Originally Posted by Darrinsailboattrash
...i've also heard you can make a passive radar REflector using hundres of lightly crumpled strips of aluminum foil, in some kind of receptacle, fixed as close to the masthead as you can, without it chafing a lot on the leech of your jib.
i have not tested this, however, i would like to experiment a little more. i have just been told it works great.
The modern radar reflector uses exact 90 degree angles to create a large echo. (Think about the game Pong where you aim the ball into a corner and it comes right back at you.) It's worth the $50 to get one, rather than experimenting with somehting that will not work very well versus the space it takes-up aloft. In other words, if you took $50 of aluminum foil crunched it a bit and wrapped it around 5 huge cardboard boxes that were used to ship refrigerators, and then hoisted that aloft, it would probably relfect about as well as the modern $50 reflector - and maybe not.
It's $50 well spent and you may even be able to pick one up on eBay or Craigslist for cheaper than $50.