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post #1 of 11 Old 04-07-2014 Thread Starter
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Radar reflector

Got a new aluminum plate radar reflector and wondering about the mounting. Best to attach to the lower shroud w a bridle or run up a pennant halyard (which I don't currently have on my Hobie 33)...Thanks for the input.
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-07-2014
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Re: Radar reflector

The effective range of your reflector to another radar is the analogous to the range you'd get from your own radar antenna looking for returns from a target:

range (nautical miles) = 1.25 * sqrt(height in feet)

Not to be glib, but the higher the better. It's up to you as whether the added range is worth the added trouble of installing a pennant halyard.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-08-2014
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Re: Radar reflector

We put ours up on a bridle on the backstay, as far up as we can. Hoisting on a spreader-mounted pennant halyard would also allow you to snug it up to a shroud, which would help to keep it quieter. If it's not tied off they can tend to bang around a lot, and the higher you put it, the more it will want to do that.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-08-2014
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Re: Radar reflector

A spreader halyard can be perfect, however, you will want the return line to be run away from the reflector, so it doesn't chafe against it.


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post #5 of 11 Old 04-08-2014
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Re: Radar reflector

I have the standard aluminum Davis Echomaster Deluxe. It is attached to a spreader halyard on the port side. The Deluxe model has the ability to run the hanging line through the center so it is always in the rain-catch position. No worries about line chafe either.

See the photo below. This one is not setup properly. The line should be led back down through the center. Unfortunately I could not find a photo of one properly mounted.


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post #6 of 11 Old 04-08-2014
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Re: Radar reflector

I used the spreader and a third stabilizing line run over to the shroud. I also made sure the line length was such that IF the thing pulled loose, it would not swing on an arc in direct line with the radar dome.

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post #7 of 11 Old 04-08-2014
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Re: Radar reflector

I would suggest against a perment installation. When in or expecting high winds you want to be able to get anything that is aloft down. That would include the reflector. Also, don't expect too much from the reflector. Study after study says they help but not by much.

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post #8 of 11 Old 04-08-2014
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Re: Radar reflector

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Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
I have the standard aluminum Davis Echomaster Deluxe. It is attached to a spreader halyard on the port side. The Deluxe model has the ability to run the hanging line through the center so it is always in the rain-catch position. No worries about line chafe either.

See the photo below. This one is not setup properly. The line should be led back down through the center. Unfortunately I could not find a photo of one properly mounted.
On ours we have two sheaves mounted under the spreader, moving the 'down' line away from the reflector and avoiding the edge chafing(more like cutting) through the line.
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-08-2014
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Re: Radar reflector

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Originally Posted by svzephyr44 View Post
Also, don't expect too much from the reflector. Study after study says they help but not by much.
IMHO - This is worth reading, no matter which RADAR reflector you own or are contemplating owning:

This article looks at the results of an independent study commissioned by the Marine Accident Investigations Branch (MAIB) to help leisure boat owners choose the most appropriate radar reflector for their vessel from those currently on the market.

A copy of the full Radar Reflectors Report published by MAIB is linked at the bottom.

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post #10 of 11 Old 04-08-2014
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Re: Radar reflector

I have noticed that sailboats without a reflector tend to NOT show up well on the radar screen. There is something about the shape/stays, etc. of a sailboat that makes it more difficult for radar to reflect back. Mine stays up permanently. If the weather is rotten and waves high it's one of the most important times to have it up so you can be seen by ships. If the windage on a small ball of aluminum is all that stands between flipping and not, you're in some sort of trouble.

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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