[Public-List] Flares

Stephen Gwyn via Public-List public-list at lists.alberg30.org
Fri Sep 8 14:58:33 PDT 2017


As to LED/laser flares vs. pyrotechnics, have a look at this article:
(although they don't test the Weems and Plath model)

As to the usability of expired flares: read on:

Every other year the Power Squadron on San Juan Island holds a
flare shoot.  You get to fire off or otherwise light your expired
pyrotechnics. They shoot off a few fresh examples. I sail over
with all my expired flares and usually a bucket of other people's
flares. Over the years I've fired off literally hundreds of
flares, of a variety of types. My analysis of expired

12 gauge flares: only 1-2 misfires out of hundred, but the
recently expired flares went further and burned brighter. Mine
from the 1980s went maybe a 100 feet with a feeble light,
comparable to a dying firefly. The ones that were only 10 years
old were better, but not as good as the fresh, non-expired
demonstration flare

25mm flares: better, but I haven't shot any really old ones.

Handheld smoke flares: all worked, but some kind of burned
unevenly. Because this was a beach, you could just put those down
in the sand. Older ones produced less smoke. But on the whole these
are the kind of flares you want if you plan to sink during
the day.

Handheld flame flares: all worked. Again older ones less
bright. They drop a lot of hot melted stuff. I was glad I
was on a beach. I would not use these if I had the choice.

Handheld launcher flares: (the kind you don't need a pistol for,
but there is a little chain to pull) Not a single expired flare
worked, even those that were only a month past the expiry
date. Useless. Very glad there was a barrel to take the duds.

Parachute flares: (the big ones that cost almost 100$ each) Most
fired, but were pretty wimpy compared to the fresh one launched
as a demonstration. Some landed before they went out because they
hadn't been shot to the full specified altitude. Others didn't
burn the full 3 minutes.

In short, while I keep some lightly expired flares on board,
I also havea full set of up-to-date flares.


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