SailNet Community - View Single Post - Do I need radar reflector in my situation?
View Single Post
post #24 of Old 10-02-2006
Owner, Green Bay Packers
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 10,318
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 14
Radar reflector

Oh boy. I've been waiting for this one to come up. I'm the "other" guy out there. I'm driving upwards of fifty thousand tons of steel at seventeen knots. I have both my 3 cm and my 10 cm radars on. I have a able-bodied seaman as a lookout as well. It's blowing force 3-4, enough for some decent whitecaps, and it's kind of hazy. Pretty much any day at sea. My 10cm radar is for navigation and will not pick up a sailboat. My 3cm radar has a much sharper picture and will pick you, and submarine periscopes, up at approximately 6-7 miles. But there is a sea running and some rain showers and that obscures my 3cm. So because of the sea, I can't see anything on it within 3 miles. The rain squalls also white out sections of my screen. Think of the weather radar you see on TV-that's what my picture looks like. Even when I do pick you up you look like a tiny pinprick, I'm not even sure you're there at first. Now it takes me a good half mile or mile to make any effective course alterationm, and forget about stopping anytime soon. As, the previous response indicated, are you feeling lucky today? I have been refueling aircraft carriers in the Med., in formation with the rest of the battle group, with a third mate with his head in the radar, when he noticed a small return, six miles off, steady bearing. Visual id fo a sailboat. Called over to the carrier, "What do you want to do about this sailboat fine on the port bow?" Response, "What sailboat?" And that's the US Navy, with all the technology your money can buy, plus a bunch of signalmen lookouts. I've got 21 men on the whole ship period. What color is your sail or your mast or your hull? Probably not international orange are they. Why do you see the ferries paint their bridge dodgers int org? To be seen. You're just another whitecap out there. And I'm a good lookout. Is everybody? I keep my radar on even in good weather-I might see something sooner than visually. I've had you guys slide down the side half a mile off, out of no where, and that's close quarters to me! And my heart was none the better for it. You shouldn't be allowed to leave the dock without a radar reflector. I've hit whales and didn't know it 'til somebody walked up to the bow in the morning! Do you even think I'm going to feel you? You won't even scratch my paint. Don't ever forget the rules of the road. The first one is, the big boat makes the rules. Get a radar reflector, get the best one, and live to tell your grandkids how you saw the QE 2 ay thirty knots, with the bone between her teeth. Because the mate on watch over there doesn't have a story, he never saw you. Safe sailing my friend.
sailaway21 is offline  
Quote Share with Facebook
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome