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Re: Dodger and bimini

Came accross this and thought it contained interesting info we may want to

Jack Carr


>Last night BYC had a "flare practice". One of our members (also in the
>Coast Guard Aux) had made previous arrangements for the Coast Guard to
>show up and help us launch some outdated pyrotechnics. It was an
>educational experience. Here's what we learned:
>Almost everyone had the small Olin flare pistol (meteor). Six second burn
>time is not a lot of time. If you're not looking in the right direction,
>I'd be surprised if you *didn't* miss it. Several members had 25mm
>(various brand) pistols. They make an impressive pop and get much more
>height. It is now on my buy list. I'll put the small pistol in the bailout
>bag as a backup.
>There were quite a few duds, especially if the stock was not kept
>perfectly dry. None of my stock failed, even though I fired shells that
>expired in '83, '89 and '90. The usual failure was a shorter trajectory,
>but some flares never lit. Some split in two on the way down.
>Several women were a little more apprehensive about handling explosives
>than their male counterparts. A little practice helps -- by the end of the
>night everyone seemed much more comfortable. Having never lit off anything
>myself, before last night, I am much more confident of my ability to
>handle the beasties in an emergency.
>You could immediately tell the difference between SOLAS and USCG approved
>standards. Higher, brighter longer, across the board. Buy SOLAS.
>Skyblazers -- those little plastic hand launched meteor flares -- sucked.
>The failure rate was well over 2:1! I launched one that is "good" until
>October -- no problem. Others that expired in February didn't launch.
>Usually pulling the pin did nothing. One launched, but the propellant
>immediately died so we were dancing around trying to avoid a bright red
>fireball bouncing around the rocks. Not fun.
>The rocket launched meteors were cool and loud (sounded like an old Estes
>model rocket).
>Hand held smoke flares put out a lot of smoke. Much, much more useful as a
>day signal than any of the flares. Also on my buy list.
>A lot of the Olin hand flares had wet strikers under the cap. (Worth an
>inspection, just pop off the black cap.) They *would* light after drying
>out a bit, but that's not really useful, is it? Storing flares in the
>cheap round Olin case seemed to be a bad idea. Tupperware, zip lock or
>some other dry box (I thought about tossing in some desecant packets) is a
>better choice. On the other hand my (last) 25 year old hand flare lit on
>the first try. So don't toss you old stuff either.
>The parachute smoke flares worked well (lots of hang time, bright, etc),
>but were all very complicated to use. Read the instructions and if you get
>a chance to practice (at $30 a pop! yuck) do so. Ikaros seemed a bit
>easier to use than P-W.
>No injuries, but there's a lot of flare slag on the rocks now.

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