Mailport February 2012 Issue

Mailport: February 2012

Are Flares Necessary?

The letter published in the December issue asking about used-flare disposal isn’t the first I’ve seen. More basic to me is whether we should have the requirement at all. It seems to me that with all the safety and signaling equipment available today, flares should be optional. It’s a requirement that’s long outlived its usefulness. Do we really need to force the public to create this stream of toxic waste. If more than 1 percent of flares get disposed of properly, I’d be surprised.

Richard Greene
Boothbay, Maine

You make an interesting point. We hate toxic waste as much as the next guy, but in our opinion, it’s still a good idea to keep aerial flares on hand in case of an emergency. While the new signaling devices have greatly improved search-and-rescue, they are not fail safe—nor are flares. For that reason, we recommend having multiple types of signaling devices on board and in a ditch bag. To see how some signalling devices work in real-world emergencies, check out the


US Sailing Independent Study Reports at

Next: Nonskid Application

Comments (1)

Just to clarify the letter a bit.

TiN coatings are used to impart galvanic protection on non-titanium metals. Titanium itself is the least susceptible structual metal available. On boats the only material likely to cause galvanic corrosion to titanium is carbon fiber, and in that case the titanium will take significantly less damage than 316 stainless parts.

Greg Rubin
Allied Titanium

Posted by: Greg R | June 13, 2012 2:09 PM    Report this comment

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