
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Old 09-05-2012
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Re: All's Flare!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ParadiseParrot View Post
Only at CG Aux events never in anger so to speak.
CG and YC "Safety Meetings"... where you can find out everything that could possibly go wrong...

Like half the "expired" flares we tried....didn't fire....
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Old 09-05-2012
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Re: All's Flare!

I've never had to use my fire extinguishers, either. Still like having them on board.

I've seen flares and heard radio reports of flares sighted, although in all but two cases, I don't think there was an actual emergency.
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Old 09-05-2012
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Re: All's Flare!

Take the Saftey At Sea course and pay attention during flare class's when they take a firing boat out about 1000 some odd feet

Your normal run of the mill flare we all own and love to replace when it expires is freaking useless at about 500 candlepower in daylight

Now the SOLAS stuff was up in the 15000 range BUT they both have slag issues

There are way to many different was to pull the rip coard on handheld rockets

And there were things like never cocking the pistol unless it was already over YOUR HEAD
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Old 09-05-2012
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Re: All's Flare!

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Originally Posted by tommays View Post
Your normal run of the mill flare we all own and love to replace when it expires is freaking useless at about 500 candlepower in daylight
That's interesting!
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Old 09-05-2012
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Re: All's Flare!

I hear that if you wave, the CG waives the flare requirement upon inspection.
You're screwed.
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Old 09-05-2012
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Re: All's Flare!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
I hear that if you wave, the CG waives the flare requirement upon inspection.
You're screwed.
Damn! Beat me to it!

I would say that , given his habit of not returning friendly waves, he'd better hope that his flares are in good order, as that's the only way he will get anyone to come to his aid...
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Old 09-05-2012
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Re: All's Flare!

Orion 12-gauge gun flare: 16,000 candlepower, 7 sec. burn time, 500 ft. altitude.
Orion 25-mm gun flare: 35,000 candlepower, 7 sec. burn time, 374 ft. altitude.
McMurdo parachute flare: 30,000 candlepower, 40 sec. burn time, 1,000 ft. altitude. ("SOLAS" type)

Data from West Marine and Landfall Navigation web sites.
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Old 09-05-2012
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Re: All's Flare!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
I hear that if you wave, the CG waives the flare requirement upon inspection.
You're screwed.
I wave with flair and never waiver in my flare complement and pay fair compliments to waving flare invigilators.
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