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Is it worth to the VHF radio have DSC function. Anyone use it?

Communication VHF DSC

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#21 Knot Me... maybe

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 01:49 PM


Had to carefully read the small print to work out which end to hold and which end shoots explosive charges off.

Wasn't exactly obvious which ones were orange smoke, red hand helds or the ones better suited to taking down light aircraft.

That screams "I have no idea what safety gear I have but that's not a worry as I don't take even 2 or 3 minutes to find out how my safety gear operates anyway"

 

The only aircraft you'd ever be able to take down will be piloted by someone who shares your same slack attitude to safety matters ;)

 

History has very clearly removed without a shadow of a doubt your, mine and everyone elses kids have more to fear from your gas bottle than your flares.


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#22 Fish

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 02:14 PM

That screams "I have no idea what safety gear I have but that's not a worry as I don't take even 2 or 3 minutes to find out how my safety gear operates anyway"

 

The only aircraft you'd ever be able to take down will be piloted by someone who shares your same slack attitude to safety matters ;)

 

History has very clearly removed without a shadow of a doubt your, mine and everyone elses kids have more to fear from your gas bottle than your flares.

Haha KM, your own post proves you are wrong, and can't read.

The very fact that I took the time yesterday to inspect my safety gear, check its expire dates, re-familiarise myself with the one orange smoke, three red hand helds and the two red rockets I have, and how to operate them proves you are wrong.

 

I also know (off by heart) the expire date of the battery of my PLB, and have last month checked and serviced all of the inflatable life jackets on board.

 

But I would have thought you'd have worked that out for yourself, when I stated in my post "just yesterday was checking my flares"... its the second line from the top.


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#23 Knot Me... maybe

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 03:45 PM

Oh sorry, I must have missed the bit where you said you only brought a new set of flares yesterday. That explains why you said you didn't know which end to hold, didn't know which were reds, didn't know which were smokes and you'd be able to hurt aircraft. They weren't $2 Shop varieties were they?

 

Mine are the usual standard ones and very easy to understand. The chutes have a handle on one end so even in pitch darkness which end to grab is unmistakable. The Smokes are all chunky can shapes approx 100 wide with a smaller 'cap' like gizmo on one end which is the danger end. The reds are all smaller 30mm wide that have a fold down metal thing to hang onto, aim the metal at your knuts not the other way around. The whites are the same as the reds but as they are navigational ones they are kept in a separate location, they don't have the metal handle thingy but do have a cap on one end you have to pull off to use. I haven't seen them for a few years but that's how unmistakable they are.

 

Oh crap.... that means they are now out of date..... bastard, those puppies are indeed expensive


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#24 Fish

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 05:26 PM

Funny you mention that KM, cause my reds and oranges are entirely different to as you describe. Most interestingly, my orange is not a can, but looks a hell of a lot like a red, until closer inspection. And the reds don't have fold out metal handles. But having familirised myself with the instructions, in daylight, nice and calmly on the mooring without any kids, wah's or any other distractions like a sinking boat I'm fairly confident I know which end to start at, which would almost definitely be the VHF and PLB anyway.

 

I wouldn't criticizes anyone for not known how to operate flares. There is no legal way to practice using them. Your still bitching about that time I had a little practice at Arkles  ;-) 

 

You can test an EPIRB or PLB, you can go for a swim in your life jacket, you can do radio checks with your VHF, you can even play with old fire extinguishers if you want. You try letting off old flares and all merry hell breaks loose.

 

As to the benefit of flares, do you have any examples of anyone being rescued due to the use of flares?

 

The last two examples I red show flares to be as useful as tits on a bull. Robin Know-Johnson tried hailing a ship with flares, completely ignored him (back many moons ago pre PLB's and VHF's). Most recently Waimanu, the Townson 32, tried flares to attract attention of a passing ship while sinking rapidly? How did he get rescued? - PLB.


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#25 Knot Me... maybe

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 05:55 PM

Funny you mention that KM, cause my reds and oranges are entirely different to as you describe. Most interestingly, my orange is not a can, but looks a hell of a lot like a red, until closer inspection. And the reds don't have fold out metal handles. But having familirised myself with the instructions, in daylight, nice and calmly on the mooring without any kids, wah's or any other distractions like a sinking boat I'm fairly confident I know which end to start at, which would almost definitely be the VHF and PLB anyway.

Well done for doing that but you should have done it before yesterday.

You do realise VHF and PLB have limited, at times very limited range? Often less than a parachute would.

 

And if you sink by me I'd go for a flare first. It's rare to have the VHF on and I have no ability to pick up a PLB but I do have good eyes and know what a flare looks like.

 

I wouldn't criticizes anyone for not known how to operate flares. There is no legal way to practice using them. Your still bitching about that time I had a little practice at Arkles  ;-)

Hmmmm.... You are a fast runner. I am impressed at how fast you disappeared when the cop car arrived ;)

 

Are you serious? You have never seen any of the many news articles, comments etc about 'a flare being sited', surly you're just taking the piss.

 

When you popped that one at Arkles within seconds the VHF was alive with calls about it as were the land lines to CG. So much so it took me close to 4 minutes to break in and tell them all you'd been drinking and were doing a safety check. But I was only on a handheld in Arkles so reception wasn't legend which wouldn't helped


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#26 Fish

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:08 PM

Well done for doing that but you should have done it before yesterday.

You do realise VHF and PLB have limited, at times very limited range? Often less than a parachute would.

 

And if you sink by me I'd go for a flare first. It's rare to have the VHF on and I have no ability to pick up a PLB but I do have good eyes and know what a flare looks like.

 

Hmmmm.... You are a fast runner. I am impressed at how fast you disappeared when the cop car arrived ;)

 

Are you serious? You have never seen any of the many news articles, comments etc about 'a flare being sited', surly you're just taking the piss.

 

When you popped that one at Arkles within seconds the VHF was alive with calls about it as were the land lines to CG. So much so it took me close to 4 minutes to break in and tell them all you'd been drinking and were doing a safety check. But I was only on a handheld in Arkles so reception wasn't legend which wouldn't helped

Oh I've done it before yesterday. The point there is that flares are not intuitive to use. You do need to read the label properly, and errors in use can cause substantial personal injury. All other safety devices and means of calling for help are fairly much intuitive. PLB - push the red button, VHF, turn on, hold the talk button in and talk. Life jackets tend to have a bright red 'pull here' toggle.

 

Now I'm going to have to pull you up on a technical point KM, yes VHF's can have limited range and be obstructed for line of sight. But how does a PLB have limited range? you will be confusing our viewers at home. PLB's as EPIRBs work via satellite. They need a clear view of the sky, which normally isn't a problem on the water. If your in a canyon or deep steep sided valley they can be slow to pick up satellites. If your already underwater, i.e. a submarine, then they wont work. Perhaps if you are in a global location where there aren't any satellites, i.e. Antarctica, they may be a bit slow, but in that situation a parachute wouldn't work either.

 

And no I'm not taking the piss, can you quote an account or news article where a flare was actually used fora rescue? I've given you two referenced accounts of flares being as useful as tits on a bull. They only stories of flares 'working' I'm aware of have all been fulse alarms.

 

Now, 83% of my flares only work at night. I do almost all of my boating in daylight. A flare only works if someone is looking during the 30 odd seconds its going off, and that person knows what they are looking at, and that person has a means of either performing a rescue, or calling for help, and that person has a vague idea how to record your location.

 

On a night like tonight, I could go to a large number of normally popular spots in the Hauraki Gulf and let off all of my flares, I may or may not get rescued. I could hope that someone is on the back side of Tiri and just felt like going out for a smoke at the same time I let off a flare, assuming there is anyone staying on the back side of Tiri, or Port Jackson, or Bostaquet Bay, or any number of locations I may have a cluster in.

Or I could activate my PLB, have an alarm and my position pop up at the MRCC (or what ever agency it is) and have rescue assets dispatched promptly to home in on my homing signal. 

 

I'd far prefer to spend my safety dollars on other items than flares. But as this little thread started on a comment on DSC and how NZ is in the dark ages, I'll need to stay with flares, aldis signaling lights, kerosene pressure lanterns for nav lights, sextants, towed logs, lead lines, trylene sails and hemp ropes. 

 

Time and technology moves on...


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#27 Island Time

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 08:24 PM

If close to the coast, VHF first, flares next, then PLB/epirb. Flares can be seen, and vhf heard by any local boat, most likely your fastest method of rescue....


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There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing, as simply messing about in boats


#28 Knot Me... maybe

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 10:38 AM

Now I'm going to have to pull you up on a technical point KM, yes VHF's can have limited range and be obstructed for line of sight. But how does a PLB have limited range? you will be confusing our viewers at home. PLB's as EPIRBs work via satellite.

OK, in the interest of not putting newbies in an unsafe place we need to note here you are talking close inshore emergencies only and in waters used by many boats. I'm talking very generally so that could be in Issy Bay or the middle of the Pacific and where there maybe nothing nor no one. That's worth noting as there can be significant differences.

 

You need to brush up on your knowledge of rescue beacons a bit there fella. Start with the differences between  PLBs and EPRIBs. Then  suss what is being sold. The NZ Government checked me on who, what, when and etc in a big way last April and in a smaller way late November. As I interact with rescue beacons a fair bit (twice a week) I have to have a big check every 5 and a smaller every 2 years.

 

What's this?

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What's this?

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One is the state of the art and only SOLAS approved electronic flare in daylight mode, the other is an old school pyro.

Which one do would you expect to get the most attention?

Which one will be seen the furtherest?

 

I've gotta go, someone's squealing on the VHF about something. I keep hearing 'Issy bay' but as we are in Home Bay, a short 1.5km away we have sh*t reception so can't hear the full transmission.... I hope they aren't in trouble, if they are they should bang up a chute, we'd easily see that and it would remove any doubt they are in trouble.


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#29 Beccara

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 10:42 AM

Why is it always one or the other :P No one single method is a 100%, In an emergency you should use all tools available to you


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#30 Fish

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 11:06 AM

It would appear I'm going to need to eat some humble pie.

But not in response to KM's post  ;-)

 

I'll pre-face this by saying I haven't been doing any competitive racing for a good five years, (based on the fact my oldest is about to turn five). Some may argue I've never done any 'competitive racing' that I'd direct you to the handicapper on that argument...

 

Since my flares last expired and needed replacing, the Yachting NZ Safety regulations have updated from 2013-16 to 2017-20. Full credit to Yachting NZ (maybe they were listening to my whining) - they have rationalised the number and type of flares required to be carried.

 

Where clause 18.7 (Flares) used to have parts:

a,

b,

c,

d,

e,

f, and

g

 

Clause 18.7 now only has parts:

a, and 

b

 

The main change is there is now no requirement to carry rocket flares. While this does mean I wont be able to welcome KM into Arkles Bay anymore, it does halve the cost of replacing expired flares.

 

For Cat 3, the requirements were:

2 red rockets

2 red handhelds

1 orange smoke

1 white handheld (or a good spotlight)

 

Now it is:

2 red handhelds

2 orange smokes

 

The cost has gone from $300 to $155.

The big saving is in removing the red rockets, which I believe are by far the most dangerous flare for personal injury for screw-ups while handling. Further, as I (and a vast majority of people) do the majority of boating during daylight, the extra orange smoke I think is not bad thinking.

 

So full credit to Yachting NZ on rationalising the flare requirements and halving the cost of replacement. I'm off down the road to buy a new set of flares.

 

And Beccara, absolutely agree, you always need a plan B, and at $51.67 / year the Cat 3 flares are now a more cost effective back up to the other safety devices.


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