Bad idea. A plastic flare gun has no mass to it and is likely to hurt when it kicks up in your face. And the fact that it is a blank makes little difference. People had died from firing blanks and thinking they were harmless.
Our club doesn't use the 10ga cannon anymore either- they used to use it for the "gun" on Race Committee- but too many people blew holes in gelcoat or canvas with the blanks to make it seem safe. We now use a sawed off shotgun & blanks, which would be a little safer (though not much- couple of people ended up paying for repairs when the blank blew a hole in somebody's sail).
I give the occaisional nut on the powerboat a salute- but hand gestures are free. Who else are you saluting?
I seriously doubt the barrel's designed to retain the powder charge from a 12GA blank. It's still ejecting the powder retaining wad and would more than likely either shrapnel-ize the barrel or destroy the locking mechanism.
Chris, Has the "sawed off" been approved by local LEO's? A guy here in WI is in deep doo doo for killing his lawnmower w/ a sawed off shotgun. The short gun got him a felony charge!
Law enforcement was consulted when they made the change- it still meets legal requirements for length- just a little shorter so it is not so unwieldy. Our club works pretty hard to stay within the confines of the law on most things- now if I could just get them (and all the chesapeake racing venues) to enforce the holding take rule/law