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I bought a flare pack today it has 2 smoke,2 handheld and a parachute.

I have a trailer sailer and haven't ever raced, so racing aside my question is:

 

Do I really need a flare pack? I like the idea of the LED flare instead.

 

Keeping in mind I have a VHF, waterproof PLB, cell phone in a life proof case,waterproof handheld VHF, GPS & hand held GPS.

 

So I pretty much now where I am,and have communication options. Even The wife can track my phone (it's scary how accurate it is)

 

What's everyone's opinions? Trade the flares for one LED or keep flares instead (budget doesn't allow both)

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I'd go for the led flare. The issue here is that (stupid uneducated boaties who don't know what a flare is aside) flares can alert boats nearby to your plight, its point to multi point Comms. That's g

You are out by the Noises coming back from Barrier. Ka Boom, a huge cluster happens for some unforeseen reason and you are big time in the sh*t, you have 5 mins  before things get into the zone that i

Bugger.  I don't like pyrotechnics but you make a good case here.

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My opinion might differ from the herd, but if you have the Comms and positional items you list, I wouldn't bother with any flares. You are well placed to communicate distress issues and your location anyway.

At best, I'd get an LED flare, purely because you won't have to throw it out in 3 years time.

 

Someone made a comment in the other thread, they let of a flare during the day, a boat motored past waving back at them, someone on land called for a rescue. Most people let fireworks off at parties and to celebrate big events. What's the difference between fireworks and flares? Both look like your having a good time from a distance. If your actually in trouble, just phone the Coastguard.

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I'd go for the led flare. The issue here is that (stupid uneducated boaties who don't know what a flare is aside) flares can alert boats nearby to your plight, its point to multi point Comms. That's good. A vhf on channel 16 is also point to multi point. A cell phone can certainly get you assistance, but, it's point to point only, ignoring local vessels who are likely in the best and fastest position to help.

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It's so much less fun when we agree . .

 

I wrote this on the YNZ thread: 

 

The new US Coast Guard regs for coastal waters and Great Lakes (they changed in 2016)

are that approved led distress signals can now substitute for flares . . 

 

For me, this is a good change - I hate the very idea of holding a lit flare on a moving boat while trying to care for an injured person. 

 

I got rid of my Mag flares at the first opportunity. 

 

The price for the LED'S is now starting to come down. Last year they were $ 100 USD's - in the US that is. 

ELECTRIC S-O-S DISTRESS LIGHT
APPROVAL CATEGORY:  161.013
APPROVAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION:  This is an alternative to flares for recreational boats.  It is required to automatically flash S-O-S.  Light intensity and duration requirements apply.  Electric S-O-S distress lights are self-certified by the manufacturer. The Coast Guard does not issue approvals or keep an authenticated list of manufacturers.  Approval standards for these lights are found in Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Subpart 161.013. 
 

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Do I really need a flare pack? I like the idea of the LED flare instead.

 

Keeping in mind I have a VHF, waterproof PLB, cell phone in a life proof case,waterproof handheld VHF, GPS & hand held GPS.

You are out by the Noises coming back from Barrier. Ka Boom, a huge cluster happens for some unforeseen reason and you are big time in the sh*t, you have 5 mins  before things get into the zone that is one step before quite likely to be fatal.

 

I am 300mts away fishing. My stereo is pumping so I can't hear the VHF (assuming it is even on). You don't know my cell number, I have no gear to picking up EPIRB signals running. 

 

It's evening twilight. You are between me and the lights ashore.

 

How are you going to attract my attention?

 

VHF's = no good

EPIRB = no good

PLB = no good

GPS's = no good

I look back again and think, wow that's a bright light, someone much be doing a laser display of something ashore, as is quite common. Oh maybe it's that new beacon the ports have for replacing leading lights. Maybe it's some dick head trying to zapp a landing aircraft.  Don't but with so many bright flashing lights it maybe just a promo sign for a whorehouse.

 

I'm still fishing and you're getting very close to very nasty stuff.

 

You have yet to attract my attention.

 

In Wellington a screen has just started to flash, a person has just become aware someone somewhere has activated a beacon. You have 3 mins left before you and yours are swimming, burnt up or a range of lovely nasty sh*t.

 

I'm still totally unaware you need help.

 

I wonder what would stand out and make someone think 'Err... hang on what's that???'

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"Don't but with so many bright flashing lights it maybe just a promo sign for a whorehouse."

 

If the whore house is flashing 3 short 3 long - any male will be compelled to investigate......

 

" You have yet to attract my attention."

 

Will a handheld flare do it? Or do I need to shoot a parachute past your head?

 

I agree with what you are saying in that the local craft are best placed for immediate assistance, but I think if my boat sinks 300m away and they don't act, they may aswell be considered as being on the moon.

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"Don't but with so many bright flashing lights it maybe just a promo sign for a whorehouse."

 

If the whore house is flashing 3 short 3 long - any male will be compelled to investigate......

 

" You have yet to attract my attention."

 

Will a handheld flare do it? Or do I need to shoot a parachute past your head?

 

I agree with what you are saying in that the local craft are best placed for immediate assistance, but I think if my boat sinks 300m away and they don't act, they may aswell be considered as being on the moon.

 

300mts is far enough away a panicked crew could look like partying crew. Add in failing light and you could very easily go down without others not that far away being aware you're in the sh*t. I can easily see situations where you could be 100mts apart and still not be seen as being in the pooh.

 

A very bright pin point red will stand out as will a parachute..... especially if it came whizzing past your scone :) Short range the red would be fine I reckon. But get a couple of miles and that maybe starting to stretch a bit.

 

Flashing SOS against a city or lit back drop will still not be easy to see in many cases. Out in the deep blue it would, as long as the person seeing it knew what SOS looked like and thought to think about it rather than get their mind out of their porn mag. They could easily dismiss it as one of the many flashing fishing float lights that can be out there. You are totally relying on someone recognising the flashes are in a pattern and what that pattern is.

 

Then there is the difference between a LED pin point light that can very easily hide behind a small chop or disappear completely in big seas and a very unidirectional laser, are you pinting it in the direction someone can see it? If you have ever seen a  flare you will have noticed it lights up a large area, often the entire boat, and does so for 360 degrees

 

I floated up then down the Akl harbour in a liferaft (a 20 man one) for 3 hours odd. We stood in the door and did the X distress wave at passing boats, almost everyone waved back. In the entire time only one boat came to ask of we were OK.

 

Don't assume all the boats around you are crewed by people who know stuff. Everyone sees flashing lights many times a day. A flare, especially a chute, is that different anyone seeing one will take a second or 3 to think about what they are seeing.

 

Flares (especially chutes) are quite unmistakable, is not affected by lit backdrops and can be seen beyond the horizon.

 

Use LEDs, laser and etc if you like but I really do think your crazy and are putting your self at elevated risk if you are going to take those and leave pyro flares at home.

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