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Old 07 July 2008, 14:33   #11
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I bought flares at one of the boat shows from safety-marine

They were posted to me and from memory the cost was about 7, thought that was good value.
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Old 08 July 2008, 01:20   #12
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I for one value my life at just a little bit more than 100. I plan to consult the local coastguard when mine expire next year and see if I can set them off during one of their training nights. That way at least I still get to fire them having paid for them.

Ian
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Old 08 July 2008, 06:41   #13
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Originally Posted by walruz View Post
I for one value my life at just a little bit more than 100. I plan to consult the local coastguard when mine expire next year and see if I can set them off during one of their training nights. That way at least I still get to fire them having paid for them.

Ian
That is always the argument. I also value my life (and imagine that most people value their's) more than the cost of satelite phone, an EPIRB, a radar SART, a liferaft, or even the combination of all of those. But I suspect most of us don't carry any of those (unless required for coding, or perhaps doing some "extreme" ribbing). I do spend the money on flares. I just don't enjoy spending it. Actually I would be much happier spending money on a sat phone, epirb etc - perhaps because there is a "gadget" factor, I don't know.

My point was - given the choice of spending 100 on flares or spending 90 on flares (for the same thing) I would always go for the cheaper option as its is a grudged purchase in the first place. In contrast, I object less to paying marginally more for most other boating stuff (e.g. my H/Held VHF cost about 10 more from the shop than on-line, likewise my anchor was more expensive than buying it online (even after shipping)) if they are available locally as I can touch it, feel it, see it before use, and if there are any problems take it back to the shop to speak to a human being - and because I believe its necessary to support local chandlers so they are there for last minute emergency purchases when something breaks.
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Old 08 July 2008, 09:54   #14
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i was told a few years back that the manifacturers want to sell big bulk loads and dont want to sell just as many as the small chandler can handle and because of the fire regs bulk loads have to kept to special local fire regs ect which for the smaller retailer is too much bother for them. on cost of flares its a pity that the use by dates are only around 3 years ,given that most out of date flares will still work ,even had some still work 20 years out of date . with modern chemicals ect it would be nice for them to have around 5 years dated shelf life ,but i suppose its to cover the non ribers , ie hard boaters that dont keep them in an airtight container and just have them rolling about in the bottom of a damp locker . but its like has been said before when the boats going down and the batterys have gone its ,thens time that you wished that you had spent all that money on the flare pack , that is as long as someones looking your way. mart.
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Old 08 July 2008, 10:49   #15
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you are joking flares are expensive enough without paying over the odds.
No, not at all.

A 4-pack of handheld aerial flares runs something like $50 US. If I pay, say, $70, that's $20 over. Amortized over three years, that comes to 55 cents a month. Or, a couple of pennies a day.

That's not even counting any time spent to find the cheapest deal, etc.

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you never plan to use them, if you do use them there is a good chance they will not be seen, their all over in < 1 minute, and you can't even launch them when they expire.
Hmm. Do you wear a helmet? A Seatbelt? Safety glasses? All those things you never hope to use, you hope they work when you need them, and you probably don't put them through their paces when you replace them (at least, I hope not.)


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your approach of buying one or two every year is a sensible way of spreading the cost but for the new boater its painful to spend one bug lump sum like that...
No, I said I replace them (all 6 that I normally carry) every three years.

If someone can spend $20K to $40K on a boat, and $4.50/US gal on fuel, spending $50 on flares once every three years should not be a hardship.

I understand the objection; but you are looking from the viewpoint that it's a waste in the first place. If it's not (i.e. you do need them, they do work, and they do get you noticed) then it's probably the best $50 you ever spent.


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My point was - given the choice of spending 100 on flares or spending 90 on flares (for the same thing) I would always go for the cheaper option as its is a grudged purchase in the first place.
I agree. I don't search out the higher price. I also don't, however, shop around all that much to find the lowest price. My point was that the savings from going online will most likely be nullified by the shipping cost and time spent searching for that lower price.

I also agree with you on supporting local shops.

jky
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Old 08 July 2008, 12:11   #16
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A 4-pack of handheld aerial flares runs something like $50 US. If I pay, say, $70, that's $20 over. Amortized over three years, that comes to 55 cents a month. Or, a couple of pennies a day.
I suspect thats the difference - the "standard" pack of flares for coastal use in the UK (thats 2 parachutes, 2 smokes, 2 h/helds) is about $130 USD. And I don't go out on the boat every day.
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Hmm. Do you wear a helmet? A Seatbelt? Safety glasses? All those things you never hope to use, you hope they work when you need them, and you probably don't put them through their paces when you replace them (at least, I hope not.)
I wear a cycle helmet, but then its not uncommon for me to come off my bike! I'm on my second helmet this year! I didn't pay for my seatbelt as a separate item. Safety glasses are only a few pounds so not as psychologically painful an expense (and most people "borrow" them from their employer!).

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If someone can spend $20K to $40K on a boat, and $4.50/US gal on fuel, spending $50 on flares once every three years should not be a hardship.
agreed - but some of us haven't spend that on a boat in the first place.

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I understand the objection; but you are looking from the viewpoint that it's a waste in the first place. If it's not (i.e. you do need them, they do work, and they do get you noticed) then it's probably the best $50 you ever spent.
I guess I tend to think - could I spend that 100-200 dollars elsewhere in a way which would prevent me getting in trouble in the first place.
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Old 11 July 2008, 07:06   #17
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I got mine from www.compass24.com delivered no problems
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Old 11 July 2008, 09:53   #18
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Originally Posted by walruz View Post
I for one value my life at just a little bit more than 100. I plan to consult the local coastguard when mine expire next year and see if I can set them off during one of their training nights. That way at least I still get to fire them having paid for them.

Ian

They won't let you. I asked if I could have a flare demo and offered my out of date ones, they can't use out of date stuff and prefer to bring their own.
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Old 11 July 2008, 23:11   #19
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So can anyone explain to me the reason for not keeping out of date flares as backups? It is my understanding that here in the US if the coast guard inspects your boat and finds out of date flares they write a ticket.

So I hide mine where I don't think they will look. And occasionally I will test a really out of date one on a wet, foggy day somewhere past the middle of nowhere. (So the flare won't be seen or has a chance of starting a fire.)

I have never had an out of date one not work up to specifications. It seems like such a waste to recycle "reasonably" out of date flares, especially since they could help in an emergency.
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Old 12 July 2008, 01:46   #20
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There's no problem here keeping them as backups. It seems to be quite a common thing to do.

I've fired quite a few out of date flares and they generally work OK. Don't rely on it though - a couple of weeks ago I used 8 Pains Wessex hand held reds that were only a year or so out of date and two of them didn't fire.

John
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