Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. My name is Steve and i am the lucky owner of a John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. I built her over three years with the help of my father, father-in-law and two children. She was launched in August 2007 at Queen Anne's battery marina in the barbican area of Plymouth. This blog is a record of our voyages together around SW England.
Arwen has a YouTube channel of her own. Search "plymouthwelshboy".

Friday, 8 April 2016

Disposing of marine pyrotechnics

one of my parachute flares expired dec 2015 and I bought a new one today to replace it. My local chandler will take the expired one. All the MCA and RYA guidance says get rid of expired flare immediately. So, I am inclined to follow this guidance but what do other people do? Do you hold onto it and get another six months from it e.g keep for this summer season or do you immediately get rid of it? Use it as a backup flare for rest of season?
Any views or comments always welcome


Joel Bergen said...

I keep my current set of flares in my life jacket, and my most recently expired set in the boat as a backup.

steve said...

I assume you carry what we would call mini flare packs, if you carry them in your PDF?

Anonymous said...

I once crewed for a skipper who kept two generations of old flares. If ever in an emergency situation he felt it wise to try the oldest ones first as chances are they would still work but he may not get spotted right away. The more flares available, the better

Bursledon Blogger said...

It"s outrageous B******* - firstly the idea that manufacturers can't design and build marine flares with better than a reliable and safe 5 year life and 2nd that the mca and RYA support the myth which has us buying new pyrotechnics every few years.

A sailing fiend carry's a very pistol aboard which uses military amunition which has no expiry date - kind of makes you think. The downside is getting hold of one and you need a firearms license.

I let off old and well out of date flares at a New Year celebration in foregin parts some years ago (along with everyone else in town - seemed to be the thing). They all worked, all fired safely.

steve said...

Yeah, I kind of feel that way. My hunch is that a dec 2015 expiry date should work in August 2016 so I have decided to hold on to it and use it first in an emergency. The 2011 expiry dated handheld orange smokes.......they have been replaced last year but have sat in a metal container in my garage and I need to get rid of them. My ecological principles are taking a hammering on this one.......its a bit like sell by dates and food wastage!!