Should i use a radar reflector - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 27 Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Should i use a radar reflector

First, let me disclose that I am associated with Echomax here in the states but also a fellow sailor and active SailNet member. Echomax is one of several good radar reflector companies world wide. I agree with almost all the comments above and would like to add some. I think the link supplied for an inflatable version goes to the Echomax 24" round SOLAS model designed more for life rafts than yachts. The proper inflatable model for yachts is EM230i (for inflatable). It is cylindrical and designed to be mounted from a flag halyard top and bottom. It also is a newer design and has higher reflectivity specs then the mentioned EMA03i . Am purposefully not adding links but you can Google it for specific info. Note that is is now produced in bright yellow (not clear anymore) as this helps with visual confirmation of targets as a ship gets closer.
Secondly, most people who understand the principles of passive radar reflectors will tell you bigger is always better. There is no magic bullet unless you are ready to step up to a 12v powered RTE, Radar Target Enhancer. These are a higher investment but return a stronger signal to the radar, using a much smaller reflector. and also can alarm when you are being painted.
My personal experience with recreational radars is that they have come a long way in the last few years. But for many reasons they will still miss targets. Almost any good reflector will help a radar spot a target both farther away and more consistently on each sweep. All of the above becomes even more complicated when you consider the pitch and roll in anything but flat water.
If you want the best performance mounting them one line up to the spreader and two down to the upper shroud and mast is the easiest way to hold a radar reflector in place. You then can further adjust each line to compensate for heel angle.
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post #12 of 27 Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Should i use a radar reflector

I watched eBay for awhile and ended-up purchasing a tri-lens unit for a good price. They seem to rate pretty high in the test, and I think it's worth it to be seen.
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post #13 of 27 Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Should i use a radar reflector

Here is study of effectiveness

http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources...s%20report.pdf
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post #14 of 27 Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Should i use a radar reflector

If you run an Echomaster up with a side attachment to a shroud, you can usually get away with a single block on the spreader(midway). This also minimizes rotation of the reflector.
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post #15 of 27 Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Should i use a radar reflector

I am a firm believer and user of Echomax solid casing mounted to the mast above the spreaders. I have used AIS transponders as well (in addition.) Many commercial fishing boats off shore do use their radars to spot their fishing gear as well as shipping. Additionally, I have found that some AIS receivers have picked up differing id's from our AIS - I'm told it's due to a possible conflict between the way my AIS was programmed and their AIS was programmed...(go figure.) My short take on my experience is that the mast and standing rigging do not return enough clear and/or consistent signal to make me happy in fog or in the dark. Best -
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post #16 of 27 Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Should i use a radar reflector

Maybe this will help:

Morris 28 with reflector and Catalina 30 without. The Catalina is returning sea clutter at best....



There is a sailboat here (no reflector, no running lights and NOT MONITORING VHF 16 also not blowing fog signals):


This is what the clown above looked like on the radar. He's the little red spec of dust above the 18 foot mark. The two large returns ahead of us were two J Boats from our club and both were flying radar reflectors... The boat to port was flying a Plastimo and the one to starboard a Davis Echomaster.

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 04-26-2012 at 09:36 PM.
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post #17 of 27 Old 04-26-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Should i use a radar reflector

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Thank you jackdale for the link to the radar reflector study which is self explanitary.Information from guys like you makes me wish i joined sailnet earlier.by the way i have sailed on ghost lake before and the water reservoir in calgary.
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post #18 of 27 Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Should i use a radar reflector

Hey,

A question I have not seen asked is what type of sailing do you do? Do you make long overnight passages? Do you sail in bad weather? Do you sail at night in crowded shipping lanes? If so, then a radar reflector is a good idea. If not, then you probably don't need one.

Lastly, while I want other boats to be able to see me, my primary goal is to see THEM, and then stay out of the way.

Barry

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post #19 of 27 Old 04-26-2012
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Re: Should i use a radar reflector

I don't get it. Why worry about angle of heel unless your reflector is at a fixed angle? I suspend mine from a halyard with a heavy weight below it to always maintain the proper orientation regardless of the boats angle of heel.

BTW, I did see the sorta-tubular inflatable reflectors from Echomax but I interpreted the shape as being NOT an octahedral. If it is an octahedral and not a "Luneberg Lens" then I accept it.

I always thought that someone ought to make radar reflectors from aluminized mylar inside a clear mylar balloon. Attach it to a life vest with an auto-inflate helium cartridge and 100' of monofilament line. Pull the lanyard, it inflates the balloon that rises to 100'. It would be very lightweight and tiny.
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post #20 of 27 Old 04-26-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Should i use a radar reflector

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Originally Posted by BarryL View Post
Hey,

A question I have not seen asked is what type of sailing do you do? Do you make long overnight passages? Do you sail in bad weather? Do you sail at night in crowded shipping lanes? If so, then a radar reflector is a good idea. If not, then you probably don't need one.

Lastly, while I want other boats to be able to see me, my primary goal is to see THEM, and then stay out of the way.

Barry
I do sail overnight and in bad weather, although I dont sail very often in crowded shipping lanes. So I think, from the information I have recieved, i will try to get a Sea-Me-Electronic-Radar-Deflector.

There are good ships, and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships, and may they always be-
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