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Old 10-28-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryL
Hello,

I am going to take an opposite point. I don't think you need a radar reflector, and here's why:

-If you sail during the day and watch out for big boats (and stay out of their way) how will a reflector help?

-As already written by a number of people, most of the big boats won't (or can't) move even if they do see you.

I sail on the Long Island Sound, near Port Jefferson. There are frequent ferries between Port Jeff and Bridgeport, CT. I see some big barges, and other large traffic. The sound is wide (100 miles) but not that far accross (less than 15 miles where I am). The ferries travel at about 15 kts and they won't change course for anyone. It's easy to see a ferry, and also real easy to stay out of the way.

Regardless of wether the ferry sees me or now, *I* have to stay out of the way.

Barry
I would say your approach is a bit foolish. At night, in the rain or fog, RADAR is often the first indicator of your boat to a large ship. If a large ship has sufficient advance warning, they will often make a course correction to avoid a small sailboat, provided the sailboat is either stationary or moving in a predictable manner.

In the fog or rain, keeping a watch for ships is often not realistic, as the visibility is too limited to have sufficient warning of their approach in time to make a difference. A large freighter, moving at 15 knots can go from the visible horizon to you in a matter of four or five minutes, especially if you are on reciprocal bearings heading for each other.

Your approach may work on a sunny day, where visibility isn't a problem...but most of us sail in conditions other than just sunny days.
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