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Old 04-15-2018, 05:41 PM   #1
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Old flares

So I was doing some spring cleaning today and came across all sorts of great pyrotechnics including parachute flares, Ariel flares, smokebomb orange smoke signal and assorted emergency flares; but this box of stuff is all dated 1993 -1996. (I must have started boating at age four.)

Obviously they don't comply with anything regulatory but what the heck do I do with them?
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:55 PM   #2
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I know what folks in St Augustine do with them on July Fourth fireworks night.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:08 PM   #3
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So I was doing some spring cleaning today and came across all sorts of great pyrotechnics including parachute flares, Ariel flares, smokebomb orange smoke signal and assorted emergency flares; but this box of stuff is all dated 1993 -1996. (I must have started boating at age four.)

Obviously they don't comply with anything regulatory but what the heck do I do with them?
Do what we did: buy an SOS Distress Light which makes you compliant with USCG regulations. After that, your flares do not need to be current, and you can keep them aboard as long as you feel it prudent (although I'm not sure about flares from the early '90s!). We have kept all our old flares and feel confident that we have two excellent ways of visually communicating distress on the water.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:24 PM   #4
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I keep the most recently expired set of flares on board along with current ones. We have a law that says you need a pyrotechnics licence to have flares, EXCEPT if they are currently in date. Then it's legal to have them. I don't think anybody has been fined for non-compliance, but clearly the authorities believe that keeping old flares can be hazardous.

Provided they are well stored (dry, not in sun or other heat source) there is likely minimal risk. But I still would not keep old ones indefinitely. I can't imagine surveyors or insurance companies being happy with a stack of old flares on board. And you wouldn't want to give the latter any excuse to deny a claim!

Disposal is relatively straightforward here. Google search yields nearby Volunteer Marine Rescue/Coastguard or other location that have bins for them. A few enquiries should locate a disposal location in your area.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:43 PM   #5
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I have the recently expired extra flares onboard, too, but had to find a disposal site for the older ones last year. I called the CG in case they could use them for training, but they don't take 'em. I ended up driving to a local firehouse and gave them to the fireman who answered the door. I told him, "Here...have fun with 'em!"

Problem solved, mission accomplished.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:48 PM   #6
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Here in Canada the Canadian Power Squadron has flare days all across the country at local stores were you can drop them off for free and they are disposed of properly.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:17 PM   #7
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We use our old flares for starting fires when we go to shore.
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:01 PM   #8
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We use our old flares for starting fires when we go to shore.
You might want to mention that you are talking only about hand held flares. using a rocket flare to start a fire will start it all right, just not where you want it to start.
If you need to dispose of rockets, shooting them downwards into your wake will get rid of them without burning what shouldn't be burned and will familiarize you with shooting them.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:47 PM   #9
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Well put, we use our hand held flares for starting fires. On the 4th of July we usually fire off our expired aerial flares. Thank you for the clarification.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:08 AM   #10
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In the past we have anchored in sight of the USCG station and informed them we are having a training drill , and will be lighting off flairs for the next 30 min.

The key is to inform them NOT ask for permission.

Np problems ,
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
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In the past we have anchored in sight of the USCG station and informed them we are having a training drill , and will be lighting off flairs for the next 30 min.

The key is to inform them NOT ask for permission.

Np problems ,
Great Idea
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:22 AM   #12
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Even my favorite place, Chapman's school, stopped taking them.
I made a nice tax free contribution and my expired flares 'disappeared' LOL

Places for proper disposal are fast drying up.
Someone told me, their expired flares 'fall over the side' when they are 3 miles out.

Per shooting them off, once you get permission from the USCG, do a pom pom over channel 16 so other boater do think you are in trouble. When you run out of flares, pom pom so they know you are finished, unless you set your boat on fire. LL
Then call for help
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:42 AM   #13
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When I got the boat the PO was keeping all old flares aboard, I had more than 50 decaying flares in a bag. I went to my local firefighters station to ask what to do with that and they directed me to the nearby recycling center, problem solved.

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Old 04-16-2018, 09:49 AM   #14
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Our local Power Squadron loves to get old flares to use in training classes. I'm guessing the Coast Guard Aux would like them as well.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:57 AM   #15
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I figure that if I need then there will never be enough, new or old so I keep them unless they are deteriorating or damaged.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:24 AM   #16
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Hey bayview, didn't they name a yacht club after you or maybe you own it?

Keeping all those expired flares eventually become a fire hazard and ensures total destruction of you boat if it catches on fire. No one will want to come to your aid. LOL
A. put on PFD B. call for help C. toss really really expired flares over the side. LOL
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:48 PM   #17
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If you belong to a yacht club you can hold a "Flare Demo Day". There's a USCG form that you need to fill out to let them know. I've done two for our club and invited the fire department and notified the Emergency Dispatch Center.


Invite club members to bring their old flares and shoot them off over the water.
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:59 AM   #18
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C." toss really really expired flares over the side."

Quality flairs make a difference , we have a very pistol and have shot parachute flairs that are 30-40 years from mfg , and about 8 out of 10 worked.
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Old 04-17-2018, 07:31 AM   #19
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C." toss really really expired flares over the side."

Quality flairs make a difference , we have a very pistol and have shot parachute flairs that are 30-40 years from mfg , and about 8 out of 10 worked.
Corrections, "Fell over the side."
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Old 04-17-2018, 09:25 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the great tips. I no longer plan to keep 25 year old flares on the boat. They have gone to a better place. C
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