By Don Casey
Revised by BoatUS editors in April 2012
Boats over 16 feet long are required to have three day-use and three night-use distress signals aboard. Flares are the usual choice, satisfying both day and night requirements. Check the expiration date on your flares and replace any that have expired, but do not discard the old ones. In a real emergency, the more flares you have aboard, the greater your ability to signal your need for assistance. Keep flares in a moistureproof container and most will perform normally for many years beyond the 42-month life dictated by the Coast Guard regulation.