Originally Posted by jrd22
AIS only shows boats equipped with a class B transmitter, it's no substitute for having a reflector or radar IMHO. For the majority of boats out there that just have radar or an AIS receiver you'll just be an accident waiting to happen if they can't see you. The Davis Echomaster(?) has consistently been shown to be the best (and one of the cheapest, and it stores flat) reflectors available and you could just hoist it on the flag halyard when/if needed.
I don't know which study you are referring to. Practical Sailor found that the medium and large trilens is far superior to the Davis. See http://www.tri-lens.com/practical_sailor.txt
for a copy of the 2001 report. Quotes:
"The Tri-Lens easily out performed all other reflectors in the 1995 test."
"It costs more than the Davis Echomaster, but out performs it. If you're in the market for a passive radar reflector, we recommend the Tri-Lens."