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Old 02-25-2016, 04:10 PM   #21
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I would want something from the Manufacturer certifying with a guarantee (in writing) against costs and fines, that this replaces the Federal requirement for flares
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Old 02-25-2016, 04:22 PM   #22
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I would want something from the Manufacturer certifying with a guarantee (in writing) against costs and fines, that this replaces the Federal requirement for flares
You will not get that, but it does comply with the appropriate requirements and this is stated on the packaging and possibly on the device itself.


You can go back and read the original post for confirmation.
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Old 02-25-2016, 04:28 PM   #23
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In the Real World with 23 year old coasties, you might get written up for non compliance and fined. You will have the right to your day in court and case will likely be thrown out. Appealing the ignorance of a LE agency takes time and $$$$$
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Old 02-25-2016, 04:39 PM   #24
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Requirements aside, I am more concerned with someone not recognizing it as a distress signal. I would hesitate to rely on this alone...though it would make a good locator once a longer-range signal such as a meteor flare or radio/EPIRB distress signal is sent.

The rules of the road do indicate a vessel signalling SOS as a distress signal (of course), but Morse flashing light went out of favor a while ago and I'm just not sure it would have the same impact on a passing vessel that a flare would. At least not yet.

Also, in the end, it really only replaces a hand-held night signal (as far as I can tell), so you still need your meteors, and your orange smoke for day signalling. So you've only eliminated 1/3 of your pyrotechnics (at least on my boat).
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:13 PM   #25
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Millerbb you bring up my concern. It does flash SOS but I would worry that untrained people would not recognize it as a distress signal. Used in conjunction with an Epirb or the like I think it could be very effective in helping people who are already looking for you home in on your exact location.

You are correct that it is only a night signal but there is already a non pyrotechnic USCGA Day Signal. It's a simple orange flag with a black square and circle printed on it.

If you are only required to carry USCGA signals, you are no longer required to carry pyrotechnics.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:49 PM   #26
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A distress flag comes with the device.


The "23 year old coasties" can read on the device that it satisfies the requirements.
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:37 AM   #27
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In the end, we all have to do what makes us feel safe.

Given that most weekend boaters are not exactly up-to-speed on rules of the road, etc, I just don't have the confidence that Jimmy Joe Bob in his bass boat is going to recognize the SOS or the flag.

And let's face it, there are a lot more Jimmy Joe Bobs and bass boats out there than there are competent mariners.
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:10 AM   #28
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In the end, we all have to do what makes us feel safe.

Given that most weekend boaters are not exactly up-to-speed on rules of the road, etc, I just don't have the confidence that Jimmy Joe Bob in his bass boat is going to recognize the SOS or the flag.

And let's face it, there are a lot more Jimmy Joe Bobs and bass boats out there than there are competent mariners.
Do you think Jimmy Joe Bob will understand the meaning of the flare? Or will he think you are setting off fireworks?

Jimmy Joe Bob will not be monitoring channel 16 either.

I'm not trying to sell these things to anyone, I just think that it's an improvement over traditional flares in many ways. That's why I bought one and will not be buying another set of traditional flares when mine expire in a few months. I don't have a sextant either.
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Old 02-26-2016, 10:53 AM   #29
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Do you think Jimmy Joe Bob will understand the meaning of the flare? Or will he think you are setting off fireworks?

Jimmy Joe Bob will not be monitoring channel 16 either.

I'm not trying to sell these things to anyone, I just think that it's an improvement over traditional flares in many ways. That's why I bought one and will not be buying another set of traditional flares when mine expire in a few months. I don't have a sextant either.
That's a fair point, and I'm not saying that the light is a bad idea or that you shouldn't have one...I am all about redundancy. I'm just saying I trust the flares more. Then again, I do have a sextant and a hand bearing compass and know how to use them, but I rely on GPS just like everyone else
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Old 02-26-2016, 02:59 PM   #30
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So to use this to meet the carriage requirements in US waters you have to have the both the "flare" and the flag. I have not seen any guidance on the battery date requirements yet but I am sure the Coast Guard will come up with something at some point. I plan to get one when my current flares expire but, for reasons already mentioned, I will keep the expired flares like I do now. My opinion is that the more ways you have to get someones attention the better.

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Old 02-28-2016, 08:17 AM   #31
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For offshore I carry the large 35MM parachute flares .

These are really visible for miles and the chute keeps them up for a while.

The available colors allow for non emergency use.

White = here I am. RED = help

There expensive , so usually well out of date , so a bag of crap flares that can be cheaply replaced are for the USCG visits.

A bright strobe on a flashlight might save on purchasing crap flairs to wave at the USCG .
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:22 AM   #32
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I think you can break this down to 2 points: compliance and function.

Clearly this meets compliance and should be better as it can run for hours.

Function is a more important issue. In the '70s when I started boating, choices for most mariners in distress were limited to VHR radio and SSB radio for a very small percentage of boats. So vessels in trouble were probably much more dependent on flares to signal other boats as it was more difficult in many areas to contact the USCG etc. Now a days, I think the flares are likely the last thing I'm going to choose unless it's to signal a boat within sight of me. Would probably start with the VHF or the DSC function on the VHF. If I'm in distress, the first thing I'm doing is turning on the EPIRB.

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Old 03-13-2016, 11:04 PM   #33
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I will always carry the flares. You have both the incredible brightness of the "Burn" but you also have the billowing smoke that can be seen from several miles away, especially from a search plane.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:06 AM   #34
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We have one onboard. It does meet all requirement as a signaling device, stores easily, and is easy to deploy- just tighten the clear lens till the light comes on.

It does flash SOS. The manufacturer states the battery will last 24 hours- some real world testing has shown that 10 days is more realistic.

Never going back to ignitable signal devices.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:03 AM   #35
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I will always carry the flares. You have both the incredible brightness of the "Burn" but you also have the billowing smoke that can be seen from several miles away, especially from a search plane.
Hope the billowing smoke you are talking about is from a smoke flare....and even those is a 15 knot wind are very difficult to spot from a rescue aircraft. Surface craft might see the smudge at the horizon...but not from a regular flare.

Bottom line on being rescued....

Daytime...electronic device such as EPIRB or PLB...everything else is luck or they fly over you. Even Flir is extremely limited.

Night...electronic is still best but any light source is great. Flir possibly is better but still is limited unless visibility is way down.

So my way of thinking is carry pretty much the minimum the USCG or authorities want. But put enough coin into several PLBs/EPIRBs and a good DSC VHF with high db gain to feel comfy as every other recue device is several quantum leaps below in assisting a rescue.
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:16 PM   #36
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Old thread but I just checked the expiration dates on the flares in my new boat. Amazingly, the PO had a full kit that won't expire until August of this year. After that, I am no longer in compliance. I am very interested in the electronic signal. As others have mentioned, I have never been comfortable with a bunch of ignitable material on the boat.

There is also a SOLAS floating smoke signal on board, expired. I think I will keep it and the last batch of pyrotechnics as back-up and use the eletronic and flag to meet USCG requirements. Like most of us, there are a lot of expired flares on board. How does one responsibly dispose of these?
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:40 PM   #37
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How does one responsibly dispose of these?

Call your local FD. They burn em.
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:53 PM   #38
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Will this Replace Flares?

Two trains of thought regarding flares.

In a small boat with a 8' height of eye a handheld light is only visible around 3.2 miles on a good night. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...uw6ty5PLv8/pub

You want to be seen. Any light device will work on a good day when visibility is good.

However, on crappy sea days a small boat is a bitch to see. Nothing like throwing a couple thousand candlepower light 1000' up in the air to increase the visible horizon. But they can only be effective when you actually SEE someone or are near land. The higher up a light is the further it will be seen. And a parachute type will keep it up longer too.
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:03 PM   #39
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We bought one of these over the winter. Had our boat inspected by the Power Squadron this past weekend. The inspector, who clearly has been around for a long time, said he now has one on his boat. We will keep the old flares on board, but they expire in July and I have no plans to get news ones.
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Old 05-17-2016, 05:29 PM   #40
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Compared to flares, what this device won't do is burn your hands or drop molten material down the sides of your boat.


You can trust a child with it.
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