What stores sell flare kits for boats?


Quick Answer

Flare kits for boats are sold at outdoor supply stores like Gander Mountain and superstores like Walmart. For Internet shoppers, Overton's and West Marine also sell flare kits.

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Full Answer

When purchasing flare kits for boats, consider the conditions in which they will be used. Handheld orange floating smoke flares are best used during clear weather conditions with little wind, as the smoke dissipates in high winds. Red handheld flares are appropriately used at night and during foggy or hazy conditions. Pistol-launched flares should be used at night, but they burn quickly and brightly, which may make it difficult to see. Red parachute flares, however, descend slowly and shine brightly during both day or night.

To deploy a parachute flare, note the arrow printed on the flare. This indicates the direction in which the flare should point. Hold the flare at chin height and pointed to the sky at and 80- to 85-degree angle. Pull the trigger, and the flare reaches a height of 1,000 feet in two seconds. Its descent takes 25 to 30 seconds and can alert ships within 20 miles.

While storing flares, keep them in a cool, dry container. Make sure everyone aboard knows the location of the container, but give one person the responsibility of grabbing it in the event that the boat must be abandoned. Keep track of the expiration dates; flares are only good for three years. For safety reasons, keep welding gloves and safety goggles in the flare container in case a flare needs to be deployed.

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