One of the advantages of the newer units (against the CARD) are that they transmit the radar signal back, so that hopefully the ship sees you better, especially in heavy weather, you don’t need a radar reflector as well, (i.e. no silver foil……..)
As you say, you are not necessarily interested where the ship is as you have eyes, binoculars or your own radar.
You could use the radar reflector to alert (wake) you of the ship and if you had an AIS receiver fire this up for a position.
You could go the whole hog and have an AIS transmitter/receiver to show your position to the ships and get there details.
In a dark, windy, rough night it’s nice to have a ships MMSI number, call sign and name if you wanted to make contact.
There are a few options there, if I single handing across the Atlantic I would try and make myself as visible as possible to other people in case I was catnapping and the ships radar was turned off in good weather…….
Good luck with the trip, which way were you planning to go?