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Old 10-14-2014, 03:28 PM   #1
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Marine Flares vs Road flares

I searched the archives and also checked the USCG website trying to answer this question. Is there any difference between marine flares and road flares when boarded by the CG? Mine (marine flares) will be out of date end of October so I bought some road flares at Pep Boys, 3 for $7.00. Local marine store had 3 for 33.00.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:44 PM   #2
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Do they say "USCG approved" on them?

I know you don't need to buy fire-extinguishers from a marine store as long as it meets the USCG retirements and says so.

Don't know about hand flares. I use the 12 gauge gun types (in date) to keep legal and store the out of date in a shotgun shell case.

I use orange smoke (day type) If I need attention on the ICW. I don't bother with the hand held, too much of a mess and not all that useful.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:52 PM   #3
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I just looked at ours. We have 6 different types and everyone has at least 1 USCG approval number including our Pains-Wessex, which are made in England.
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:56 PM   #4
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All of my safety equipment is USCG approved but I do keep my expired flares (ample supply) and a few road flares on-board in a seperate container.
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulf Comanche View Post
I searched the archives and also checked the USCG website trying to answer this question. Is there any difference between marine flares and road flares when boarded by the CG? Mine (marine flares) will be out of date end of October so I bought some road flares at Pep Boys, 3 for $7.00. Local marine store had 3 for 33.00.
I believe they must be USCG approved.

Another thing, road flares are meant to be set on the pavement while marine flares can be held in the hand (where else would you put them?). Read the instructions on your road flares and see what they say about holding them when lit.

Or just buy the marine flares and take the others back to Pep Boys. You can do better than $33. Try Walmart or West Marine when they have a sale.
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:28 PM   #6
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Highway flares aren't CG approved, at least I haven't seen any that are. It will say "CG approved and give the CGA number if they were.

Both marine and highway flares have the same problem when hand held, they splatter hot slag all over the place as it drips off the burning end of the flare. I don't know a traffic officer who hasn't ruined at least one pair of pants or a jacket with flare burns!! Really have to use them with care when lighting and holding them, do it over the side of the boat.

Outdated flares and meteor shells can be retained, but they don't count toward meeting CG compliance.

Best price I've seen for CG approved is. . . . . . .WALMART!!
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:40 PM   #7
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Marine flares have to be USCG Approved with Manufacture date and EXPIRATION DATE 42 months later marked on each. Road flares generally are NOT USCG Approved. You can carry road flares and out of date flares but they do not count towards the legal requirements.

Tip: whenever you buy USCG approved flares, compare the manufacture date to todays date. They may have been sitting on the shelf for a year and only have 2 1/2 years left before expiration.
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Old 10-14-2014, 05:07 PM   #8
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OK, good advice, thanks to all
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:38 PM   #9
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On a somewhat related note, we all know it's illegal to just fire off your outdated flares because someone might think there's a bona fide emergency.

But, did you know that an organized event can be held where people can bring their outdated flares and fire them off?

It requires prior approval from the USCG on their form (I don't recall the form number but they will be able to tell you) and you need to have the date/time/location already set up when you apply. It's a good idea to notify your local police and fire departments as well as any emergency dispatch centers.

I organized one a few years ago for our yacht club. We had an ambulance on standby at the scene in case of any injuries from a malfunction or misuse. About 100 people showed up and fired off about 250 old flares of all types.
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:02 AM   #10
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On a somewhat related note, we all know it's illegal to just fire off your outdated flares because someone might think there's a bona fide emergency.

Our solution is to anchor in front of the CG station and simply inform them that you will be doing crew training for about an hour.

Dont ask permission , tell them what you are doing.

Flying ASW and some SAR , unless its very dark most flairs are a waste of time.

White or Red parachute flairs do better , but they are pricy.

Our solution is a couple of dozen , mostly RED in proper sealed cans.
The dates are mostly 20-40 years old , so the coasties dont like them.

1 or 2 out of a dozen will fail to fire , not bad for ancient stuff.

We carry a cheapo 12G flair set to wave at the CG if ever boarded, that is current .

For folks going down island a simple modification (with a lathe) will allow longer real shotgun shells to be loaded.

We use a trip line and dog training popper shells when not aboard and anchored off in a remote area.

Should someone break in , they will probably take the unit.

If ever fired with a real shell, OUCH!
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