Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: CT/ Long Island Sound
Thanked 42 Times in 41 Posts
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RORC did a study, as did USSailing, of different radar reflectors and their effectiveness in various situations (angles of heel, etc.). The "soccer ball" type, made out of intersecting circles of aluminum, seemed to be the most effective in both studies. People appear to purchase the "flux capacitor" type because it offers less windage. Of course, if it costs more, it must be better, no? Who cares if USCG (who ran the studies with US Sailing) says they're not much good. Racing rules may require them to carry a radar refector and so they may not care how well it actually reflects radar beams. If, as is mentioned above, it has to be mounted "vertically" in order to be effective, exactly when would that occur on a sailboat? I laugh each time I see them. I'm surprised to see one on the Falmouth Cutter above, since if they were concerned about windage they'd remove the boom gallows. In San Francisco's famous fogs I'd certainly want to be seen on radar, and I'd use a "soccerball" type.