handheld foghorns

Was just sea kayaking offshore Maine. Got caught in fog, both wife and I had foghorns from “shoreline” purchased from Dick’s sporting goods maybe 6 month’s earlier. Both failed. Button completely frozen.They had been stored dry in our basement ,in a drawer. Any comments,suggestions, or recommendations for simple handheld fog horns?


Get the simple ones from marine store
No parts to fail, would not waste money on Dick’s for that kind of serious stuff. L

Apparently these are too minor to carry in an online catalogue, but you can get simple ones that you blow into from places like West Marine and Hamilton Marine. I have a bigger one and a smaller one, both work fine.

I knew I’d seen that somewhere
sort of like this?


Yup, just like that

Oh, darn!
I was expecting one of those big long plastic horns that people used to buy at baseball games and county fairs.

Small plastic breath-powered version
I bought one a few years ago, either from West Marine or a kayak shop. It is smaller than another plastic one I had seen earlier. It is orange.

use handheld fog horns ?

legality of…
Somewhere I heard that on inshore waters, whistles, etc. were acceptable as sound devices. However, only horns were acceptable in more hazardous areas (salt water, etc.). Is this the case? If so, must the nature of the horn be?

Whistles are requirements everywhere
and having a foghorn is not a substitute for the whistle.

On the gulf here a foghorn is not a requirement for kayaks, I don’t know if there are local ordinances or state laws requiring them in other coastal areas. There are international maritime codes foghorns are used for, unless your going to blast away every two minutes then it’s not really accomplishing much.

common sense
its not the law in Maine. And kayakers are not in shipping lanes.

But to expect a whistle to be heard over the diesel motor of a lobster boat is a flatlanders thought.

For the same reason foghorns are found on some markers in the ocean and also lighthouses.

Lobster boats are everywhere. Some are small run by teens with outboards and some are powerful diesels run in races on Sundays. And they do work in the fog.

the vuvuzela?
I’m not sure what the coast guard says about vuvuzelas.

Plastimo TRUMP Horn???
“Combines blast of a gas fog horn (100db with no effort), with the simplicity of a mouth horn. Operates on the vibration of a plastic diaphragm, which can be easily replaced with any thin plastic film.”

Sounds as though tomorrow evening’s Fox Hunt of the Debatable Ten will have its share of foggy moments.

Foghorns vs whistles
My priorities for sound making devices are mostly about being in fog in Maine in a bay where the traffic of highest concern is lobster boats. They are loud but relatively slow unless they are coming towards the harbor on autopilot at the end of the day, though I have never personally seen anyone foolish enough to try that in pea soup fog.

The whistle is always required everywhere. But there is also the matter of what you can expect a working boat operator to hear and recognize. In deep fog, I feel more comfortable that a lobster boat operator will properly recognize the sound of a fog horn of any sort than a whistle. The fog horn is often used to signal each other when they are pulling strings close together in deep fog. A whistle may be perceived as some part of the constant country and western music that is also blaring.

Of course by the time these guys are 40 they have lost a significant portion of their hearing - it is only the youngest ones I see working with sound protection - so this all may be silly.

right ! carrying a small air horn for location by other craft isn’t supported

but using an air horn for location by parties looking for you is supported.

or maybe not. Asking the local parties for fog advice ID is supported.

the piercing whistle may carry over diesel rumble. In any event, there are no substitutes for dense fog, right ?

Maine is off my route …why are you paddling in the fog ? does fog waft in over the course without prior notice ? or is fog always wafting in ?

Florida Bay has white out localized thunderstorms…just wonderful.

here’s a selection of horns yuhyuhyuh…


fitting, isn’t it

– Last Updated: Aug-05-15 9:06 AM EST –

A blast of gas propelled from the mouth of (the) Trump (horn).

This is gold, CWD. Do your thing!

Fog in maine
There is a fog bank that sits pretty permanently over the outer waters for at least all of June and into July. If conditions change so that the wind blows it in, a hardly uncommon event even with perfect trip planning, we have clocked it making between a mile and a half to two miles in 20 minutes. Clear as a bell to 20 ft visibility.

If you are having any real fun at among the islands, you are likely off the mainland by that distance. At three years miles an hour or less if you have keep recheck in headings, most non-racing paddlers will be making the final landing back home in pea soup.

This is why l prefer muscongus bay to the ones on either side. Only one ferry that doesn’t run where most paddle, no barges, no cruise boats to worry about running you over.

Age and hearing loss
Good point about old guys and hearing loss. The loss occurs mainly in the upper frequencies, which makes foghorns a better choice than whistles. No reason not to bring a whistle also, but use it for signaling to your paddling partners and reserve the foghorn to alert motorized boaters.

marine weather
I’ll check with you tomorrow.

Accessing BC marine is entertaining:

Weather for August 14

tomorrow 20 knots winds from the west at 45F increasing to 35 by 2PM with a significant chance of rain turning to sleet by 7PM

Expected clearing by tomorrow morning with dense fog, wind frmn the south at 45 mph.