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Old 02-20-2016, 10:05 AM   #1
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Will this Replace Flares?

Weems & Plath is selling a battery powered light that meets Coast Guard requirements for night signals. With this and a distress flag for day time use you could meet all USCG requirements.

Will you continue to carry pyrotechnics or will this replace your flares?

"THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE TO TRADITIONAL FLARES
The SOS Distress Light is the first and ONLY LED Visual Distress Signal Device that meets U.S. Coast Guard requirements to completely replace traditional pyrotechnic flares. Unlike traditional flares, this electronic flare never expires which solves the challenge of flare disposal. This floating electronic flare can be hand-held, tethered, or hoisted aloft. It runs up to 60 hours, unlike traditional flares which last minutes or less."

The above is from the Weems & Plath website.

It currently sells for $100.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:35 AM   #2
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It looks good, what kind of battery does it use? I guess there could be an issue of dead batteries when you need it, if one didn't keep up with that. It would be easier to use and deploy if one had to abandon ship or MOB.
I just replaced outdated flares this week maybe by the time I need replacements there will be a bigger selection of these "electronic flares".
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Old 02-20-2016, 11:56 AM   #3
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Steve, it uses three regular C batteries. They recommend changing the batteries once a year.
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Old 02-20-2016, 08:37 PM   #4
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I like this. Flares make me nervous. I'm always worried I'll burn myself or someone else, or light something on fire, like the life raft I'm desperately clinging to. I wouldn't feel comfortable keeping a box of fireworks aboard, but I kinda have to. Also, not having to replace the thing every year is a big plus.
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Old 02-20-2016, 10:32 PM   #5
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I like the idea too. I could see some possible wisdom in carrying both an LED and traditional flares.

Parks - is this an item you sell?

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Old 02-21-2016, 12:58 AM   #6
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Yes, I brought a few in to see how they go. I like them from the safety point. Combined with an Epirb I think they could be very effective.
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Old 02-21-2016, 08:14 AM   #7
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When my flares expire in a year, if this product (or a similar one) still exists and has some market traction, I'll definitely ditch flares for it.
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Old 02-22-2016, 07:24 AM   #8
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When my flares expire in a year, if this product (or a similar one) still exists and has some market traction, I'll definitely ditch flares for it.
I second that. I think I have replaced our flares five times over the 14 odd years we have had our boat, and never had to set one off. What a waste...
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:08 AM   #9
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I bought one. I think it's a lot safer than conventional flares.


I just wonder what took them so long to come out with a replacement for flares. Fifty or a hundred years ago that was the best we could do but LEDs and strobe lights have been with us for a long time.
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:22 AM   #10
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Wes, ACR actually made one about thirty years ago. It never took off because it was required to use a special battery that was hard to find. The battery had a short shelf life and dealers didn't want to stock it.
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:27 AM   #11
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I did not know that but special batteries would be a killer for almost anything. "C" batteries are available almost anywhere that sells batteries.


As long as the batteries don't leak and corrode, this should be a great product.
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:52 AM   #12
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Wes, ACR actually made one about thirty years ago. It never took off because it was required to use a special battery that was hard to find. The battery had a short shelf life and dealers didn't want to stock it.
In the aviation space there were ELT's (a crude precursor to EPIRB's) that required specialized batteries. Finally one manufacture came out with one that could use D-cells and they sold like hotcakes.

(The D-cells needed to be Duracell because they were the only batteries that had a use-by date on them and the FAA didn't want folks using old batteries.)

Anyway I do like this product.
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:02 PM   #13
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Replacing fireworks flares every few years is a wasteful PITA. I usually keep the last expired set with the fresh set. The electronic type seems a great advance, and in Australia soccer/round ball football fans are likely keen buyers for the old ones.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:55 PM   #14
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Replacing fireworks flares every few years is a wasteful PITA. I usually keep the last expired set with the fresh set. The electronic type seems a great advance, and in Australia soccer/round ball football fans are likely keen buyers for the old ones.
I'm almost afraid to ask. What do they do with them?
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:11 PM   #15
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I'm almost afraid to ask. What do they do with them?
The fans fire them at football matches, filling the venue with smoke. No idea why. The soccer governing body then fines the Club the fans support $50K,and "fines" the Club 3 competition points, suspended until it happens again, in the hope the Club will control its fans.
Oh for the old days, when you could fire them from your boat on NYE while watching the fireworks. If you can`t find fans to take the old ones, our Maritime Authority will, but that`s no fun.
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Old 02-23-2016, 06:13 AM   #16
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I'm almost afraid to ask. What do they do with them?
Thanks to Bruce, they'll get banned from the rest of the season's soccer matches, because of letting them off in the stands. He must have been onto this already because Melbourne Victory team are on a 3 point suspended deduction for this very activity last week, and the western Sydney Wanderers the week before that.

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Old 02-25-2016, 12:00 PM   #17
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How is this distinguishable as a distress signal, rather than just another light at night?

Flares are pretty easily recognizable for what they are. Not saying it's a bad thing, just curious.

Also, I assume this will replace only hand-held signals, not the 12ga meteors that are visible over a much longer range?
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:28 PM   #18
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If I did get one of these electronic flares think I'd keep a ziplock back with more batteries in the ditch bag.

Don't think I'd ditch the flares thou. Something about redundancy that sits well with me.
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Old 02-25-2016, 03:25 PM   #19
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How is this distinguishable as a distress signal, rather than just another light at night?

Flares are pretty easily recognizable for what they are. Not saying it's a bad thing, just curious.

Also, I assume this will replace only hand-held signals, not the 12ga meteors that are visible over a much longer range?
As I recall, it flashes SOS. I could be wrong, it's on the boat and I am not. It may not be visible at a long range like the 12 gauge but it will run for several hours on one set of batteries. Flares last for just a few seconds.
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Old 02-25-2016, 03:42 PM   #20
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As I recall, it flashes SOS. I could be wrong, it's on the boat and I am not. It may not be visible at a long range like the 12 gauge but it will run for several hours on one set of batteries. Flares last for just a few seconds.
Sounds like a good idea...but I'm not sure I would trust my life to it just yet.

Might be a good way to accompany flares, especially when further combined with a VHF DSC distress signal or EPIRB, but until more mariners receive more training on looking out for these devices, I'll stick to my (flare) guns.
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