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what size flare gun do you use offshore?

Old 02-24-2011, 05:42 AM
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Default what size flare gun do you use offshore?

Since my flares are expired, its a good time for me to reconsider the size. I run 40-50 miles out of Venice. what do you all carry for this distance? 12mmor the 25mm? big price difference. I'd stay with 25mm but there is corrosion on my gun and not sure I want to chance it not working. or is it just a simple task to clean?

thank you in advance from the bo-bo head about flare guns!
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:53 AM
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50 miles, sorry to say (they cost more) I carry and will recommend SOLAS / USCG approved parachute and handheld flares. 12mm is not something you want your life depending on in bad weather, 25mm is better BUT not approved by the guys who will be looking for you......
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:01 AM
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We carry both 25mm and 12mm. The 25mm with 6 shells is on the boat with 6 parachutes, while the 12mm is in the ditch bag with 12 shells and 4 slow burn sticks. The primary advantage to the 25mm is greater height, but since flares are most useful when you know someone is actually looking for you, usually by helicopter or plane, the 12mm units are just as good as they have the same 4 second burn time and you can carry 2-3x more of them for less money.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:06 AM
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I agree that SOLAS grade flares are the best bet for where you operate. I want to add that flares in general tend to be ineffective and are a last resort piece of gear. For where you operate, I would have a DSC enabled, registered and programmed VHF, a VHF back up with a seperate antenna, a 406 EPIRB with GPS, a comprehensive ditch bag, a life raft and a float plan.

REMEMBER IF YOU EVER FIRE A FLARE, LET THE COAST GUARD KNOW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE THAT YOU DID.

They may be searching afor you and you not know it. Back when I was on active duty we had a report f a flare in the MS Sound near Gulfport. I got underway and started heading to the area where the flare was fired. I saw a recreational boat up on a plane heading into Gulfport. I stopped the boater to ask if he had seen the flare. He had FIRED THE FLARE. His engine died on him. He fired the flare, then got his engine started and continued heading in. Our crews would have been out all night and for much of the following day had I not stopped to query him.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:20 AM
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For those who think those pitiful 12ga or 25mm flares are the way to go.... You might want to read what I posted on this thread...

http://www.thehulltruth.com/boating-...es-online.html
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:35 AM
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After reading what Capt. Bob wrote, I think it is easy to decide to spend around $500 on commercial versus $350 at West Marine on recreational stuff.

Thanks Capt. Bob, you not only answered my question but introduced me to a section about flares I was not aware of.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by lemaymiami View Post
For those who think those pitiful 12ga or 25mm flares are the way to go.... You might want to read what I posted on this thread...

http://www.thehulltruth.com/boating-...es-online.html

For most guys, its a question of where to spend their safety dollars - if you have unlimited funds, SOLAS flares are great, but 6 meteors + 6 handhelds are $500 every 3 years; I'd rather see someone spend $200 on recreational flares and use the $300 for a PLB or towards an EPIRB.
On the scale of leading to a rescue, flares are pretty far down the list of what's going to get the USCG to come get you - well after DSC VHF and EPIRB.

Any typical rescue situation has three elements: notifying emergency personnel; protection from the elements awaiting rescuers; and directing the rescuers to your location. Flares might help with #3 if it is at night.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by LI32 View Post
For most guys, its a question of where to spend their safety dollars - if you have unlimited funds, SOLAS flares are great, but 6 meteors + 6 handhelds are $500 every 3 years; I'd rather see someone spend $200 on recreational flares and use the $300 for a PLB or towards an EPIRB.
On the scale of leading to a rescue, flares are pretty far down the list of what's going to get the USCG to come get you - well after DSC VHF and EPIRB.

Any typical rescue situation has three elements: notifying emergency personnel; protection from the elements awaiting rescuers; and directing the rescuers to your location. Flares might help with #3 if it is at night.
Great post! It's almost as if you know what you are talking about.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:50 PM
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if you are talking about bang for the buck, i like the streamer too. the long plastic orange thing that u can extend and floats along the top of the water.

that thing is pretty cheap and doesnt expire. i have dye packs too, but the streamer seems like a winner to me.

http://www.rescuestreamer.com/

.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyM View Post
if you are talking about bang for the buck, i like the streamer too. the long plastic orange thing that u can extend and floats along the top of the water.

that thing is pretty cheap and doesnt expire. i have dye packs too, but the streamer seems like a winner to me.

http://www.rescuestreamer.com/

.
I like it.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:55 PM
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Paines Wessex SOLAS parachute flares and smoke signals.

Last edited by ThreeLittleFish; 02-24-2011 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:49 PM
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12mm or 12 guage ?
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:41 AM
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12 guage if your a somolian pirate.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeyM View Post
if you are talking about bang for the buck, i like the streamer too. the long plastic orange thing that u can extend and floats along the top of the water.

that thing is pretty cheap and doesnt expire. i have dye packs too, but the streamer seems like a winner to me.

http://www.rescuestreamer.com/

.

Check out the report at this reference

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...c=GetTRDoc.pdf

I think this device works, but not really well.

A problem with flares is that they are short-lived, the boat or ship on the horizon may not be looking when you fire it off. If I were faced with spending $500, I'd rather opt for $300 on a second PLB with internal GPS. Get a holster to attach it to the strap on your inflatable PFD.
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