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Thread: flares?

  1. #1
    Member rrjfish8's Avatar
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    Default flares?

    I have a 19ft boat and was told that I need flares. Do I need a flare gun or would the standard roadside flare be legal.

  2. #2

    Default

    From the USCG website

    You can use this page to check your own boat. We suggest you print the form that we use to also use as a guide while performing this self-inspection. You can get the form here and it requires that you have the free Adobe Acrobat reader installed on your computer. If you do not have the reader, you can download a copy from here: Adobe Acrobat Reader. Use our Virtual Vessel Examiner to check your vessel by simply answerings a series of questions. Click here to use that tool. Once you have passed, follow the instructions in the next paragraph to have one of our volunteers check your vessel and award you with the safety sticker to display on your boat!
    After you have completed the self-examination, you can request that one of our examiners perform an actual Vessel Safety Check by going to the " I Want a VSC" page at http://SafetySeal.net/GetVSC/ and enter your ZIP Code to contact an examiner near you.
    Item 1 - Display of Numbers:
    The boat's registration number must be permanently attached to each side of the forward half of the boat They must be plain, vertical, block characters, not less than three (3) inches high, and in a color contrasting with the background. A space or hyphen must separate the letters from the numbers. Place State tax sticker according to State policy.
    (e.g. FL 1234 AB or FL-1234-AB)
    Item 2 - Registration / Documentation:
    Registration or Documentation papers must be on board and available. Documentation numbers must be permanently marked on a visible part of the interior structure. The documented boat's name and hailing port must be displayed on the exterior hull in letters not less than 4 inches in height. To be documented a boat must be 5 net tons or greater.
    Item 3 - Personal Flotation Devices (PFD):
    Acceptable PFDs (also known as Life Jackets) must be U.S. Coast Guard approved, in good serviceable condition, and of suitable size for the each person on the boat. Children must have properly fitted PFDs designed for children. Wearable PFDs shall be "readily accessible." Throwable devices shall be "immediately available." PFDs shall NOT be stored in unopened plastic packaging. For Personal Watercraft riders, the PFD must be worn and indicate an impact rating. Boats 16 Feet or longer, must also have one Type IV.



    Item 4 - Visual Distress Signals (VDS):
    Recreational boats 16 feet and over used on coastal waters or the Great Lakes are required to carry a minimum of either 1) three day and three night pyrotechnic devices, 2) one day non-pyrotechnic device (flag) and one night non-pyrotechnic device (auto SOS light) or 3) a combination of 1) and 2). Recreational boats less than 16 feet on coastal waters or the Great Lakes need only carry night visual distress signals when operating from sunset to sunrise.
    It is recommended, but not required, that boats operating on inland waters should have some means of making a suitable day and night distress signal. The number and type of signals is best judged by considering conditions under which the boat will be operating. Alternatives to pyrotechnic devices (flares) include:
    NightDayStrobe lightSignal mirrorFlashlightRed or orange flagsLanternHand signals

  3. #3

    Default

    I'll address only your flare question. Can be hand-held flares, but must be Coast Guard approved (not road flares). For emergency signaling, having three of those flares covers you for day and for night distress signals. The first post after yours provides lots of good information. If you don't know about flares, I'm assuming that you may not know about all of the other requirements. Good that you are asking.

  4. #4

    Default

    There's a question of whether you just want to meet the regs with your flares, or get ones that will really help you if you get in trouble. Long as I have to spend money, I'm going for the ones that are best.

    There are two general standards out there. One is "Coast Guard Approved." Those are pretty minimal when it comes to doing the job. If you want flares that really attract attention, get ones that are SOLAS grade, which are internationally approved for high seas use. They're also CG approved, but they're so much brighter and burn so much longer, they make the basic CG Approved model seem puny. Burn the two side-by-side, and SOLAS flares are almost scary, they're so much more powerful.

  5. #5
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default And remember

    Flare DO have a expiration date on them. If they are expired then the inspector will NOT accept them

    On the other hand do not dispose of them, keep them with your emergency kit. It is always better to have more than 3 even if they are expired.
    2000 Bayliner Ciera Express 2452
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  6. #6
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default dates

    Not all flares have expiration dates. The handhelds and the airial flares that I have only show manufacture date.

    I think (from memory) that the CG in AK requires them to be manufactured within 18 months...don't quote me though.....

    When I talked with you I remembered that there was a difference in something in the regs that did not require my 15'-5" boat to require flares...but we carry them anyway (expired ones though).

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up

    Had this conversation yesterday while getting my USCG vessel check done. I failed due to expired flares. Since it was at the Fred Meyers parking lot in Eagle River, I asked the guy if I ran inside and bought some, would I pass. He said YES, but only if they're not expired and are CG approved. So I did and I passed. He never said anything about manufacter's dates, just expiration date was the big deal. My .02...

  8. #8

    Default

    Hand-held flares (at least all that I've seen) have a manufacturer's date and an expiration date stamped on them. I needed to buy new flares this year and got them at W. Marine. As always, I checked the expiration dates on the flares. There were some flares that expired in 2013 (I think), and some flares that expired in 2012. You have to watch it or you'll buy flares that expire sooner than later. Some places even sell flares that have already expired.
    Got my boat inspected at Fred Meyer in Eagle River, too. The only thing that almost tripped me up was that the flame arrester didn't have "Coast Guard Approved" stamped on it, although it was clearly a marine item and said Mercruiser on it. Been boarded a few times by the real Coasties and the part's never been an issue. Getting ready for the auxilliary inspection is always helpful because it forces me to go through the boat an make sure everything is in working order. After the inspection I went to Big Lake and ran the boat to make sure the engine, steering, etc. were working ok. Seemed fine. Fingers crossed.

  9. #9
    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Default

    Be careful when you buy them - I've seen expired (or about to expire) flares sitting on the shelves in the store.

  10. #10
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default Check Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Not all flares have expiration dates. The handhelds and the airial flares that I have only show manufacture date.
    Military flares do not have a expiration date, but they also DO NOT have CG approval. Unless they say CG approved then they will not satisfy the legal requirements and if boarded will recieve a fine for them if they are your only flares.. In my years I have never seen CG approved flares without a expiration date.
    2000 Bayliner Ciera Express 2452
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  11. #11
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default Walmart

    actually has a good deal on handheld flares.
    2000 Bayliner Ciera Express 2452
    5.0 Mercruiser Alpha 1

  12. #12

    Default FYI

    The full list of requirements by length
    Attached Files Attached Files

  13. #13
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Default

    I wish the CG would accept the laser signal flare light for use as a flare. Wouldn't have the expiration problem, just carry a few extra batteries and you would have much longer use out of it than a few minutes worth of flare with the ones now. I thnk that with a few smoke flares would be a whole lot better. Add a few glow sticks with a 4 foot section of string for a buzz bomb and you have 3 different systems that give you more versatility.

    http://www.westmarine.com/1/1/27334-...es-3-pack.html

    http://www.aviationsupermart.com/sto...l?feed=froogle

  14. #14
    Member rrjfish8's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks guys I was checked a weekago and have been checked before but never for flares. They were nice and let me go with a warning. I am good now.

  15. #15
    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    Default Two things

    The little 12ga flares that came with my safety kit expired. There are 6 in the kit, but they sell them in 4 packs. I went to SW in Wasilla and bought a 4 pack. $34.00! Went to Wal-Mart, exact same 4 pack $23.00. I hope I can return the ones to SW. That is BS! $11.00 difference, unreal. I was also told by buddy with a boat that he was told that you cannot have the expired flares on the boat. If you do, you will get a ticket. I haven't had a chance to clarify that one. If anyone knows please enlighten. It would seem to me as long as you had the legal requirement, extras, expired or not can't hurt anything.
    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
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  16. #16
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    Default We always told boaters

    That as long as they were not kept in the same case as the good ones. They cannot ticket you for having expired flares no more so than they can ticket you for having non CG approved pfd's on board. As long as you have the equipment that satisfies the regs.
    2000 Bayliner Ciera Express 2452
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  17. #17

    Default

    I've been told by the Coast Guard Auxilliary (when getting an inspection) that either I shouldn't have expired flares on the boat or I should keep them separate from the unexpired flares. I forgot which they said. But anyway, I've always kept the expired flares in the same container as the unexpired flares and the 3 times the Coast Guard has boarded me and checked my flares they haven't said a word. Not carrying extra expired flares on board would be a waste of what are still good, operational, flares.

  18. #18
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default you can

    in the winter Coast Guard boaters certification course the trainer told us that you should keep your expired flares separate and use up them first. If the flare works and someone saves your butt then you still have the current flares for the next time that you are being an idiot or getting into trouble.........

  19. #19
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    in the winter Coast Guard boaters certification course the trainer told us that you should keep your expired flares separate and use up them first. If the flare works and someone saves your butt then you still have the current flares for the next time that you are being an idiot or getting into trouble.........
    Did my inspection last Saturday morning. My inspector said the same thing. Just as long as you have some good ones on board, your fine.

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