Do I need a radar reflector? - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 07-28-2008
Patbarbeau's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: St-Bruno, Québec
Posts: 20
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Patbarbeau is on a distinguished road
Do I need a radar reflector?

I plan to sail my new boat on the St-Lawrence river where cargos are frequently present. I am installing a radar reflector but was wondering why the aluminium mast does not reflect radar itself? I am just curious to understand the difference especially since my reflector seems to also be made of aluminium??? Thanks for any source of info.
__________________
"Gromit", 1975 Grampian 26
St-Lawrence river, Québec
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 07-28-2008
camaraderie's Avatar
moderate?
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,878
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Rep Power: 15
camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Thin Profile and rounding of mast tends not to show up WELL. Lots of different facets on reflector do a better job at reflecting radar waves back to the sender.
__________________
No longer posting. Reach me by PM!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 07-28-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 547
Thanks: 3
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 8
SteveInMD is on a distinguished road
I read an article where they tested radar reflectors. Many performed very poorly. There are active ones that listen for a signal and shoot a beam back with a transmitter. They are very effective. The amount of fog, night time sailing, and proximity to commercial traffic would help decide if the cost is worth it.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 07-28-2008
paulk's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
Posts: 2,533
Thanks: 4
Thanked 20 Times in 19 Posts
Rep Power: 15
paulk is on a distinguished road
US Sailing and the RORC have both performed tests on radar reflectors. Both sets of tests seem to indicate that the Davis type, (round interlocking panels that create "pockets") mounted in a "catch rain" position is among the most effective passive reflectors available. It's also one of the less expensive. Actual results can vary because of the way the reflector is mounted, the angle of heel of the boat, the height of waves, and a lot of other technical stuff. We used ours last week in Buzzards Bay with about 200' of visibility, and were glad to have it deployed.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 07-28-2008
Maine Sail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Posts: 5,264
Thanks: 9
Thanked 111 Times in 81 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice
Speaking as someone..

Speaking as someone from the foggy state of Maine all I can say is YES!

Radar likes right angles and flat surfaces to reflect signal back. Rounded masts are not a good reflector. While many boats do show up without a reflector the target definition and target itself on screen is usually quite small and can be mistaken for a lobster pot or buoy or sea clutter. Make your boat show up on someones radar screen and definitely buy a reflector..


Oh never mind I'll just show you. I took this photo a few weeks ago at my mooring during the set up and install of my new Garmin HD radar that replaced a Raytheon CRT unit.

The target labeled in red as "C-30" is a Catalina 30 with no radar reflector. The much bigger target labeled in green as "M-28" is a Morris 28 with a radar reflector. Hopefully seeing is believing...!

LOOK BIG!!
__________________
______
-Maine Sail / CS-36T


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




© Images In Posts Property of Compass Marine Inc.



Last edited by Maine Sail; 11-11-2008 at 07:41 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 07-28-2008
max-on's Avatar
1997 Dehler 33
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 745
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
max-on will become famous soon enough
I bought one today; SD convinced me when he was on my boat a few weeks ago, and he also gave me some tips on mounting the reflector gained from his experience. Thanks again Dawg!



You know, I still have not read SD's post linked in his signature that he keeps telling everyone to read.

Edit: Hal, that radar screen looks sweet; it puts my 1997 model to shame. I guess I will add HD radar to the list!

Last edited by max-on; 07-28-2008 at 11:28 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 07-28-2008
Maine Sail's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Posts: 5,264
Thanks: 9
Thanked 111 Times in 81 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice Maine Sail is just really nice
Quote:
Originally Posted by max-on View Post

Edit: Hal, that radar screen looks sweet; it puts my 1997 model to shame. I guess I will add HD radar to the list!
And that was "out of the box" auto settings! I had not even begun to tweak or play with the settings! I really do like it but the Garmin instructions for radar are NON-EXISTENT!! Not kidding they don't have ANY!!!

If you buy a Garmin you better already know how to operate a radar and what the lingo means cause they won't tell ya.....
__________________
______
-Maine Sail / CS-36T


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.




© Images In Posts Property of Compass Marine Inc.


Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 07-28-2008
jrd22's Avatar
Courtney the Dancer
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Juan Islands., WA, USA
Posts: 3,808
Thanks: 3
Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
Rep Power: 14
jrd22 will become famous soon enough
I am definitely of the belief that you want to do everything that you can to make yourself visible to the big guys. Even if a reflector didn't do much, I would feel better having it up there. I am hoping to do a test on my boat from another boat with a CRT, with and without reflector at different ranges. I know from running my radar that different boats give vastly different returns, but the best are from the bouys that have the chambers like the Davis (we call them Cormorant motels).

Hal- I noticed that in your screen shot you don't have a "cone" at your location, are you mast mounted or pole? Excellent picture, how do you like color radar for night use, is there a different palette like on a plotter?

John
__________________
John
SV Laurie Anne

1988 Brewer 40 Pilothouse

Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 07-28-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: full time cruiser
Posts: 155
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 11
chuck5499 is on a distinguished road
i put two up above my top spreader - they are round and attache to the stays - one on each side

had an interesting example on why 2 - recently was coming north in the ocean and another sailboat was following me - we both had our sails up and as he went from my starboard to hard off my port as he went more towards land i lost his footprint on my radar at times - we had talked on radio a bit and i asked if he had 1 or 2 reflectors as as long as i could see the reflector my radar could track it but when his sail covered it - it was a spotty reception and at times i would lose his track all together - i tired using marpa but it would at times tell me no signal - 2 reflectors up high take care of that problem as well as the heeling problem
just my opinion
chuck and svsoulmates
ki4sry
on the hook cambridge md
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 07-28-2008
artbyjody's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bellingham, PNW
Posts: 3,146
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 10
artbyjody is just really nice artbyjody is just really nice artbyjody is just really nice artbyjody is just really nice
A Caution

Radar deflectors in my opinion are one more of those aux gears you can have to make safe voyage passages (and yes I have on on my Barberis). However, nothing accounts more on a boat than standing proper visual watches - anywhere you transit. Odds are on a sailboat under sail - you are the one that needs to get out of the way - not the other way around.
__________________
-- Jody

S/V "
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
" -
1983, Barberis Show 38! or
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.







Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Navigating with Radar Jim Sexton Seamanship Articles 0 03-29-2002 07:00 PM
Radar Basics Jim Sexton Seamanship Articles 0 11-14-1999 07:00 PM
Radar Basics Jim Sexton Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 11-14-1999 07:00 PM
Radar Basics Jim Sexton Cruising Articles 0 11-14-1999 07:00 PM
Radar Basics Jim Sexton Her Sailnet Articles 0 11-14-1999 07:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:43 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012