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Just realized I need to renew my flares on the boat for the race to Whangarei next week, which started me thinking, when was the last time any life was saved by the use of a flare. When I think of the thousands I have spent over the years, I realize it is not actually about my safety that I buy them, but about a tick off box on a form that compels me to purchase something I will probably never ever use and that I have at least two or three other methods of seeking help if needed, all of which will achieve a far more positive result than a random flare. 

 

Is this an anachronism perpetuated by interested third parties or am I being rather cavalier in my attitude?

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27 years ago, I had to use a Flare for a real situation. And it was seen and help came. But I was not that many miles off shore from a fairly busy beach and it was during the day. It was a para flare and I don't know where the light aircraft came from, but I swear there was nothing there and I held the thing over y head and fired and there was directly above us was the Plane. Am pretty sure he saw it.In fact he may not have called in us needing rescue, but more likely a Pan Pan because someone just fired a Rocket at him.
I guess it is kind of like Insurance. All the years of paying a premium and never having claimed, it kind of makes you wonder if it is worth it. But it s in that one situation of which you hope never happens. Although at least unlike insurance, you have several options for help these days. VHF, Cllph, EPIRB for instance.
I decided not to update my flares this year. I have so far kept all my flares from previous expiry renewals. I figured that out of them all, surely at least one will work.

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If I were ever in an emergency the last thing I want to do is f*ck around with some explosives, oh err, I mean flares....

Damn dangerous things at the best of times.

Used to let them off for work regularly. One type you hold one end and pull the other, the other type you hold the other end and pull, oh I get mixed up...

Don't add to "safety" cost a fortune and are out of date every time you redo CAT 3.

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The Titanic let a load of flares off for what??

Last saturday night a clown at motuihe island was letting fireworks off and did anyone notice or tell them to stop NO,so would it be the same result?(we were too far away)

 nephew let  a flare off once as he needed assistance,boat went past and waved.luckily a guy on the beach rowed out and helped.no cell ph coverage.

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It's the vested interest thing going on here.Planned obsolescence at it's best.Follow the money trail backwards to find out how it got to this.I recently observed 20 yr old flares let off.But the need for flares has always been questionable.The  other part of the equation is that someone has to be looking .As noted previously all this sort of mindless regulation chased plenty of us away from racing our boats.But we still cruise the same waters quite OK without all the up to date gear....Go figure

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It's the vested interest thing going on here.Planned obsolescence at it's best.Follow the money trail backwards to find out how it got to this.I recently observed 20 yr old flares let off.But the need for flares has always been questionable.The  other part of the equation is that someone has to be looking .As noted previously all this sort of mindless regulation chased plenty of us away from racing our boats.But we still cruise the same waters quite OK without all the up to date gear....Go figure

 

The time limit came about from experience/testing years back. Flares are controlled ( as in the bang part) explosives and do deteriorate with time. But modern day manufacturing has improved quality and longevity, expect I don't believe the regs have kept up. The Regs are still covering a device made 35 to 40yrs ago, when they really did have reliability issues as they got older.

The requirement of rules governing racing fleets is more about protecting the Organizer rather than the Race'ee.

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To be fair Wheels, it does say "LED Road Flare" on the packaging & shows a picture of a car having a tyre changed. You'd have to be fairly "uneducated" to make the leap to a marine flare.

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You'd have to be fairly "uneducated" to make the leap to a marine flare.

You mean like, the 5 200Kg dudes trying to squeeze into an 12ft tinny, Or the ones that set of without lifejackets? Or the ones that set off without enough fuel or properly charged battery? Or the ones that don't look at a weather forecast and head out into weather they shouldn't be in? Or the ones that have a no clue about navigation and run up on the rocks, Or the ones that have no VHF, no EPIRB, no Flares because all that is far too expensive, but wait...I got me a good deal on a Flare thingy advertised in the Boating section of Trademe, so it must be OK for the Boat eh and it's cheap eh, which means we can afford to take more Beer eh bro. ;-)

I know what you are saying JK, but I think the fact that the seller is advertising it in the Boating section means that the seller hopes to sell it for such purposes. The seller is alluding to the device being fit for purpose and it does also say Marine on the packet. So you and I or anyone from Crew would easily understand it is not fit for safety purposes, but there are, unfortunately, many "uneducated" out there in boats that may indeed by one thinking it ticks the box that covers safety.

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So what you are saying is that you would prefer that those same individuals that you described above, carried explosive devices that require good reading skills, sound common sense, and more than just a bit of craziness, to operate!

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could be ok but what if the stuff hits the fan and they do not go off?

 

Who would know?

After letting of dozens over the years, all expired and some 18 years expired, not a single one failed to fire. All types but I did tend to go for the Chutes first as they are the most fun.... bar letting off a big orange smoke inside a Tasman 20, that was a huge fun.

 

One did just fizz for a few seconds which had my undies very concerned but then it went off fine, possibly better than the others the crowd suggested. That was 12 odd years expired.

 

Whether doing the above is a smart idea or not I'll let you decide. I was sh*t faced most of the times so loved every second of it.

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had thought of going up to the north head tunnels after hours and letting my old flares off,let a parachute off  a few years ago,only just expired,went up then sideways in to neighbours brick house,needless to say they weren't home and sculted inside and turned out the lights.beer n flares??

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