Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Should i use a radar reflector
If your question is strictly one of compliance, then hoist the cheapest, less obtrusive things you can find. Most don't work well, particularly on a heeled sailboat, whether you have one on both sides or not. The tube style that attach to a spreader are the least effective, I believe. I think the simply fact that most install them on an angled spreader renders them useless immediately. If you hang one of the intersected circles (ie EchoMaster) from a spreader, you will want two blocks up there. One to take the line up from the reflector, then across to another before it returns to the deck. Otherwise, chafe is a real problem.
If you want to be seen, I believe the intersected circles (ie Echomaster) are among the best reflectors or get an active system. Better yet, get an AIS transmitter. Radar is really so primitive by today's standards that nearly all recreational boats are going to confuse an uncharted return with noise anyway.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.