Saturday, August 3, 2019

farewell pyrotechnics

My Coast Guard required flares will be expiring next month.  A new set, from West Marine, runs $25.  Instead I bought a Weems & Plath Night Visual Distress Signal (Coast Guard approved) from Amazon for $90.  Not a great financial decision, what I paid for the strobe would cover the cost of replacing the flares three times over the next decade.  I am just glad to have the pyrotechnics off the boat, never liked having them there in the first place.

The strobe is surprisingly bright, and blinks in the morse code SOS pattern.  I hope to never use it.

My Amazon order centered around the fall cruise (early October) and included food supplies such as Rio Mare tuna for lunch, Tanka buffalo/cranberry bars (part of the steak and eggs cruise breakfast) and Chimes mango ginger chews for snacks.  I am well ahead on prepping for this trip.

Heading down to Betsy Town for a, most likely, slightly humid sail in light winds.  I can't wait.


Bursledon Blogger said...

Interesting decision, like you I dislike having flares on board, and i especially dislike the 5 year life for marine flares. A friend has a very pistol for which there is no end of life date on the ammunition for the same reason.

One question the strobe won't have the range of a flare (visible at height) presumably you can hoist to the mast head. Do you plan to use combination VHF/strobe or similar to make up for that slight deficiency?



Steve said...


I'm not sure I understand what you mean by visible at height. The prism on the strobe puts out light in two directions, a horizontal 360 beam and a vertical beam. I have talked with coast guard helicopter pilots who tell me they wear night vision goggles that allow them to see a burning match from miles away. I think strobe would be easily seen with night vision. So safety gear now includes a SPOT that would send an emergency signal with location, a PLB that would do the same, plus the emergency strobe (and also a strobe I wear on my life vest). I think they could find me with all that. But hope I never find out.


Shawn Stanley said...

Steve, I did the same on my C-30 last year. I still have the flares but the Weems & Plath is my "official" USCG flare kit.

Steve said...

Yes, Shawn, I'm hearing from more and more people. I thought I was the only one who made the switch. Steve