Posted by: old_user on Jan-25-10 9:12 AM (EST) Category: unassigned
I want to purchase some signal flares for boat and vest carry. I was leaning toward the Orion 12 gauge flare gun but after speaking to someone this weekend, I am looking at the Orion Skyblazer, hand-held variety. Any input?
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Have you thought about the laser flares?|
Posted by: Celia on Jan-25-10 9:22 AM (EST)
I am not 100% sure what their official status is now with the Coast Guard, but it's hard to beat them for something that can be seen well at night and is easy to carry. My husband's has withstood lots of dunking with no problem, mine finally bit the dust but it took three seasons. And it may be that the larger one is more robust - I got the smaller size.
Looks like a good idea|
Posted by: old_user on Jan-25-10 10:49 AM (EST)
but seems to be an addition to, as opposed to a replacement for standard signal flares. According to their site and the product description, they're only good for "line of sight" signaling while pyro-technic flares are visible over the horizon.
lasers are to flares|
Posted by: bowrudder on Jan-25-10 4:13 PM (EST)
as telephones are to VHF
Posted by: jesse59 on Jan-25-10 10:59 AM (EST)
I shot off one skyblazer for practice a while back and found that it had about maybe 3 good seconds of actual blaze in the sky.
A test review article that might help|
Posted by: DesertDave on Jan-25-10 1:08 PM (EST)
Thanks for the link to article|
Posted by: booztalkin on Jan-25-10 6:57 PM (EST)
Seemed like a good article. Tells the story.
Posted by: old_user on Jan-25-10 8:38 PM (EST)
Also flares are best used when|
Posted by: bmach1 on Jan-25-10 9:20 PM (EST)
there is some one in the area that will see them. Just shooting them off and hoping is not the way to go. You have a limited supply and you need to be sure they will be seen when launched. If you want longer time then you need to look at parachute flares.
tough to get ahold of|
Posted by: bowrudder on Jan-25-10 11:51 PM (EST)
Tough to get ahold of? Where do you find them, Indian reservations? I've never found them for sale in the US. Would love to find a source.
Here are three US sources|
Posted by: shuman on Jan-26-10 9:27 AM (EST)
Mr. Jerry Hamby
Posted by: NateHanson on Jan-26-10 9:36 AM (EST)
You can get them from Landfall Navigation (print catalog, and online).
No smoke on the water...|
Posted by: shuman on Jan-26-10 9:44 AM (EST)
:-) and no stairway to heaven either....
Posted by: bowrudder on Jan-26-10 9:53 AM (EST)
I got discouraged . . .|
Posted by: Angell on Jan-26-10 12:19 AM (EST)
I had a lot of experience with flares in Vietnam - especially as an aviator using flares at night for reference on landing. In my experience, flares worked and generally could be relied on - even the S&R pen gun flares we carried, in case we got shot down.
Will they work....|
Posted by: JimZ on Jan-26-10 1:33 AM (EST)
I am concerned with the reliability of the Orion and the recent problems. Watch out for the expiration date of 3-4 years. We shoot expired flares off at a gathering every year with permission from the local authorities. The Orions are 1 out of 4 at best. The pistol is much better. I currently have the Orions in a Pelican 1010 case in my PFD with the pistol flare in a dry case. I carry a mirror and flashlight in my PFD also.
flares and kayaks|
Posted by: old_user on Jan-26-10 2:11 AM (EST)
Couple problems with most tests of flares is they are generally tested on fairly large boats, not in the confined cockpit of a kayak. The odds are pretty good that if you need to be firing a flare that the weather won't be ideal and playing around with a handheld flare will be at best difficult if not impossible. I much prefer 12 gauge pistol shot flares. Yes they don't burn as long nor go as high as some others, but they are fairly small and you can carry more in numbers than you could for most other flares. Most of the problems people have with flares is they run out of them before someone comes looking. The 12 gauge flares are also relatively inexpensive.
Orion Skyblazer reliability|
Posted by: NateHanson on Jan-26-10 9:44 AM (EST)
My impression was that there were problems with the first generation of Skyblazers not firing, but that the issues were supposed to be fixed with the Skyblazer II now sold.
Similar to what I carry....|
Posted by: tvcrider on Jan-26-10 12:05 PM (EST)
Orion Pocket Rocket|
Posted by: tvcrider on Jan-26-10 10:24 AM (EST)
Posted by: NateHanson on Jan-26-10 10:35 AM (EST)
The Boat-US report found that using these on a larger pleasure boat was difficult. I wonder if it would be possible at all when swimming in the water, or hanging onto a kayak.
An ideal signal device for kayakers?|
Posted by: tvcrider on Jan-26-10 11:26 AM (EST)
Strobe light first|
Posted by: FrankNC on Jan-26-10 12:06 PM (EST)
Get a good strobe light first. I carried flares for years and when they expired I lit them and one and three worked. The 12 gauge flairs were good about 1/2 the time. None of them were impressive. Uless someone is already looking at you then they will miss it. I'm not saying don't carrey flairs, but I am saying to buy your strobe first.
Posted by: tvcrider on Jan-26-10 12:16 PM (EST)