The new Weems & Plath electronic flare just seems like such a good idea. It can replace the pyrotechnic flares on your boat (the ones that have expiration dates but that you have trouble getting rid of when they expire) and it meets the Coast Guard requirements for a night or day visual distress signal device.
The SOS Distress Light runs on three household C batteries that you should replace every year, and its LED light flashes the traditional SOS signal for up to 60 hours. The company says it is visible for up to ten nm; if you’re worried about that, you can always keep a set of the old flares on board too.
The other advantages of the SOS Distress Light are that you only need one per boat, you don’t have to worry about burning yourself or your boat, and it floats if you drop it overboard. The Weems & Plath light comes with a daytime distress flag. It costs $99.99 at West Marine and other outlets. For more: