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Flare guns #67384
09/07/2015 07:56 PM
09/07/2015 07:56 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,488
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline OP
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Warren
S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 450
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Re: Flare guns [Re: warren460] #67385
09/08/2015 12:07 PM
09/08/2015 12:07 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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legal again? what a joke. So if you go to USVI, by law, you must have flares.

Re: Flare guns [Re: sail2wind] #67386
09/08/2015 12:11 PM
09/08/2015 12:11 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,489
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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I don't think the law was ever truly meant to exclude them. You can have flares without a flare gun though. Boat's weve been on have all had flares, but no gun.


Matt
Re: Flare guns [Re: maytrix] #67387
09/08/2015 01:27 PM
09/08/2015 01:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,488
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Offline OP
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Whether it was meant to exclude the flare guns or not, the police had said that they would enforce the no flare gun law which incidentally seems to have had a minimum jail term of 5 years.


Warren
S/V Scuba Doo
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Re: Flare guns [Re: warren460] #67388
09/08/2015 02:25 PM
09/08/2015 02:25 PM
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StormJib Offline
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Most of the pistol type marketing junk sold at very low in cost in marine stores may get you past a USCG inspection but offer little help at night calling for help. The altitude is too low, with too little lumens, for way too short of time. If you ever want to call for help you should have a number of SOLAS devices coupled with at least one waterproof handheld VHF.

Flares that work when your life depends on it!

There are also a number of YouTubes on how to convert your cheap flare pistol into a actual handgun. Shoot you flare pistol next New Years or 4th of July then throw it away and get some proper marine signal devices.

Re: Flare guns [Re: warren460] #67389
09/08/2015 02:27 PM
09/08/2015 02:27 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,489
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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Quote
warren460 said:
Whether it was meant to exclude the flare guns or not, the police had said that they would enforce the no flare gun law which incidentally seems to have had a minimum jail term of 5 years.


Interesting - I hadn't seen that. I imagine it would have been thrown out eventually. Police have no choice but to enforce the law.


Matt
Re: Flare guns [Re: maytrix] #67390
09/08/2015 03:22 PM
09/08/2015 03:22 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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has anyone been arrested for flare guns? probably not, any private boat owner is required by USCG to carry them. We were inspected last fall and they definitely checked the flares and dates.

Re: Flare guns [Re: sail2wind] #67391
09/08/2015 04:36 PM
09/08/2015 04:36 PM
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StormJib Offline
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sail2wind said:
has anyone been arrested for flare guns? probably not, any private boat owner is required by USCG to carry them. We were inspected last fall and they definitely checked the flares and dates.


The USCG requires flares... Not FLARE guns. There are several options for signal devices that do not require the actual(in most cases worthless) flare gun.
The following illustrates the variety and combination of devices which can be carried in order to meet the requirements:

Three hand-held red flares (day and night).

One hand-held red flare and two parachute flares (day and night).

One hand-held orange smoke signal, two floating orange smoke signals (day), and one electric distress light (night only).

All distress signals have distinct advantages and disadvantages. No single device is ideal under all conditions or suitable for all purposes. Pyrotechnics are universally recognized as excellent distress signals. However, there is potential for injury and property damage if not properly handled. These devices produce a very hot flame and the residue can cause burns and ignite flammable materials.

Pistol launched and hand-held parachute flares and meteors have many characteristics of a firearm and must be handled with caution. In some states they are considered a firearm and prohibited from use.

There are a number of places where getting caught with a flare GUN could cause those aboard legal issues. It is best to never have those on a boat. One of these could lead to your arrest on firearm charges...

[Linked Image]

Re: Flare guns [Re: StormJib] #67392
09/08/2015 06:38 PM
09/08/2015 06:38 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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One hand-held orange smoke signal, two floating orange smoke signals (day), and one electric distress light (night only).


none of these were on the USCG's list when we were inspected. The only thing we did not have on board, shame on us, was a sign stating (unless your a moron) there is no discharge of oil and other stupid stuff overboard. They actually waited until we posted it.

Re: Flare guns [Re: sail2wind] #67393
09/08/2015 07:15 PM
09/08/2015 07:15 PM
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StormJib Offline
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You are misreading the cut and paste. For USCG purposed you only need one of the three groupings. The USCG believes and is set up to put an aircraft on top of any vessel in US waters. They want you to be able to mark your position for them day or night. Smoke Day, Flag Day, or USCG flares day or night. So three approved flares and you are good with the USCG. They do not say anything about flares you shoot from a gun. The correct flares in your hand is just fine with the USCG. Once you leave the water protected by the USCG any vessel and crew will be better served with equipment meeting the more robust SOLAS standards. If you want someone to see you or notice you from a distance. You want proper parachute flares that launch out of a single use handheld device. The entire sky lights up for 30 seconds or more. The life of your crew may just depend on it. There are near worthless and can get you jailed in many jurisdictions.

[Linked Image]

Re: Flare guns [Re: StormJib] #67394
09/08/2015 08:07 PM
09/08/2015 08:07 PM
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sail445 Offline
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The flare gun is an efficient and safe form of launching a flare and should be used before a hand held unit.

Re: Flare guns [Re: sail445] #67395
09/08/2015 08:28 PM
09/08/2015 08:28 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 873
Michigan
rhans Offline
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Come on take a breath.
There are 2 common flare guns.
The 12ga. = barely legal but legal
The 25 mm = Beats the heck out of handhelds and is usually para style.

Can we close this thread now?

Re: Flare guns [Re: sail445] #67396
09/08/2015 08:39 PM
09/08/2015 08:39 PM
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StormJib Offline
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sail445 said:
The flare gun is an efficient and safe form of launching a flare and should be used before a hand held unit.


That is what the marketing folks would have you think. Reality is the guns are worthless plastic junk that deliver a very low quality signal. If you ever need to use flares to signal distress or collision warning you want pyrotechnics that meet SOLAS standards. All the quality SOLAS solutions are handheld. If you do not believe me get one of those plastic cap guns and go shoot it off at a park one night.

Here are the spec to meet or beat:

The rocket shall, when fired vertically, reach an altitude of not less than 300 m. At or near the
top of its trajectory, the rocket shall eject a parachute flare, which shall:

.1 burn with a bright red colour;
.2 burn uniformly with an average luminous intensity of not less than 30,000 cd;
.3 have a burning period of not less than 40 s;
.4 have a rate of descent of not more than 5 m/s; and
.5 not damage its parachute or attachments while burning.

Re: Flare guns [Re: rhans] #67397
09/08/2015 08:50 PM
09/08/2015 08:50 PM
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StormJib Offline
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rhans said:
Come on take a breath.
There are 2 common flare guns.
The 12ga. = barely legal but legal
The 25 mm = Beats the heck out of handhelds and is usually para style.

Can we close this thread now?



None of the 25mm meet the SOLAS standards. There is also the issue of a single pistol or firing tool. In the dark, rough water, confusion of the disaster.. they can fail, corrode or simply get dropped into the sea. That is why the knowledgeable and prudent mariner stocks his disaster grab bag and life raft with single use handheld SOLAS certified flares. It you want to get current or up to speed with this kind of stuff consider taking the next Safety at Sea seminar at your local yacht club. For skippers the "Hands On" is the way to go.

http://www.ussailing.org/education/safety-at-sea/

Link Safety at Sea Seminars

Re: Flare guns [Re: StormJib] #67398
09/08/2015 10:12 PM
09/08/2015 10:12 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 196
SW Florida
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CptCook Offline
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Quote
StormJib said:
None of the 25mm meet the SOLAS standards. There is also the issue of a single pistol or firing tool. In the dark, rough water, confusion of the disaster.. they can fail, corrode or simply get dropped into the sea. That is why the knowledgeable and prudent mariner stocks his disaster grab bag and life raft with single use handheld SOLAS certified flares. It you want to get current or up to speed with this kind of stuff consider taking the next Safety at Sea seminar at your local yacht club. For skippers the "Hands On" is the way to go.

http://www.ussailing.org/education/safety-at-sea/

Link Safety at Sea Seminars


So Stormjib......nice to see that you have done some research and have come to decisions for yourself. And I agree with some of the things you have said. That said, you are taking a rather strong tone with others opinions here. Just because you are right doesn't mean I am wrong!(old proverb)
Your opinions seem to be based on theory. Nothing wrong with that. Let me share a real life experience that refutes at least one of your theories. I was forced to land my helicopter in a very remote area. I was unable to make any radio calls once on the ground. My unit launched 4 other helicopters to try and find me. As they got closer to me, close enough for me to hear them and later see them, I started to launch SOLAS specification parachute flares. 6 of them. The other crews never saw any of the flares. The flares were too high. The crews were looking down at the ground, you know, sort of like at sea level. The flares burned for their specified times, but burned out above the rescue crew's field of vision. They didn't see me until I lit a smudge fire at ground level. So maybe some of those low opening flare gun flares you are deriding might have an application somewhere, sometime!
Make your own decisions, make them work for yourself, share what you know to be fact with others in a polite way, and leave them to make their decisions based on their needs, knowledge, and experiences.
For the record, on the boat I carry some of each of the above, hand held, SOLAS approved, Orion flare gun, and some military surplus pin flares.


"Be a Traveler, not a tourist!"
Re: Flare guns [Re: CptCook] #67399
09/08/2015 10:41 PM
09/08/2015 10:41 PM
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StormJib Offline
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Capt Cook agreed and understood. Please note if you read all the posts you should see the answer was never meant as Only Carry High Intensity Parachute flares. Please also note their are also SOLAS standards for sea level hand held flares, smoke, and even lights. The better kits will have a combination of those devices without a single point of failure pistol.

Re: Flare guns [Re: StormJib] #67400
09/09/2015 12:11 AM
09/09/2015 12:11 AM
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Posts: 2,271
sail445 Offline
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Each to his own I have the 25mm gun and it works fine.
I also carry hand flares.
The gun is the safer way to go.

Re: Flare guns [Re: sail445] #67401
09/09/2015 01:18 PM
09/09/2015 01:18 PM
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StormJib Offline
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Much of the original thread was the legality of flare guns. The reality is flare guns are illegal in many jurisdictions. The laws vary by state and county and are very complicated. In some places they may not be illegal? But, you must have a firearm or handgun license to possess one. Unless you research the law each time your boat moves across jurisdictions you could easily find yourself in jail. In jail with very harsh minimums for possession of an illegal firearm. The State of New Jersey is very harsh and unforgiving. Those are just a few of the reasons you will almost never find a "flare gun" on a commercial vessel or any of the "commercial vessel" prepackaged kits for general signaling or distress/rescue. The next issue is performance. None, including the 25mm versions, meet the international SOLAS requirements nor the USCG offshore requirements. In any delivery to or from the BVI the sailing clearly is "offshore".. Once you sail past Anegada heading East or South you will also cross offshore passages.

-SOLAS approved parachutes are designed so that other equipment isn't necessary for firing. No need for a separate gun or pen style launcher - which require multiple steps for use. And if you have lost your launcher or found yourself with a broken launcher, you'd be left holding an unusable flare and no way to signal for help.

U.S. Coast Guard approved aerial flares have less demanding operational performance specifications than SOLAS flares. These flares typically had a burn time of approximately 6 seconds and an altitude of 300 feet.

-This pales in comparison to SOLAS flares that burn for about 40 seconds and an altitude greater that 900ft. Unlike SOLAS flares which have built in firing mechanisms, there is a wide array of ways to fire USCG flares, ranging from built-in (Skyblazer) to a pistol type launcher.

-Six seconds is nothing when you are hoping to catch a random glimpse of a bridge watch offshore. The SOLAS spec's devices will literally light the entire sky for more than half a minute. Anyone looking anywhere near your direction will not be amble to miss the brilliant nighttime illumination. Any boat going to and from the BVI should have a proper kit of SOLAS offshore devices. A Safety at Sea Seminar is also a good step for at least one of your crew.

Re: Flare guns [Re: StormJib] #67402
09/09/2015 01:57 PM
09/09/2015 01:57 PM
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Maryland
Twanger Offline
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Nicely said StormJib!

Re: Flare guns [Re: Twanger] #67403
09/09/2015 03:42 PM
09/09/2015 03:42 PM
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Twanger said:
Nicely said StormJib!


Agreed, a very polite and informative explanation.


"Be a Traveler, not a tourist!"
Re: Flare guns [Re: StormJib] #67404
09/09/2015 05:44 PM
09/09/2015 05:44 PM
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St Thomas, USVI
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Kimber Offline
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Another USCG approved option I didn't see in your list is this https://siriussignal.com
I would rather have a signaling device that lasts hours rather than quibble over seconds. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Re: Flare guns [Re: Kimber] #67405
09/09/2015 06:06 PM
09/09/2015 06:06 PM
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Kimber said:
Another USCG approved option I didn't see in your list is this https://siriussignal.com
I would rather have a signaling device that lasts hours rather than quibble over seconds. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />


I would call that all your eggs in one basket. The sirius may work just fine if someone is nearby and looking for you? The rocket flares are much more effective calling attention to you from anyone even glancing in the direction of the brilliant red high altitude signal. SOLAS rockets, smoke, handheld flares are also very visible in the daylight. The key is a complete SOLAS signal kit containing a combination of the signals. You want to be able to alert anyone glancing in your direction, anyone on the surface looking for you, anyone in the air looking for you. You want to be equipped for that day and night in all weather.

Re: Flare guns [Re: StormJib] #67406
09/09/2015 08:38 PM
09/09/2015 08:38 PM
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St Thomas, USVI
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Kimber Offline
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I didn't see where I suggested not having any other device. My missed point was when the thread drifted to discussions over how many seconds a SOLAS flare or aerial flare lasts. My personal preference would be to have the option of a signaling device designed to last hours rather than choose when to deploy signaling devices that are ignited and burn at thousands of degrees. Or put even more clearly -- Your list is fine but for another $100 why not have something that lasts for hours and doesn't expire at the rate of flares?

Re: Flare guns [Re: StormJib] #67407
09/09/2015 08:41 PM
09/09/2015 08:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,211
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
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Kimber, that is pretty cool and only $100.

Re: Flare guns [Re: sail2wind] #67408
09/09/2015 09:02 PM
09/09/2015 09:02 PM
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Posts: 402
St Thomas, USVI
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In the world of boat bucks I find it an absolute bargain. Defender had them on sale with a discount code for less than $80 recently.


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