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Old 06 April 2012, 06:57   #1
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Which flares...

I've done a good search around and although I remember myriads of "what flares do I need to carry" type threads I can't seem to find any.

All our flares are out of date so we are starting afresh (already have baby parachutes).

We used to have two big parachutes and a pack of three crummy French ones, really not sure what good they would have done, they were really designed for the old boat which wasn't allowed to be more than 6 miles from a shelter.

Most of you know the sort of trips we do but I'd say we would never be more than about 40 miles offshore at any stage, perhaps slightly over that mid channel at wide points but not massively so. So...what do we need!
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Old 06 April 2012, 07:26   #2
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Quote:
baby parachutes
- these are probably "mini flares" - they are not actually parachutes, they go straight up (perhaps to 60m) and straight back down so are visible for less time than an actual parachute.

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have two big parachutes and a pack of three crummy French ones, really not sure what good they would have done
I'd have thought the "French ones" were still made to SOLAS standards and would be just as good as any other? They are perhaps handheld rather than parachute/rocket type flares? I'd have hoped that someone doing the sort of boating you do would understand the difference and when each should be used.
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Old 06 April 2012, 07:35   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polwart View Post
RNLI - Royal National Lifeboat Insitution

- these are probably "mini flares" - they are not actually parachutes, they go straight up (perhaps to 60m) and straight back down so are visible for less time than an actual parachute.

I'd have thought the "French ones" were still made to SOLAS standards and would be just as good as any other? They are perhaps handheld rather than parachute/rocket type flares? I'd have hoped that someone doing the sort of boating you do would understand the difference and when each should be used.
Yeah but they got wet on day one of our first ever boating expedition because we hadn't quite grasped the concept of keeping safety equipment dry by that stage.

The old safety grab bag has a hole in it too so currently looking at a pelicase but any suggestions for alternatives greatly appreciated. Will check the RNLI link.
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Old 06 April 2012, 08:00   #4
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Offshore -
4 parachute
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2 buoyant smokes

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Old 06 April 2012, 08:04   #5
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this would serve you well

Coastal flare pack - 2012 stock! - Marine Warehouse Ltd
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Old 06 April 2012, 08:22   #6
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The following guidelines were drawn up by the RYA in conjunction with the RNLI and MCA last year:

http://www.rya.org.uk/SiteCollection...o-Sheet-A4.pdf

Another document that may be of help is:

Flares | Equipment | Regulations & Safety | Information & Advice | RYA
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Old 06 April 2012, 08:51   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polwart View Post
I'd have thought the "French ones" were still made to SOLAS standards and would be just as good as any other?
If they're French, then they'll be Superior in every way...

...except they may be a bit volatile and prone to premature detonation
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Old 06 April 2012, 08:54   #8
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If they're French, then they'll be Superior in every way...

...except they may be a bit volatile and prone to early detonation
or liable to going on strike or stopping you getting in/out of a french port. GG - I'd get rid as soon as you can!
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Old 06 April 2012, 09:24   #9
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If they're French, then they'll be Superior in every way...

...except they may be a bit volatile and prone to premature detonation
They'll probably disappear at the first sign of trouble too!
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Old 06 April 2012, 18:31   #10
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That's what I have
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Old 07 April 2012, 02:50   #11
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The thing to remember here is that you can NEVER have too many flares when you're trying to attract some attention!
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Old 07 April 2012, 05:44   #12
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On the other hand, are flares a spent force (pardon the pun) In todays age of (multiple redundant) electronics & fewer physical coastguards, are flares outdated in every sense.
Discuss
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Old 07 April 2012, 06:29   #13
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On the other hand, are flares a spent force (pardon the pun) In todays age of (multiple redundant) electronics & fewer physical coastguards, are flares outdated in every sense.
Discuss
No.

2 words. Power failure.
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Old 07 April 2012, 06:54   #14
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Quote:
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On the other hand, are flares a spent force (pardon the pun) In todays age of (multiple redundant) electronics & fewer physical coastguards, are flares outdated in every sense.
Discuss
Hmm. Thanks for the links etc everyone. The RYA spreadsheet if taken literally would seem to suggest we need very few. I mean we carry: VHF, VHFDSC (x2), AIS, PLB, mini-flares already so we're fairly well kitted. That coastal pack looks just the ticket however it comes without white hand helds, the only time I would see these being useful is with a tanker bearing down on us mid channel, surely with all our other comms we should be ok without?

The french ones may have been manufactured to the same standard in the first place but they got wet on day one of our first rib experience because we hadn't quite anticipated the need for "dry bags"
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Old 07 April 2012, 07:08   #15
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Originally Posted by Nos4r2 View Post
No.

2 words. Power failure.
But then I have:-

2 independent batteries
Fixed dsc VHF
PLB (independent battery)
Hand held vhf(independent battery)
AIS
SART
Mobile phone, at least 1.
For the record I also have flares, but I wonder if in the near future we will look back at flares in the same way as we now regard signal flags, telegrams, Morse code etc. Flares have their own intrinsic problems, i.e. you can't test them, they have a limited life, they are increasingly difficult to buy & dispose of. You don't know if they will work until the sh1t hits the fan & then it's a bit late. Somebody has to see them go off & then you are reliant on them having functioning comms equipment to relay your distress. You can't rely on other vessels keeping a look out these days (Ouzo) as they increasingly depend on electronics to do it for them.
The French will fine you for having out of date flares, but not if you don't have any at all.
I just think that we should have a rational, pragmatic & unsentimental look at flares & decide if they still have a place on board.
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Old 07 April 2012, 07:48   #16
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All very well, but if you need to be picked up while in the water,dark or fog, it's far easier to home in on a bright point of light when you're close by than hunt for a dark boat by staring at instruments.

You're also assuming it'll be the RNLI that picks you up.
How many small boats do you know that have AIS,or any way of tracking a locator beacon once you've called mayday?
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Old 07 April 2012, 07:56   #17
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Quote:
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All very well, but if you need to be picked up while in the water,dark or fog, it's far easier to home in on a bright point of light when you're close by than hunt for a dark boat by staring at instruments.

You're also assuming it'll be the RNLI that picks you up.
How many small boats do you know that have AIS,or any way of tracking a locator beacon once you've called mayday?
All fair comment, I'm only playing devils advocate here. As I said, I carry flares & will continue to do so in the short term, but I can't help but feel that the writing is on the wall, & they've had their day.
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Old 07 April 2012, 11:42   #18
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Laser flare debate anyone
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Old 07 April 2012, 18:22   #19
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As it happens anyone know a good dealer for lazer flares in the uk seriously thinking of buying one,

Always remember an incident which a hand flare saved the lives of a group of fishermen on a local party boat many years ago, 4miles offshore boat finished up with the anchor rope around the prop which put it stern on to the increasing waves,
Skipper opens the engine hatch to gain access to the prop hatch to free it , everyone on boat then goes to the stern to have a look at what the skippers doing and the next second waves over the transom and swamps and sinks the boat in less than 20 seconds ,12 persons now in the water with only 1lifebelt lucky one guy the only one with a floatation suit and has a hand flare that works ,my mates 6 year old lad spots it about half a mile away ,biggest problem then was getting 12men plus mate and his 2kids on a 16ft boat whilst the pilot cutter and lifeboat turned up 15 mins later.
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Old 07 April 2012, 18:41   #20
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As it happens anyone know a good dealer for lazer flares in the uk seriously thinking of buying one.
I am the UK importer of the greatland laser flares, I give free case/pouch to all rib people.

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